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Feb. 23, 2010

Smith College Removes Trees Alongside Paradise Pond

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Smith College is removing trees on a swath of land located between Paradise Pond and the athletic fields in order to maintain the spillway and dike system that regulates the pond's water level.

The dike is an embankment of earth that is parallel to the pond and, along with the spillway, makes up the dam system. The trees threaten the structural integrity of the dike.

Trees are a threat to the dike for several reasons, according to Gary Hartwell, Smith’s project manager. Woody vegetation develops deep roots that penetrate the earthen embankment and provide cover for burrowing animals, making the dike unstable and allowing water to seep into the structure. The trees could also blow over in a storm and destabilize the structure of the dike.

After a regular inspection of the dam last year, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, Office of Dam Safety, ordered Smith to bring it into compliance.

Following an independent inspection by engineering consulting firm Pare Corporation of Foxboro, Mass., Smith will remove about 40 trees of various sizes located along the 800-by-30-foot dike. In addition, other work on the dike — hardening the pond edge and changing the grade of the land slightly — will improve the condition of the dam.

Smith is removing the trees, as recommended by Pare Corporation and identified in the Paradise Pond Management Plan, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. (D.E.P. file #246-580)


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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