By Meredith McCulloch
Selectman Margot Fleischman presented an update on the Fawn Lake restoration project at the League of Women Voters of Bedford Annual meeting on June 23. Fawn Lake is the largest body of water in Bedford and has been a significant area for fishing, canoeing, ice-skating, and simply enjoying nature. Other than humans, visitors to the lake include ducks, beavers, bears, a variety of birds and yes, even fawns.
Over the years, the town has tried several times to remove water lilies and other plant growth that have begun to engulf the lake. If left untreated, eventually it would become a smelly swamp destroying habitats and fostering mosquitoes.
Fleischmann explained that the method of hydraulic dredging was chosen because it would not require draining the lake. Sediment down to a six-foot level will be removed. Below that level, the sediment is hard-packed and would be difficult to remove. The sediment, which will be clean fill, will then be loaded into trucks and hauled away for possible sale. The work will begin this fall. The contract sets limits on work times, (7 am to 4 pm) and other measures to reduce noise.
The dredging will clear about 60% of the pond surface. The other 40% will be left undisturbed. In addition to the dredging, the dam near Springs Road will be replaced using curved steel sections driven in the ground. The Army Corp of Engineers has approved the plan.
The water quality is good and when work is completed will be safe for recreational use, including swimming, though “at your own risk” as no lifeguard is available,