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The Town of Mount Pleasant celebrated the newly-rejuvenated Carroll Park in Thornwood last Saturday, featuring a freshly dredged pond with a fountain and a re-established shoreline that helps beautify the facility.
Town officials hope the project, which also features new wooden fencing around the pond’s perimeter and some new playground equipment, breathes new life into the park and the pond, which in recent years had become stagnant from silt that collected at its bottom.
The pond, known as Leith’s Pond, had been the destination of stormwater runoff from across Columbus Avenue through a box culvert. Before the work to help rid the pond of the silt and the muck, the town had built a bypass drainage system to divert some of the stormwater from flowing into the water body. It also had become clogged with weeds and vegetation growth.
Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi said the project will be the first step in what he hopes will be a gradual multiphase improvement of the park on Kensico Drive.
“This is like a central point in the town of Mount Pleasant,” Fulgenzi said of Carroll Park. “People have always liked to spend time here. You have people coming here for lunch. They’ll stop here at the end of the day.”
It is also hoped that the pond can become the site of fishing derbies in the warm-weather months and ice skating in winter, added Councilwoman Danielle Zaino, the Town Board’s liaison to the Recreation and Parks Department, who also attended the early afternoon ceremonies.
“I grew up in town, so I would come here all the time as a little girl, skating and so forth,” Zaino said. “So I think it’s been a long time coming. I think it looks beautiful. I’m very excited.”
The Town Board used fund balance for the majority of the more than $200,000 for this portion of the project, Fulgenzi said. More than two years ago, state Sen. Peter Harckham (D-Lewisboro) secured a $100,000 State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM) grant to pay for the remainder of the work.
Project engineer Lloyd Beazley, of Manganaro Engineers in Tarrytown, said about 8,500 cubic yards of dirt had to be removed from the pond. The work required crews to dig down an average of four-and-a-half to five feet to restore the pond’s previous depth of about six feet in the middle, he said.
“So that’s a little glimpse of how much (dirt) came out,” Beazley said.
Beazley explained that the fountain, which can be lit in different colors and spew water in different configurations, will help aerate the pond with the movement of the water to prevent the pond from filling in again, hopefully for several decades.
The day also featured a community clean-up in the morning followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony shortly after noon. There were also bouncy castles for children, music and food at the park during the afternoon to celebrate the upgraded facility.
Fulgenzi said he hopes to eventually bring in an improved bandstand, the site local concerts during the summer, with a covering in case of rain. The town is also weighing whether to include a concession stand and bathroom since crowds from the community also go there to watch local youth baseball games, he said.
Carroll Park, measuring nearly seven acres, includes a ball field, a bandstand and the pond. Since there are sidewalks in the area, it allows nearby residents and people who work close by to walk to the park.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/