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 (now the Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires), 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.
Scroll down this page or click on the links in this box for a description of What We Do, and a list of the volunteer RPA board members and our contact information. Please feel free to contact us with your questions and suggestions.
Further down the page is the most recent Annual Report.
For Current News, including details on the Goose Management Plan click on this link. Click on Website Submission if you have pond news items or pictures you would like posted on the website. See Calendar page for upcoming meetings & events. At the bottom of the page, you can Subscribe to receive RPA email alerts.
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 draw-down and aquatic 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 local school children in a bumper sticker contest and watershed education. Public education is an ongoing process, as are all the RPA activities to improve the water quality of Richmond Pond.
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.
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.
Louise Brogan Branch Farm firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President (413) 684-5238; (413) 441-9742 (cell)
Laura Rosenthal South Pond email@example.com
Treasurer (617)-875-1087 (cell)
Jonna Gaberman Whitewood Association firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Treasurer (413)-478-9575 (cell)
Doreen Donovan Richmond Shores Civic Association email@example.com
Secretary (413) 441-7455 (cell)
Ken Kelly Independent cottages firstname.lastname@example.org
(413) 329-9678 (cell)
Cam Stockton Camp Russell email@example.com
(Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires)
Matt Linick Camp Arrow Wood firstname.lastname@example.org
(Mill Town Capital)
Miles Garfinkel At Large email@example.com
Kerry Hamilton At-Large firstname.lastname@example.org
Ex Officio Directors (non-voting)
Danielle Fillio Richmond Town Administrator email@example.com
Jim McGrath City of Pittsfield firstname.lastname@example.org
(413) 499-9344 (office); (413) 464-5527 (cell)
Tom Potter Richmond Conservation Commission email@example.com
Ron Veillette Alternate Richmond Cons. Comm. firstname.lastname@example.org
Carl Foote Resource/Consultant Branch Farm Association email@example.com
(413) 441-9742 (cell)
(Alternates may vote in the absence of the Director from their camp or association)
Jon Millburg Camp Arrow Wood firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe McGovern Camp Russell email@example.com
Kais Abderrahim Camp Russell firstname.lastname@example.org
Barry Kellogg Richmond Shores email@example.com
Brian Grebeldinger Richmond Shores firstname.lastname@example.org
Kitty Levitan Whitewood Association Lennielit@aol.com
Bruce Wintman Whitewood Associates email@example.com
Cricket Nardacci Whitewood Associates firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon Dinsmore South Pond Farm Association email@example.com
Al Nardacci Independent cottages firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Mason Independent cottages TMason74@outlook.com
Please provide any list updates to Doreen Donovan via email or phone.
Bruce Wintman RichmondPondWebsite@gmail.com
RPA meetings have traditionally been held monthly, April through October, on 4th Tuesdays at Richmond Town Hall. But during restrictions imposed by COVID during 2020 and 2021, meetings have been held virtually, at 7:00 pm, using Zoom conferencing technology. When 7:00 pm monthly meetings resumed in 2022, the first several meetings were held by Zoom. Subsequent monthly meetings may return to Richmond Town Hall. See Calendar page for meeting dates & Zoom links, which are posted there a few days before each meeting.
We are an all-volunteer association. Please feel free to contact any of us for additional information about the pond, pond management, the RPA or your related questions or suggestions. We welcome your input, and our monthly meetings are always open to the public.
Due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19 and to enhance convenience for board members and the public, the RPA met monthly using the Zoom format, with good attendance. The RPA’s annual meeting was held August 23rd, in person, and was hosted at Camp Arrow Wood. There were over 115 attendees.
The 211-page picture book, The Gem of Richmond - A History of Richmond Pond, was published in February. This was a 2.5-year effort, involving dozens of contributors and several sponsors. As of year’s end, over 520 copies of the 750 printed had been sold, priced at $20, reimbursing RPA for all of its publishing and marketing expenses. They remain available at Bartlett’s and other locations.
Weed treatment of the pond was not done this year. This was due to Natural Heritage’s decision to reduce the allowable concentration of the herbicide used to treat the invasive weeds. The concentration put forth by Natural Heritage would have been ineffective in killing the weeds. Mechanical weed harvesting and hand-pulling are being explored as other options. The RPA is working with the City of Pittsfield and Town of Richmond on the necessary permitting. The intent is that the resulting permit will include various options for weed management so that a flexible long-range plan can be developed.
The second phase of the canal restoration initiative was completed this summer. A 3-year permit was issued by the Richmond Conservation Commission and Natural Heritage, and Aquatic Roots was again contracted by RPA for this project. The area harvested was a 10-foot-wide channel from Shore Road bridge back to Town Beach Road. The weeds were hand-pulled by scuba divers; support staff in kayaks transported the weeds to shore. The weeds harvested were removed away from the Pond for composting.
RPA officer elections were held in the fall. This coming year will be a transition year, as Ken and Carl serve their final year as president and treasurer. Louise Brogan was elected vice president, Doreen Donovan as secretary, and Laura Rosenthal as the newly created position of assistant treasurer. Ken and Carl will be delegating tasks they have assumed over the years to more equitably engage more board members in leadership roles and prepare the following year’s officers for more narrowly defined leadership roles.
· All beaches are tested weekly for E. coli by vendors hired by beach owners. Resulting E. coli counts have been below warning levels, so there were no beach closings this summer.
· Cyanobacteria testing was done bi-weekly, paid for by the RPA. While cyanobacteria are present at deeper levels, the amounts did not approach concern thresholds. Ongoing monitoring is again planned for 2023.
· RPA volunteers conducted tributary monitoring, with testing done twice this summer. While E. coli and nitrate counts emerging from the tributaries have been low, Phosphates have been high in Clarks Brook, which promotes algae growth in the southwestern part of the pond. This should be studied further.
· The Town funded and managed the public boat ramp monitors. This year, they were able to staff the boat ramp with sufficient monitors. However, there were no applicants for the life guard positions. The beach opened without a lifeguard and the gate was left open 24 hours. Without a lifeguard’s presence and with the gate unlocked, there were incidents of vandalism to the float and more garbage was left behind. The Town decided to start locking the gate at 6 pm due to the vandalism incident.
· RPA’s goose management plan was continued for its fourth year. A decision whether to continue with the current management plan for 2023 will be discussed in spring, but if there is still no volunteer to manage a 2023 program, it will not be continued.
· The Town’s attempt to collaborate with Camp Russell to schedule restoration of the deteriorated detention basin at the camp had not been successful by year’s end.
· The RPA website and Facebook page were regularly updated. A Richmond Pond Update column was submitted monthly for the Richmond Record.
· The annual “Developments at Richmond Pond” funding solicitation newsletter was distributed in July.
Ken Kelly, President
Louise Brogan, Vice President
Carl Foote, Treasurer
Laura Rosenthal, Assistant Treasurer
Doreen Donovan, Secretary
The book, The Gem of Richmond – A History of Richmond Pond, published in February 2022, is available for purchase locally for $20 at Bartlett's Orchard, Balderdash Cellars Winery, Shaker Mill Books, Hancock Shaker Village, and The Bookstore (in Lenox).
If you need to have book(s) delivered, call The Bookstore at (413) 637-3390 to provide your mailing address, and pay by credit or debit card. There will be a shipping charge.
More detail is available on this website's News page.
Total Revenues Received $17,940
Total Expenses Incurred $17,531
Donations totaled $12,556, plus $291 in interest. Annual dues from the four community associations, one camp, and the independent cottages raised an additional $1,560. And $1,000 has been received for sponsorships of the pond history book project.
Our major expenses consist of goose management, water level monitoring, and cyanobacteria testing. This summary was computed in late April 2021 before the end of the fiscal year, so does not include the imminent previously approved expenditure of $3,500 to support the pond history book project.
The RPA continues its support of the pond's dam at The Camp by Bousquet. A balance of $22,001 is held by the RPA in its special dam maintenance reserve fund, to assist the dam owner with maintenance, repair and inspection expenses, as we all benefit from the dam. A second reserve fund was more recently established to focus on maintaining the inlet canal in Richmond Shores; it has a balance of $4,703.
Ask us - If you have questions about anything pond-related, please call or email one of our officers. We'd love to hear from you! See our contact information above.
Volunteer - The Richmond Pond Association relies upon volunteers to achieve our goals. If you have time to help out, please call or email one of our officers. Click on the Contact Info link above to access our contact information.
Become a Subscriber - Whether or not you currently have time to volunteer, either regularly or occasionally, we encourage anyone with an interest in the pond to become a free subscriber to our website. All subscribers receive a monthly email newsletter with agendas for our meetings (late spring to early fall), including referral to new minutes posted on the website, plus occasional alerts and updates about pond-related events and developments. We do not share our subscriber list with anyone. Insert your email address below and click on Sign Up.
Donate - We can't keep the pond healthy without your support. Donation Options are presented below.
Your donation helps support such expenses as the inspection, maintenance and repairs to the dam, pond-related education, weed management expenses, tributary monitoring, and the hiring of boat ramp monitors to inspect all boats for invasive species, especially zebra mussels. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so donations are fully tax-deductible.
To donate by check - Please make donation checks payable to Richmond Pond Association and mail them to: Richmond Pond Association, PO Box 447, Lenox, MA 01240. Include a return address so we can acknowledge your donation.
To donate by credit card or PayPal - Click the Donate Now link below and follow the instructions.
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