Resident: Please Help Me Save Wilton’s Horseshoe Pond!

Wilton resident Anne Deware contacted GMW about running a story on the need to help save Horseshoe Pond, at the corner of Horseshoe and Wolfpit Rds.. In an effort to directly bring readers the voices of Wilton, we asked Deware to write about the pond’s history and why it’s so important to her.

Horseshoe Pond is the southern gateway to Wilton Center. Local residents, as well as employees of area businesses, enjoy walking on the road and  trail around the pond. Unfortunately, the lilies covering the pond threaten to destroy this beautiful town natural resource.

It was originally filled with trees and tall grasses until Mr. McGuire, who owned it, filled the area and cut down the trees (but didn’t remove the stumps) and it became a pond. Until someone decided to put in some “pretty” lilies, it was a nice, clean, beautiful pond. It was not very deep but it had fish in it and lots of wildlife. In 1986 the Town purchased the pond from him.

Once the lilies took hold it began to get shallower because when the lilies die in the winter they sink, filling up the bottom of the pond. They also deplete the oxygen level. The consequences for not taking care of the pond are that we lose it and it will return to marsh.

For decades the town and dedicated volunteers have unsuccessfully tried to control the lilies by pulling mechanically and by hand. I got involved three years ago when I decided I couldn’t stand to see the Pond go back to marsh.  (This is not an option for me!)  The Norwalk River Valley Trail will be going right by the pond, and the community will have access to fishing, and boating if we can clean it up.  It is also a gateway sight to Wilton and a valuable asset to the Town.  

Horseshoe pond with lilly pads

There is a piece of the pond where we have physically pulled up the lilies by their roots over the past years and it has remained mostly lily free. We have spent three years with special weekends devoted to “lily pulls.” However, it is all manual labor and not at all easy. The pond is 6-1/2 acres. 

With all other options exhausted, I then got some pond residents together and we called Jeff Stahl of Pond and Lake Connection in Newtown.  He came out and spoke to us and I asked him to make a presentation to the Conservation Commission.  They were impressed and Michael Conklin of the environmental office took each of them to the pond and explained the process.

The Friends of Horseshoe Pond received the approval of the Wilton Conservation Commission, the Town of Wilton and the State of Connecticut to use herbicides to reduce the lily cover. The first treatment, to be applied this spring will use herbicides that are safe for wildlife and water.

It will be a three year process and cost approximately $15,000 for the three years. We need at least $5,500 for this first year.  As far as I’m concerned I’m not even looking at “What if we can’t raise the money?”  I have every confidence that we can count on this community to help out and we will get the money for the pond. 

We need your help so please consider making a donation to help us save Horseshoe Pond!

PLEASE DONATE by writing a check to Town of Wilton with ‘Horseshoe Pond’ on the memo line. Mail to: Conservation Commission, Town Hall Annex, 238 Danbury Rd., Wilton, CT 06897. You will receive a letter acknowledging your tax-deductible donation for Horseshoe Pond improvements.

For more information, contact the Friends of Horseshoe Pond by calling or emailing Anne Deware at 203.762.8256 or andyware@optonline.net.

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