April 24, 2013 -Springfield, MA - Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced today that the Department of Public Works, Fire Department, Police Department and Department of Parks and Buildings are teaming up to address the tornado debris deposited in Water Shops Pond. The clean-up will occur on Saturday, April 27, 2013 beginning at 9:00 AM.
When the June 1st Tornado barreled through the City of Springfield a large amount of debris was deposited into Water Shops Pond. Since then a tremendous amount of work has been done around the pond to remove debris and vegetation but to date a large amount still remains in the pond itself. All of the departments mentioned will work together utilizing the Police and Fire rescue boats to pull out the numerous trash barrels and anything else accessible from the shallow waters.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated “This is a great project being coordinated by several City of Springfield Departments: Public Works, Parks, Fire, and Police. I would like to commend the initiative and to thank all of the people who have volunteered to assist in this effort to move the City one step closer to a full recovery.”
The clean-up will start at 9:00 AM near the new bridge located off South Branch Parkway near the intersection with Briarwood Avenue. Personnel from the Springfield Police and Fire Departments will go out on the pond in boats and hook debris that will be pulled ashore for disposal by personnel from Public Works and Parks, as well as volunteers. Both Fire Commissioner Joe Conant and Police Commissioner William Fitchet have kindly contributed the use of the fire and police rescue boats to assist in this effort.
DPW Director Al Chwalek stated “We will continue to meet with Federal NRCS to assist with the complete clean up. We have fielded numerous phone calls from residents and this will begin the process of ensuring these foreign items do not continue to be part of the eco system of the pond.”
Remarking on the coordinated clean-up effort Director of Parks and Buildings Patrick Sullivan said “The Park Commission is grateful for the ongoing support to clean up all the woodlands, parks and water ways affected by the June 1 tornado. This will highlight the need for continued assistance from Federal agencies.”
On contributing the use of their rescue boats and personnel for the clean-up effort: Fire Commissioner Joe Conant stated “The safety of the citizens of Springfield is always the primary concern of the Springfield Fire Department.” Police Commissioner William Fitchet stated “The clean-up of the pond is extremely beneficial for public safety agencies in case police/fire rescue has to respond to a water safety emergency.”
Mayor Sarno is also seeking the public’s help in the clean-up effort as well. If you wish to volunteer in the clean-up efforts please meet at the new bridge off South Branch Parkway near the intersection of Briarwood Avenue on Saturday, April 27, 2013. The clean-up is expected to begin at 9:00 AM and go well into the afternoon. If you wish to volunteer but cannot make it in the morning please feel free to come by when you can and lend a hand.