Carpenters PondCarpenter’s Pond sits on the Sheldrake River north of Sheldrake Lake (Larchmont Reservoir) in the City of New Rochelle. It is surrounded by city parkland. The pond has been created by a dam across the Sheldrake River, causing the river to back up directly behind it and create a long, narrow water body. The sides of the pond consist of moderately sloping woodland. Over the years, as the headwaters of the Sheldrake River drained into the pond, sediment and leaves settled out of the calmer river waters behind the dam. Sediment and leaves filled much of the pond, providing room in some areas for just the river channel. Finally, invasive plants began to dominate the deposits of sediment and leaves. Japanese knotweed was dominant among these plants. In addition to losing its functional value, the pond had became an eyesore.

Construction began in February 2009 and was completed in October 2009. 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 also allows additional water storage behind the dam during significant storms, thereby providing an ancillary flood control benefit to the City of New Rochelle.

A corroded valve in the existing dam has been replaced under the project. The new valve enables city staff to partiallyCarpenters Pond New Rochelle drain the pond prior to storms, thereby increasing the pond’s flood water storage capacity. Excavation to a depth of approximately four feet provides room for this storage, with the sediment being relocated and deposited atop an existing peninsula jutting into the pond. The peninsula consists of accumulated sediment. A large sediment basin at the point where the river enters the pond provides long-term sediment trapping capabilities before the sediment is allowed to settle out in the pond itself. Maintenance vehicles are able to reach the basin via a new, rock-lined accessway.

The project also involved exotic (non-native) and/or invasive plants removal. The peninsula was largely covered by Japanese knotweed, which was removed. It was re-seeded with native grasses. An earthen “shelf” or “bench,” slightly submerged, has been created along the pond’s eastern shore. It has been planted with aquatic and wetland vegetation. The neighboring woodland also was enhanced with native shrubs and trees.

To View The Site: The site is accessible from the end of Daisy Farms Drive, which is accessed via Weaver Street from the east or Wilmot Road from the west. Parking is very limited.