Boat launch cleanup set for Putnam Pond

LYNDEBOROUGH – Upgrades will be made to the entrance road and parking lot at the Putnam Pond boat launch.

The area, located off Cemetery Road near the entrance to Pinnacle Mountain Fish and Game Club, is getting more use by fishermen and, there­fore, more wear.

Selectmen’s Chairman Lee Mayhew discussed the area at a regular board meeting on April 20. He said he and several members of the Conser­vation Commission did a walk-around on April 17 to determine what need­ed to be done.

"There are three trees that need to come down" because they’re creating a hazard, Mayhew said. He mentioned a dead tree stub "that’s been used by every woodpecker in the area."

The rutted and grass-grown driveway needs to leveled and improved, as does the parking area.

"We’d like to create a 50-foot circle around the parking area, beautify it," Mayhew said.

A trash barrel will be installed. A former bar­rel was removed because it was "collecting house­hold trash like sofas," road agent Kent Perry said.

"We can try it again."

The entrance sign, in­stalled around 1980, is faded, hard to read and obscured by trees.

"It needs to be repaint­ed," Mayhew said, as does the Putnam Pond Conser­vation Area sign at the en­trance to the flood control dam by the cemetery.

"Chocolate brown with yellow letters," Mayhew said.

Fires aren’t permitted in the area, but there is evidence that some have been built, perhaps by horn pout enthusiasts who fish at night.

"We found a couple of fire circles," Mayhew said.

Selectmen said they ap­proved the "concept of the plan." When the Con­servation Commission has also approved it, the plan will be sent to the state Department of Environ­mental Services for its comment.

The area, 300 acres surrounding the James A.G. Putnam Flood Con­trol Dam, is owned by the state. The town has a 99-year renewable lease, which is overseen by the Conservation Commis­sion. The dam was built in the early 1970s.

Mayhew said in the long term, a walkway to the pond is proposed, which would allow dry-board­ing of canoes and kayaks. An area to the right of the launch, a point curv­ing around the launch, is proposed as a picnic area with a table.

The area is known to old-timers as "Lu­cas Flats," so-called for Luke Lucas, who owned it in the 1880s. The house was located to the left of the entrance to the boat launch.

The cellar hole is still there, surrounded by a lilac bush and day lilies. The house existed into the early 1900s.

The section used by the fish and game club for a rifle range is believed to be the location of the for­mer town baseball field. The town had a team pri­or to World War II.

The entrance to the dam, at the opposite end from the boat launch, is a popular hiking path.