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90-Day Moratorium on New Structures at Horn Pond Approved

Alderman Rosa DiTucci, whose ward includes Horn Pond, voiced concern at the more than 200 benches now at the pond.

A Horn Pond bench. Photo credit: Danielle Masterson.
A Horn Pond bench. Photo credit: Danielle Masterson.

Alderman Rosa DiTucci is concerned with the number of structures popping up along Horn Pond. There are more than 200 benches at Horn Pond, she said, and quipped you can jump from bench to bench around the park. 

DiTucci requested a plan that looked at the short-term and long-term use and care of Horn Pond and restricted memorials, plaques, benches and structures at the pond. 

Last week, she ultimately agreed to a 90-day ban of new structures, which was backed by the City Council, reported the Daily Times Chronicle.

The council also sent a motion to create the Horn Pond Committee to the council’s Liaison Committee for further review. The Horn Pond Committee will be chaired by the Ward 1 Alderman and include the city engineer, an alderman at large, a Conservation Commission member, a Recreation Commission member and a Ward 1 resident, reported the Daily Times Chronicle.

Read the full Daily Times Chronicle article.

What do you think? Has Horn Pond become too cluttered with benches and items built along the pond? Let us know in the comment section below.

Joe Demers May 15, 2014 at 10:56 AM
If the 90 day moratorium is to develop a more uniform policy about structures around the pond I'm all for it. As a life long resident of Ward 1, I have been able to enjoy Horn Pond on many occasions. My only concern is that while the pond is located in Ward 1, it's a city treasure, so I think if there was to be a committee charged with developing policies regarding structures at the pond it should be citywide. With regards to comments made by Janet, I have to say I respectfully disagree with your characterizations. When I walk around the pond and read names on benches, memorials, and flag poles, I get a sense of Woburn history, people I remember as role models growing up, and people who I'm honored to say were Woburnites due to their serving our country with distinction. Our Gold Star mothers deserve a park. Mr. Duran's service to our country and our community deserves a flag pole dedication. To drag family members into this due to their place of employment is craven way of looking at a dedication for a veteran and someone who was generous to his community. I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you that I, for one, am proud to see the memorials and dedications as I walk the pond.
Janet Levesque May 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM
Mr. Demers, I completely disagree. My two great uncles served in WWII and they are memorialized on the beautiful Flaherty monument downtown and their cemetery plots are marked at Calvary. My husband's grandfather died in the Pacific serving his country and he doesn't have a bench at the pond. It is not the right place for it! I recognize and commend those who served our country but what makes any of these individuals more worthy than someone who has lost their life? I do not wish for a bench at the pond, but there should be rules to do these things. I am sure Mr. Duran was a wonderful person but what made his service more important or worthy than all the others who served or died for their country? If he wasn't involved with the city and if his family wasn't political would an impartial group choose him over someone else? Please do not make this a personal issue against an individual. It is an example of how decisions are being made and a prime example of why someone must look at what is going on. I also take extreme exception to the word craven. If I am not mistaken you are on the School Committee and in politics in Woburn. I am not and it is offensive that you choose to get personal with someone who is asking to preserve the natural beauty of the pond and to take the politics out of it. Not everyone looks at reminders of the dead and feels peaceful. For some of us it is a painful reminder of what we have lost. Enough is enough. Leave what is there but stop adding any more junk that takes away from the reason people go to the pond in the first place. Why do we feel compelled to fill every empty space down there? We have lots of manmade junk but no one is going to be able to make any more nature. People don't go down there to view the memorials or the benches but they go for the natural beauty. Save Horn Pond and leave it in its natural state.
Joe Demers May 17, 2014 at 03:35 PM
Well, first and foremost, I have the utmost respect for our Veterans and the family members of those who have given their lives in defense of freedom. Most, if not all, of the benches at Horn Pond were purchased without taxpayer dollars. My concern was that a particular family was being singled out and the way in which it was phrased, including the insinuation that the reason it happened was political. To pit people against each other, especially our veterans, because of a perception of political influence is unfair, in my opinion. I decided to post because I believed that singling out Mr. Duran's memory and his family was simply unfair. Woburn has done a tremendous job honoring our veterans, those who were lost in war, and those who returned, were active in our community and passed on. We value all Veterans. I don't think families of those who have passed or the Gold Star mothers of our community would refer to memorial benches or memorial parks as junk. I guess we just have a philosophical difference and different reasoning behind a moratorium on new structures. I don't think benches are going to ruin Horn Pond's natural environment. And yes, I do proudly serve on the School Committee. My comments were not a personal attack, just a response to a comment that I believed to be unfair.
Janet Levesque May 19, 2014 at 10:57 AM
I did not attack Mr. Duran or his family. I respect him as I respect all who serve in the military because I know what it means and the sacrifices families make. That is not the point and is a way to avoid the true discussion. It is about taking a beautiful natural spot that everyone calls the jewel of Woburn, and meddling with it so there isn't an empty space left unmarked by humans. It seems that if you are connected then you get a flagpole or a bench. How does the process work anyway? Who decides where the benches go and who gets one? I called to ask and was told that it is the mayor who decides. Why not a lottery? Why not city council or conservation? My point is that people do not go to the pond to see the benches or the memorials. They go for the peace and serenity of nature. It's beginning to look like a carnival or a cemetery over there. We have gone way beyond needing a bench or two for people to sit and enjoy the view. Now it is an opportunity for politicians to make friends. I hope you understand what I am saying. One or two memorial parks are great, but to have something at every turn is ridiculous. If you think we need more benches at the pond or another building, then you have a different opinion than I do of what the pond is supposed to be. I am afraid we will never agree on this subject. As long as the city continues to let people mark their legacy by building something at the pond, it will never end. There are lots of places in the city that can benefit from a bench. There are gazebos around the city that go unused if someone is looking for spots to hold concerts. How selfish of people to push their needs above people who go to enjoy the beauty and stillness of the pond. You can go anywhere to sit down or to see man made objects. Where else can you go in Woburn to see unsullied nature?
Santo May 20, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Janet - I think it's unfair that you are singling out particular monuments and also unfair that you are making a sweeping generalization that one only gets a bench (or a flagpole) because "they are connected." I can tell you personally that some of those monuments belong to very "unconnected" people and I find your generalization unfair to them. But, yes, I get it, we don't want to eventually cover every inch of the pond with man-made structures...That's why it's important that we meet somewhere in the middle and a strike a fair balance. Not every side is going to get everything that they want, that's the way things like this go. But jeez, either way, this doesn't have to be a "line-in-the-sand-us vs. them-you only get a bench because you're connected to the government" issue, that's a bit over dramatic. It's just an issue, and issues get talked about and worked out and compromises get reached....there is no need to start going around calling people selfish just because they use the pond differently than you.

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