Green Up at Grafton Pond
Every spring, volunteers from Hypertherm, Inc. help the Forest Society with a thorough pre-season cleaning at Grafton Pond. Hypertherm allows its employees to volunteer for non-profits and community events several days each year, paying them for a normal day at work.
Because the Grafton Pond workday involves paddling on a gorgeous and unpeopled (only in mid-May!) pond, it’s a popular choice with those in the know.
This year, only two of the 15 Hypertherm volunteers had not been to the Grafton Pond workday on previous years. Only one had never been to the pond before.
“You’re in for a treat,” we told her, and everyone meant it.
Despite the smattering of black flies dancing around our heads, it was a picture perfect Grafton Pond workday. Not too hot, not too cold, and just a light breeze rippling the pond’s surface, enough to keep the bugs away while we were on the water.
The first order of business, however, was trash detail on the road frontage and trails. Every year we collect an amazing amount of beer cans, coffee cups and chip bags from the side of Grafton Pond Road, as well as tires, appliances, and crushed five-gallon buckets that have been dumped on the Forest Society’s 933-acre Grafton Pond Reservation surrounding the pond.
“The pile doesn’t seem to get smaller every year, does it?” remarked Ed, one of the Hypertherm volunteers. Unfortunately, no. When people have to pay to dispose of certain items at their local transfer stations, we often find these items piling up at known dumping spots on our conservation lands. But these Hypertherm folks are tough, and they made short work of dragging tires filled with muck-water up a 40-percent incline and getting them loaded into a pickup.
After a quick lunch, we paddled the pond’s many islands and winding shoreline looking for any additional trash items, which thankfully are few and far between on the pond itself. This year, we also installed two wood duck nesting boxes and replaced nearly a dozen worn-out signs asking people to pack out trash and refrain from camping on the islands and shoreline. While we worked, loon pairs called almost continuously, their tremolo voices echoing across the water’s surface. They’re getting ready to choose nesting spots and lay eggs, ready for the sun’s warmth and the chicks they’ll spend the summer raising on the pond. They’ll encounter thousands of human paddlers before those chicks fledge, and
Thanks to the Hypertherm crew, this amazing environment always starts off with a clean slate each spring, heading into a summer full of promise and potential.