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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Eakin Park project raises concerns about threat to frogs

A frog in Eakin Park. [Photos by Gary Rubin]
Preparation for a construction project near the pond in Eakin Park in Annandale has raised alarm bells that the frogs who breed in a vernal pool nearby might be danger.

Gary Rubin, who lives near Eakin Park, says his children enjoy watching the frogs and tadpoles in the shallow pool, which is between the pond and the Cross County Trail by the Tobin Road entrance. When Park Authority workers began stationing large piles of dirt around the pool in recent weeks, he became concerned that they were getting ready to fill in the pool to prevent flooding on the trail. 

Dirt piles near the vernal pool.
Rubin reached out to the Park Authority and Providence supervisor’s office to try to find out what was going on and urge them to save the tadpole habitat. There are lots of frogs living in the pond,he says, but use the vernal pool for breeding because it’s protected from predators.

Several days later he received a response from Mark Pourde, the Park Authority’s Area 2 manager, who provided assurance that there are no plans to fill in the pool.

The purpose of the  project under way “is to maintain the hydrology on the east side of the Cross County Trail (CCT) so that it doesn’t continue to flood the trail after large rain events,” Pourde says. “To do this, we plan a combination of activities, such as managing the pond’s water level; creating a short, temporary berm directly adjacent to the trail that should be no more than two to three feet wide on the trail’s east side; and establish drainage to the existing culvert that crosses the CCT and carries the outflow from the pond.”

He says Park Authority ecologists have been consulted to ensure the project doesn’t harm “sensitive natural resources.”

That project is not related to long-term improvements that have been discussed for Eakin Park. A proposed friends group for Eakin Park has fizzled after a couple of meetings due to lack of interest.

1 comment:

  1. I used to run and bike on the Eakin Park trails all the time. Yes, there was some flooding on the trails occasionally, but it wasn't a huge deal. Leave the frogs alone.