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Kids swimming at Turtle Pond probably didn't expect the fire department and troopers to show up

A report of somebody possibly drowning at Turtle Pond in Stony Brook Reservation this morning brought firefighters - including ones trained in "tech rescues" rushing to the scene - only to discover nobody drowning, just people ignoring the "No Swimming" signs on a warm summer day - signs that went up last summer after somebody did drown in the pond.

And then, once they determined that, around 10:40 a.m., those firefighters asked State Police to respond to get the kids out of the water.

The pond, with two docks where Hyde Park, West Roxbury and Roslindale meet, has long been a popular swimming hole, despite it being kind of murky and unstaffed by any lifeguards and despite DCR's growing efforts every year to keep people out by blocking more and more parking spaces along Enneking and Turtle Pond parkways.

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Comments

The DCR have blocked nearly every parking spot within the Stony Brook Reservation, from Smith Field to Stony Brook Commons. It goes far beyond preventing people from swimming in Turtle Pond. As far as I can tell, they are trying their darndest to prevent the public from accessing the Reservation at all.

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Just to avoid having to spend any money on park maintenance? Or some other reason. Do they treat these sort of reservations outside of Boston equally badly?

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It doesn't seem like they spend anything on maintenance to begin with. Stony Brook feels like one of the most neglected DCR properties, beyond the upkeep they do for the roadways itself.

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The default mode of most public space agencies seems to be that if they don't allow the public to use and enjoy these public spaces, there will be less work for the agency to deal with maintaining these spaces. There's a big fuss in Vancouver about the parks dept. removing some popular driftwood logs on one of the city beaches which people loved to sit on and lean against. The parks department said it was easier to drive trucks around to clean up the beach without the logs.

the DCR is a patronage agency, not filled with people who love the outdoors and serving the public.

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This was the vibe of the parking meters on Revere Beach. I think the thought process was lets make money and at the same time make it easier by cutting down the number of people. They forgot that it would just cause chaos on Sunday when parking was free.

We see this at the State House. Is that place open to the public yet???

The drive seems to be close and seal up stuff instead of maintain and open.

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Yes, re-opened to the public. Tours, even.

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Yes there are little lots that are all blocked off and boulders along the side of the road. It goes well beyond trying to prevent people from swimming.

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They blocked up the Smith Pond parking in Spring 2020 due to Covid (proved to be the wrong thing to do, but there was a lot done wrong at that time.) Now it's Summer 2022 and they seem to only want about 5 people to be able to access the park from that location.

I can see how the parking lots closer to the pond have been done away with, as there may have been malfeasance taking place there back in the 70s and 80s, but why the DCR doesn't want people to visit this park is beyond me.

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What struck me was how, after shrinking and closing most of the parking spaces, DCR planted boulders in the scrub along the parkway near the pond so people could no longer turn off and park on the side of the road.

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Maybe folks ought to get into contact with their state reps; they're likely to be the only people with enough leverage to force DCR to make Stony Brook Reservation more accessible/usable for local residents.

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I'll add that if they're going to eliminate parking along the sides of the road, then at least it should be widened to add protected bike lanes so people can access the parkland easier and more safely.

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