To the Editor:
Chris’s Pond is a wonderful resource of Southwest Harbor. For countless families and their children, it has provided a calm window into nature, a place to seek quiet and retrospect and, when the weather was right, an ice skating pond. It is one of our local natural treasures.
When the late John Letcher was alive, it was his hope that Chris’s Pond would endure as a local resource. He was the owner of the 392 Main Street property, adjacent to Chris’s Pond. After his passing, his family reached out to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust to help realize his dream.
And the Trust, in turn, entered into a working relationship with our Board of Selectman’s Conservation Committee. One of their goals was to apply for a grant with the hope of drafting plans for acquiring and renovating the property. The plans included a new year-round housing/maintenance unit, a new shed, path and road work for practical access from Main Street, and some parking spaces. Additionally, shrub and tree work to ensure privacy for the adjacent neighbors.
Unfortunately, a proposal to move forward with a grant application was killed by our Selectman’s Board at their May 11 meeting. Sadly, no commitment was involved; simply an opportunity to apply for a grant. One which could have been awarded or not. So a win-win opportunity was lost.
As an observer, I have been saddened by this turn of events, simply following them in the pages of the Islander. And I say this as the owner of the principal adjacent property bordering/abutting both Chris’s Pond and 392 Main Street.
Every morning from my house on Three Rod Road, as I let my dogs out back, I hear the ducks at the pond and see the remains of what was once a stylish house built in 1882 – now a victim of disrepair and neglect. Moreover, one surrounded by parts of Letcher’s boat and assorted trash.
So yes, I support the initiative of our Conservation Committee and the Maine Coast Heritage Trust to partner in rescuing the 392 Main Street property for the preservation of Chris’s Pond, and for the future common good of Southwest Harbor.
Alfred M. Barron