Richmond Pond Association Copyright 2013. Richmond Pond Association. All Rights Reserved.
Formed in Year 2000 - The Richmond Pond Association, Inc.(RPA) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2000 from a committee representing the Town of Richmond Conservation Commission, the City of Pittsfield Conservation Commission, the Boys’ & Girls’ Club of Pittsfield, the Western Massachusetts Girl Scouts’ Council (now the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts), and Lakeside Christian Camp (Northeast Baptist Conference). All are non-profit organizations or governmental bodies that, together with a few homeowners, held a common concern about the health and vitality of Richmond Pond. Nestled in the heart of the Berkshire Hills and shared by the Town of Richmond and City of Pittsfield, Richmond Pond is a 218 acre lake.
History & Activities of the
Richmond Pond Association
(See also Pond Management Plan Goals below)
Clean Water - The RPA has also been working to identify and mitigate impact from storm water runoff that causes erosion, sedimentation and lake pollution. In 2002, the Town of Richmond was awarded a matching grant under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act of 1987, in the form of federal funds administered in Massachusetts by the Department of Environmental Protection and awarded to towns to control non-point sources of water pollution. The RPA worked in cooperation with the Town of Richmond for the 60/40 match, providing volunteer manpower to do much of the necessary work planting trees, bushes, monitoring the installation of drop inlets (catch basins), providing rip-rap to storm water erosion channels, monitoring the construction of detention basins, and working with engineers who designed the structures. The grant was issued to the town. No funds were received or expended by the Richmond Pond Association.
What do we do? - Since its creation, the RPA has conducted a volunteer water quality monitoring program to regularly take test samples for analysis of the lake and its four tributaries, from June through September. It also raises funds for the monitoring and control of invasive, exotic aquatic vegetation through drawdown, hand pulling and herbicide treatments. The RPA creates displays, postings, pamphlets and newspaper articles to provide public information and education about the Pond and related environmental issues. The RPA has engaged the school children in a bumper sticker contest, and provided the girl scouts with watershed education. Public education is an ongoing process, as are all the RPA activities to improve the water quality of Richmond Pond.
To preserve, protect, maintain,and enhance the rural, environmental, recreational, esthetic and economic values of Richmond Pond.
Pond Management Plan Goals
(As of April 2016)
Control nuisance aquatic plants and algae to a) minimize the ecological impacts and recreational nuisances of non-native plants, b) ensure a healthy environment for native plants, and c) ensure a quality fish and wildlife habitat that is also supportive of appropriate recreational activities.
Promote a management approach of the pond based on sound scientific principles and emphasize watershed management, in-lake management, pollution prevention, education, and recreational usages.
Minimize the negative impact on lake ecology from development around the lake and within the watershed.
Increase public awareness and knowledge through enhanced education and outreach efforts.
Develop quality data that can be used by local governments and state agencies in influencing decisions on the management of Richmond Pond.
Improve the coordination of lake users and increase the Town and City’s commitment to both lake preservation funding and the enforcement of existing boating safety and environmental protection regulations.
Promote independent initiatives that promote the maintenance and improvement of the quality of Richmond Pond by coordinating and integrating activities which impact the pond, organizing volunteer actions which will directly improve the pond, and raising public and private funds to assist in the foregoing activities.
Work is ongoing to develop and refine action plans for each of these goals.
Sewers replace septic tanks - As part of this effort, a sewer system was also installed, serving all of the cottages and camps around the Richmond side of the lake (those in Pittsfield were already served by sewers). The septic systems, some of which had been leaching into the lake, were all de-commissioned as hookups to the sewer system were completed in 2006 and 2007. The water quality of the pond, as documented by the RPA’s water monitoring, improved substantially.
Communication - The RPA provides a forum for interaction between the major stakeholders at the Pond and allows a coordinated response for environmental issues facing the pond. Its focus on public education also helps bring about the goal of permanently protecting and preserving our beautiful Richmond Pond. As part of that effort, the RPA regularly updates this website, and periodically updates its brochure, which is available at the Richmond Town Hall, the boat launch ramp kiosk, Bartlett’s Orchard and in response to requests.
Last Fiscal Year (2015-2016)
Total Revenues $11,800
Total Expenses 2,200
Annual dues from the four community associations, two camps, and the independent cottages raised $1,860.
Donations totaled $9.900.
The RPA continues its support of the pond's dam at Lakeside Christian Camp. As of fall 2016, $12,734 had been earmarked by the RPA in its special dam maintenance reserve fund.