Town Times Requester



Stay Connected

The hazards of good stewardship


Recently, I was taking a walk up to Whitney Pond (easily accessible from Cream Pot Road in Durham, or from the “old Cream Pot Road” at the end of Dead Hill Road) with my loyal hiking pal, my dog Mora. I love this short and lovely hike up to the scenic pond when I’m in a mood for a less strenuous walk. It is about a 40- to 50-minute round trip, depending on which trail or old road you take. Unfortunately, the pond is also a favorite site for party-goers who don’t seem to understand two important rules: ”Take out what you bring in” and “No fires allowed”

Since I began hiking here almost two years ago, I’ve frequently cleaned up this area, which is often used for camp fires. I was feeling pretty good about my efforts since I had picked up garbage at least twice this spring, and the small clearing was staying pretty clean.

Much to my dismay, when I arrived there around 3:30 I was met with tons of debris in the “campfire” area, and worse than that, smoldering logs which must have been there since the night before. I did some pick-up around the area and found a quart liquor bottle – perfect for filling up at the edge of the pond and pouring over the still hot ashes and logs. Feeling pretty proud of myself and my stewardship, I carried several bottles full of pond water to prevent any chance of a fire starting in the dry woods. There was a log overlooking a section of the pond that was a bit deeper, so I decided to lean over it and fill up the bottle once more. Quickly, I found myself under water! I don’t swim, but didn’t panic since I knew it was pretty shallow where I fell in. I was able to finally pull myself out of the silt, grab my cap that was floating nearby, and was relieved to find out that my cell phone and my car keys were still in my pockets! My sweet dog didn’t even know I was “swimming,” since she was so enthralled with the food scents around the party area!

We hiked the 20 minutes back to my car, and I drove the four minutes to my house literally soaked from head to foot.

A week later I now have a new phone, and my hiking boots are cleaner than they’ve been since I purchased them a year ago.

I returned there a few days ago, with two garbage bags to clean up the mess. I separated the cans, bottles, and glass in one bag (as per landfill rules), and the garbage in a second one. I’d like to think it will remain clean, but reality tells me that this site will continue to need surveillance and protection! How sad that a few people can mar such a peaceful and lovely site – even worse that they threaten its existence with the constant fires built there and the obvious amounts of alcohol being consumed at those fires.

Let’s hope it doesn’t take a tragedy for this senseless pollution to stop.

Marilyn Horn is a retired Spanish teacher for Region 13 schools.



Back to AllNews
Top Stories of the Week

Busy day at the Durham Public Library …
On Saturday, May 16, the library booster group PALS held its annual book sale in the Durham Public Library’s lower level. On the same day … more ...

School budget reduced after down vote at referendum …
The first regular Board of Education meeting after voters rejected the proposed 2015-2016 school budget at the May 5 referendum was better attended than any … more ...

Durham to eliminate town Round Up use …
The Roadside Management Task Force was charged with researching ways the town could reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals while controlling roadside weeds … more ...

Caruso named parade Grand Marshal …
The 2015 Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshal is Vincent Caruso, a former U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class and U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class. … more ...

Girl Scouts’ Fun Fest returns to fairgrounds …
On Saturday, May 16, the Girl Scouts of Connecticut held their Fun Fest on the Durham Fairgrounds, drawing thousands of Girl Scouts and their families … more ...

Comments