|A hungry mallard|
Visiting Hammond Pond is a mixed experience for me these days. There is a lot of construction at the shopping center, but the trees blocked most the activity from view. However, on the pond itself, there is a floating "raft" holding up a pipe that looks like it is being used to pump water out of the construction site. I don't know about you, but I cannot imagine that this particular activity is any good for the health of the pond. The company that owns Chestnut Hill Shopping Center, WS Development, is responsible for about 25% of the land abutting Hammond Pond. The proximity of the parking lots to the water edge increases run-off and pollution and would not be up to current development standards. I am worried that they are not as concerned about the health of the pond or the residents who enjoy it as they should be. They must appreciate the pond's beauty, however, as they are also about to replace the building that currently holds City Sports with a taller building with the top floor (with an excellent view of the pond) serving as their corporate headquarters.
According to eBird data, Hammond pond and the surrounding woods (including Webster Conservation Area and Houghton Gardens) is one of the best birding locations in Newton, second only to Nahanton Park. I just hope that we can keep it that way.