FALL RIVER — A project at Cook Pond is aiming to make the area more accessible to residents.
“The intent was to open Cook Pond so that people could see it for the first time in a hundred years,” said state Rep. Alan Silvia.
Silvia secured $125,000 in state funds within last year’s budget and another $50,000 in the newest state budget for improvements at the park in Fall River’s South End.
The money is being used to clear away vegetation near the wall next to the pond on Dwelly Street.
“Most of the trees that were in there were overgrowth and vines and invasive-type trees,” said Chris Parayno, the city’s director of cemeteries and trees.
The pond includes a boat launch and fishing pier controlled by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
“But the portion along Dwelly street where King Phillip Mill used to be doesn’t have a whole lot of public access,” Parayno said. The former mill sat on the pond's northwest bank, near Dwelly and Kilburn Streets.
Parayno said they left native trees that form a sort of “frame” around the pond looking in from Dwelly Street.
“If you were driving by, you certainly couldn’t see the pond. Now, it’s wide open,” Parayno said. “If you’re walking along the street there, you can stop and enjoy the view.”
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The city also recently repaved Dwelly Street’s sidewalks and streets.
Once they find more funding, Parayno said, they’re also looking to clear away overgrowth from the portion of the former site of the King Philip Mill that is city property. A separate ongoing project lead by a private developer will construct 26 single-family homes on the rest of the former mill site.
Audrey Cooney can be reached at email@example.com. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News today.
This article originally appeared on The Herald News: State funds used remove vegetation, open view of Fall River's Cook Pond