Time to save Crystal Lake: Action needed now

1 Feb


LakeBy Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

It’s an issue that has been understandably on Mayor Ted Bettencourt’s back burner since he took office just over a year ago. There were, after all, larger, more urgent priorities to address in Year 1.

But I’m writing now to express my strong feeling that the revitalization of Crystal Lake should make it onto the Mayor’s second-year agenda.

It’s time to save this vitally important watershed, and potentially outstanding recreational area for the residents of Peabody. I live less than a quarter mile from the lake, and I’m troubled by its continuous decline each time I ride past. The current blanket of ice can’t hide what’s underneath, and once spring turns to summer, the lake will once again be a blanket of green goo that covers a shallow muddy-covered pond. Crystal Lake is dying, but it could be a gem. There are tremendous opportunities to create environmentally breathtaking resource.

I know that there is a Peabody City Council sub-committee in place to look at revitalizing the lake, but it hasn’t met since Mayor Bettencourt took office.

I know too that there’s a lot to pay for and limited tax revenue. But why can’t we put together a committee of residents, business leaders, and elected officials to start brainstorming on how we can create a public-private partnership designed to Save Crystal Lake?

Mr. Mayor, I’m in and ready to be one of those residents to work on this. I’m sure there will be plenty of other volunteers too. We just need to bring to the front burner once again.

19 Responses to “Time to save Crystal Lake: Action needed now”

  1. the Outfront Guy* February 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    OG says…hasn’t this all been done? haven’t we contemplated and priced out dredging solutions? didn’t we try some kind of algae eating solution that was a bust? do we still have the Friends of the Lake group? isn’t it simply all about the money ???

  2. Bob Croce February 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    OG, it’s not just about dredging the lake. It’s about a comprehensive plan for saving the lake and revitalizing the environs around the lake. It’s not only about dredging, and it’s not only about the city paying for it. We need a private-public partnership here, where smart people are brought together to work on a solution that is both privately and publicly funded. The algae eating “experiment” was definitely a bust.

  3. the Outfront Guy* February 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    OG says…no question the lake is an eyesore and it’s a damn shame–it could be a gem of an area….but this issue has been around for a long time…going back to the Torigian era…so how do we get Teflon Ted on board without talking about ‘how much will it cost?”….are you hoping that the owners of TJ Maxx, Hannafords and CVS all chip in to help defray the costs which will be substantial? and haven’t all of our prior studies indicated that full blown dredging is the only real solution and the cost to do that is quite high?

  4. the Outfront Guy* February 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Og says…here ya go…read all about it….let’s take a trip back in time to 2006 for starters…


  5. the Outfront Guy* February 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    OG says…and this excerpt from Mike Bonfanti’s 2006 Open Space Plan that has never materialized….so much has been studied and intended but yet here we are now in 2013 with the same situation….so may I applaud our fearless Editor for putting this discussion topic back on the agenda–BUT this is a big bucks fix….let’s see what Teflon Ted has to say about it!

    Crystal Lake receives drainage from land located west of Route 1, north of Lowell Street, and east of Murray Street.
    Crystal Lake drains into the Norris Brook at Elginwood Pond. In recent years, the high nutrient loading from
    suburban runoff has resulted in severe algal blooms at Crystal Lake, Elginwood Pond, and Mill Pond. The
    unpleasant smell associated with this condition reduces the recreational potential for canoeing, fishing, or hiking
    during the height of the summer. Plans are currently underway to dredge both Crystal Lake and Elginwood Pond in
    order to restore the two ponds for recreational activities. The project will be completed in separate phases, with
    complete restoration expected by 2010. The Conservation Commission land and Water Supply land surrounding
    Crystal Lake provide for public access to the lake. Parking is available near the southern shore of the lake by the
    abandoned railroad track. Public access and parking is also provided at Mill Pond off Lowell Street.

  6. Anonymous February 2, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    I may be wrong, but doesn’t this sound like an ideal project to get a federal grant for? The government gives away millions of dollars each year for all kinds of needs and with the situation getting to the desperation point here, I would think this could very well be something that would be approved for funding. We have grants approved for other things in the city like equipment for the schools, police and fire departments, so why not this? The best part is that whatever funds are awarded MUST be used for the project applied for, so the city cannot take it and use it for anything else. There must be someone in city hall who could write such a grant request for this.

    • Anon February 3, 2013 at 9:02 am #


      If I’m not mistaken, our late state rep. Joyce Spiliotis got the city an $800,000+ state grant for Crystal Lake Clean Out project about 10 years!
      The past TWO administrations have been spending that money on “studies”.
      Mayor Bettencourt, as a Councillor asked for an accounting of that money way back when.
      The money(what’s left of it) is available.

      That water runs off into the Ipswich River which is the main water supply for Peabody and the surrounding North Shore communities. I’m sure the state would be concerned in what we do to that water.

      Mayor Ted, It’s up to you now.

      Just do it. Do it right.

  7. Anonymous February 4, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    How about we start with maintaining our existing parks and bike trail before trying to restore Crystal Lake?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for improving this, but anyone who uses are playgrounds or the bike trail will tell you that maintenance is clearly lacking.

  8. Anonymous February 4, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    We’ve needed action at Sping Pond for the last 20 years also and thats our drinking water supply, why has that been ignored ? every summer the lower pond turns into a smelly, stagnant, weed chocked swamp. we all know the area, thats the one Carnevele and Bonefanti polluted and cost us taxpayers a cool million.

  9. Peabody politics February 6, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    I have been to Spring pond several times in the past year, the place is beautiful. As for Crystal Lake, Bob is right. Look at what they did to Pillings pond in Lynnfield, it is a beautiful spot now to picnic, boat, fish, walk, and even swim. Imagine that type of resource in Peabody! With a little ingenuity and thought, the bike path could be wrapped around the lake and even add picnic table and a small play area for the little ones. this would make this spot a true gem! Let’s get it done, soon.

  10. the Outfront Guy* February 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    OG says…of course he’s right! who wouldn’t want an improvement over what we have now? show me the money!

  11. Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    So you think Spring Pond is beautiful. I sugguest you go there in the middle of the summer when the lower pond is smelling like a swamp. take a good look, if you can’t see the weeds that totaly fill that pond or the trash everywhere, I think you some good stong glasses.

    • Peabody politics February 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      I was there in the middle of the summer! The area you speak of is not nearly as bad as you make it sound. Look at the weeds in Crystal lake and compare it to Lower spring pond! You could probably walk across the top of Crystal lake!! All ponds have weeds.

    • On Browns Pond July 15, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      I’m a home owner on Browns Pond. As I type this reply I’m looking at a blanket of weeds that has tripled in size over the past 3 years. This pond was a wonderful spot to swim and boat when I was young. If we don’t do something to protect, Browns and Spring now they will soon become Crystal Lake. The time is NOW to get Peabody lakes back to their former glory.

  12. Anonymous February 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    your right ! it’s just wonderful at lower Spring Pond. lets not do anything & have another Crystal Lake on our hands. good thinking Mr Bonfanti.

    • Peabody politics February 8, 2013 at 8:08 am #

      Thanks anon

  13. the Outfront Guy* February 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    OG says—any IDEAS gentlemen how we can clean BOTH of them? clearly we would LIKE to have it done but who pays for it ???

  14. Anonymous February 11, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    funny how the city found the money when the DEP ordered the clean up of lower Spring Pond. A million bucks of our tax dollars down the toilet. thanks again Bonfanti & Carnevelle. how in the hell are these two morons not in jail ?

  15. Andrew February 28, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Bonfanti was not the sharpest knife in the draw (I think most will agree). Ted has had his share of clean up’s since he took the corner office this will just be one more clean up for him. Go Ted!!!!

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