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McAvoy Pond Conserved in Wendell

Posted Monday, February 1, 2021
— News

If you’ve explored the forests of Wendell, then you know there are plenty of natural treasures to be found, many of them tucked away just off the road. For example, you might think of Fiske Pond Conservation Area and its beautiful eponymous water feature and varied woodland habitats.

Across Lockes Village Road from Fiske Pond is another beautiful pond, nearly twice the size and similarly surrounded by rich forest and wetlands. McAvoy Pond, as it has most recently been called, was created long ago by an impoundment of Plympton Brook which flows into the area from the north. Although not currently open to the public, the pond can be glimpsed passing by on the road, where water flows under a bridge to the smaller Tyler Pond. Looking out over the larger pond allows a view of peaceful waters and a variety of forest types along its shores. If your timing is right, you might also see a heron fly by or a beaver swim past. Thanks to Wendell residents Ray and Laurie DiDonato, much of this pond and its surrounding habitat will now be protected in perpetuity.

The DiDonatos recently worked with Mount Grace to place a Conservation Restriction on 25 acres of this important wetland and upland habitat. The property lies in the heart of an area in which 19 species of special concern have been documented, including amphibians, birds, dragonflies-damselflies, wetland plants, mammals, mussels, reptiles, and fish. Ray and Laurie purchased the parcel intending to preserve its important natural resources by preventing the sensitive habitat from development. Ray is no stranger to conservation and partnered with Mount Grace and the Town of Wendell to help protect Fiske Pond in 2005, which assured protection and public access to that special place in perpetuity.

Throughout their project, the DiDonatos were very mindful of the relationship between the conservation needs of their property and the ecology of surrounding lands. Mount Grace worked with Ray and Laurie to adapt their Conservation Restriction to accommodate potential future changes in the land and water such as the removal of the dam and the subsequent changes to the hydrology of the property. Mount Grace is always excited to work with landowners whose conservation interests goes beyond their immediate property. As Ray recently remarked “I’m excited to see the new patch of green on the map, hopefully one day it will connect to some of the larger conservation areas nearby like Wendell State Forest.”

25 Acres Protected For Perpetuity in southern Wendell