Dickerman’s Pond sits on the Sheldrake River just north of Sheldrake Lake (Larchmont Reservoir) in the City of New Rochelle. It is encircled by Pine Brook Boulevard and Quaker Ridge Road. The “pond” was formed by a small dam across the Sheldrake River, causing the river to back up behind it in a bowl-shaped parcel of land. The surrounding rim of the bowl consists of moderate to steep, wooded slopes. Over the years, as the Sheldrake River cascaded turbulently down into the pond, sediment and leaves settled out of the calmer river waters behind the dam. The sediment and leaves eventually filled the pond, allowing room for only the river channel itself. Finally, invasive plants, some of which are not native to North America, dominated the deposits of sediment and leaves. These plants included Japanese knotweed and common reeds (i.e., Phragmites sp.). In addition to losing its functional value, the “pond” became an eyesore.
Construction on this pond habitat restoration project began in February 2008. Funded by a state Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act grant from the Department of State, as well as matching funds from the County of Westchester, City of New Rochelle and Town of Mamaroneck, the project is primarily aimed at restoring the ecological and water quality protection benefits once provided by the pond. The project may also result in a modest amount of additional water storage behind the dam during significant storms, thereby providing an ancillary flood control benefit.
The project included the removal of exotic and/or invasive plants and relocation of accumulated sediment and leaves to other parts of the “pond” footprint and banks of the “pond” to create a diverse aquatic ecosystem. This included a new deep water pool and wetland fringe around the pool and alongside the Sheldrake River. The surrounding woodland was also enhanced with native shrubs and trees. The ends of two stormwater pipes draining into the pond werestabilized with stone-lined pads to prevent future erosion and scouring.
The sediment relocation and other re-contouring and stabilization efforts was completed in the spring 2008. Exotic and/or invasive plants were removed in the summer and the site was permanently re-vegetated with approximately 16,000 plants in fall 2008.
To View The Site: The site cannot be easily or safely accessed by pedestrians. However, it is visible to motorists driving through the junction of Pine Brook Boulevard and Quaker Ridge Road in the City of New Rochelle, including from the entrance and exits ramps to and from both streets at this junction.