The Kendall Pond Conservation Area is located at 105 South Road in Londonderry. It is a great and fun way to spend the day off whether it’s in the spring or winter. At the conservation area, users have many options to enjoy they can do hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, and fishing. The main trails for hiking are well marked and are (for the most part) easy to walk. Trails are marked with yellow and blue blazes, but there are also unmarked trails that lead to hidden marshlands and the banks to Beaver Brook. Families can also enjoy the picnic area located south of the entrance to the conservation area. Although there is a “carry in/carry out” policy, there is a trash receptacle in the area to make sure items get thrown away properly and not left on the ground. This is a beautiful and historic site that lets the residents get outside and enjoy the beauty of what Londonderry has to offer, but why has there been such controversy lately?
Over the past few months, it has been brought to the attention of both the Town Council and Conservation Commission that the Kendall Pond Conservation Area is not being used properly when the site is off hours. There have been multiple complaints of abandoned cars, vandalism to the kiosk in the entry of the park, and people leaving disturbing items behind. Some of these items have included beer cans, trash, toilet paper, and even needles. This is especially troubling, because this area is meant for families to enjoy the forest and wetlands of Kendall Pond. Instead, the parking lot area is becoming a hangout for unwanted activity. It begs the question: What is next? Currently, there are logs stationed in the parking lot that cover most of the area that cannot be seen from the road and block parking spots in the back. According to neighbors of the conservation area, this has deterred the nefarious behavior, because the cars can be seen from the road and cannot go further back. Now that winter is over and more people are expected to use the conservation area, the logs will most likely be removed and therefore the unwanted behavior will continue.
The town does have the authority to close the conservation area if law enforcement finds the behavior continuing, but that is not a path any party (Town Council, Conservation Commission, neighbors of Kendall Pond) want to take. Another option may be to keep the logs where they are or to install an electronic gate that closes at specific hours. The Conservation Commission felt the most prudent form of action was to install a camera in the parking lot and check back frequently to see if anything was caught on film, but the neighbors felt that wasn’t enough.
There was no immediate decision made by the Town Council at their April 16 meeting, but this issue should come to a resolution by their next meeting scheduled for Monday, May 7. The Town Council would like the neighbors of Kendall Pond and the Conservation Commission to come together and choose a few options they find reasonable and have the council vote on it from there. Kendall Pond Conservation Area is beautiful piece of land with a lot of great things to offer when used properly. Hopefully this issue will be resolved soon and the town can continue to enjoy the forest and wetlands.