Pace Renews its Waterways with Choate Pond


Sara Moriarty, Feature Editor

Soon Choate Pond will be back with more features than ever before, according to Professor Angelo Spillo, Director of the Environmental Center, and Bill Link, director of physical plant.

Currently, Choate Pond consists of a large mound of dirt, some muddy grooves with water, and plenty of construction materials. But it all serves a purpose.

The large mound of dirt in the middle of the Choate Pond site will be an island once the pond is refilled. The old island in the pond had been worn away from years of geese treading on it, so this is one feature that will be restored.

“The pond is being recreated,” Spillo said. “There will be features to attract wildlife, from birdhouses to wood duck houses.”

Students have reported seeing dead turtles on campus, but Spillo reports that the organisms in the pond—including the turtles— have been moved to a stream on campus.

Students even witnessed a large snapping turtle being moved from the pond as it was being drained.

The new home for these animals—a renewed Choate Pond—will likely be cleaner and will maintain its full depth.

New features will allow for cleaner water to flow into the pond. A stream that flows in front of North Hall has been day lighted. The stream, which was artificially covered for years, has been exposed and a rock bed has been placed in it. This stream drains from nearby wetlands and will act as a natural filter for runoff from the parking lots and from North Hall. The natural filtering will prevent litter from making its way into the pond.

Specific plants to be planted around the pond will be chosen by a wetlands consultant.  These will also contribute to the health of the pond and the ecosystem.

The pond, which is fed by springs, will be allowed to refill naturally once construction within it is done. Of course, the refill process will depend on rainfall and other factors.

An internal pond feature will allow sediment to “settle out” where the water enters, according to Link. These “sediment bays” and an outlet control will allow for the pond to maintain its full depth of 14 feet. It is the hope of Link that these new features will keep the green algae from once again covering the pond.

Choate pond will also be slightly expanded, with a path running around it for all members of the Pleasantville campus community to enjoy.

As stated in one of the latest Master Plan updates, Choate Pond’s “reshaping” has been completed, and “stabilizing of the pond shelves” is the next step. The pond will begin refilling with rainfall.