Past items from our homepage News column and our Facebook page
July 15, 2018
You may have noticed that behind the orange fencing, work has continued at the Ice Pond dam. Island contractors Lionel Plante Associates has removed vegetation from the down hill side of the dam. With the pond drained, they dredged silt from the pond side to allow access to the old drain at the bottom of the dam. Drilling through the 4-foot-thick rock and concrete dam to remove the old drain pipe, they replaced it with a larger one. The engineering company will now begin the work of repairing the exposed dam. With the water drained away, the silt in the pond has solidified and dried out, and it looks like grass is beginning to grow.
June 27, 2018
The draining of the Ice Pond has apparently opened new opportunities for some of the local residents...
June 24, 2018
With one last detail cleared by the City, the Ice Pond dam repair is set to begin. If it has seemed a long time coming, imagine how the people working through the process have felt. Now, the shovels hit the silt.
January 29, 2017
Peaks Island Land Preserve acknowledges with gratitude a gift of land in December 2016 by John S. Bunton, Jr., Robert C. Bunton, Catherine Bunton, and William E. Bunton. The donated parcel of land, rectangular in shape and comprising more than an acre, is near Lyndon Avenue, east of Tolman Heights. It is open and rocky woodland bisected by an existing road leading down toward Spar Cove. We thank the Bunton family for their generosity.
Update: Summer Ender-Bender Party & Pigroast
Oct. 14, 2015
A crowd of people turned out for live music and good food at The Summer Ender-Bender Party & Pigroast. Hosted by The Inn on Peaks, the event also helped raise money for a couple of worthy causes; Peaks Island Land Preserve and Maine Adaptive Skiing. Over $300 was donated to PILP. A big Thank You to the folks at The Inn on Peaks for supporting the local community, and having fun doing it!
Summer-Ender Bender Party & Pigroast
(September 2, 2015)
What better way to celebrate Labor Day and help a worthy organization while you're having fun than by showing up at the Summer-Ender Bender Party & Pigroast at the Inn on Peaks! The Jason Spooner Band will provide live music. Proceeds from the event will benefit PILP and Maine Adaptive Skiing. Monday, Sept. 7th from 1 to 5 PM. A big Thank You to the Inn on Peaks! We hope to see you there.
March 3, 2018
The repair of the Ice Pond dam seems like a simple project, but the regulatory process has required more than a year. From our point of view, we need to drain the pond, remove enough silt on the upstream face of the dam, and repair the dam as necessary to restore the pond to its former elevation. When the work is done, there will be no change to the status quo. From the DEP’s point of view, however, PILP is seeking to do construction work adjacent to a stream, and the comparatively modest amount of silt to be removed falls within the definition of “solid waste.” Thus, we needed two separate DEP permits, a process that has lasted 14 months and cost a substantial amount in consultant fees. But, no complaints! The DEP’s purpose, and PILP’s, is to protect the environment; they have a job to do. The second and final DEP permit has just been received, and we are scheduling the work to begin on or about June 1. If all goes well, the project will be completed before Labor Day.
Nov. 29, 2017
As the weather cools and thoughts turn to ice skating, here’s an update on our progress with the Ice Pond dam repair. After two Board members began the permit applications eleven months ago, it became clear that the complexity of the applications and the process would require outside help. PILP hired an engineer familiar with the process to file and shepherd them through for us. Money well spent. We have secured the necessary permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Portland, and one of two permits from the Department of Environmental Protection. We are now allowed to remove the silt from the pond, but we don’t know yet if we are allowed to put it somewhere. Dredging can begin no earlier than June 1, 2018 and the project must be finished by October 1, 2018. The timing is determined largely by the mating cycles of the frogs, salamanders, and other creatures which call the Ice Pond home, aiming for the quietest spells, of course. We estimate actual working time at about 6 weeks, about half the time we are allotted. It may feel like slow going, but we are moving ahead, and will let you know more as things progress. In the meantime, get those skates sharpened!
Ice Pond Dam
Sept. 6, 2015
The Ice Pond is created by a stone wall dam that was built about 100 years ago. Though the dam still serves its purpose, it is leaking and needs substantial repair. With that in mind, PILP continued its fund-raising campaign long after we had raised the $60,000 purchase price for the property. We are working closely with the City of Portland’s Public Services Department, which recently sent out a request for proposals to several engineering firms. The DPS and PILP will soon be meeting with the first of these firms, and it is anticipated that design work will begin in the near future.
Patty's Back Shore Bird Blog
(March 15, 2015)
PILP is very happy to announce a new community resource located on our website entitled Patty's Back Shore Bird Blog.
Patty is one of PILP's volunteer stewards for the Back Shore area and takes great joy in observing, identifying, and learning more about the birds that live on Peaks Island and would like to share this joy with us. Patty considers herself more of a bird aficionado than a bird expert and writes beautifully and descriptively about the birds she sees while walking the Back Shore.
The Blog is posted monthly and contains amazing on-site bird photographs, carefully researched information on the fascinating lives of the birds she see on Peaks, and is guaranteed to make you want to grab your binoculars and head out to the Back Shore!
Patty is also creating bird species accounts for Peaks Island birds starting with Scoters and Northern Gannets and will be
adding new species accounts every month.
So, if you're a birder and interested in birds, would simply like to know more about birds, or are just looking for another way to appreciate living on Peaks Island, please visit Patty's Back Shore Bird Blog and Bird Species Accounts (under Bird Varieties) both at the Bird Blog tab in the top menu.
Also on the Bird Varieties page, don't miss the up-close-and-personal Peaks Island bird photographs taken by Butch Sullins and the Peaks Island Community Bird Checklist to help test your own bird identification and field observation skills.
Any comments, suggestions, or additional bird sightings you have regarding the Blog or bird checklist can be sent to PILP's Volunteer Steward Coordinator, Michelle H. Brown, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
Ice Pond Skating Party
A sunny Saturday in January was the perfect day to celebrate the Closing of the sale of the Ice Pond to the Land Preserve. Cookies and hot cocoa, clearing snow off the ice, and skating with friends were things we've done, and will be able to continue to do, because of the generosity of the Island community of Peaks Island.
Video by Michelle Brown