No swimming!

No! Let’s not swim in Jamaica Pond!

Tom Fendley’s letter to the editor of this week, with all due respect to his good intentions, was a naive and shortsighted suggestion. It is a tempting thought on a summer’s day that a quick jog up to the pond followed by a dip would be a refreshing way to beat the heat. But I am willing to sacrifice this possibility for the sake of leaving well enough alone. The pond is a beautiful place to stroll, picnic, jog, walk the dog or just reflect. It is intensely used by the community as it is and suffers little (I hope) from this use.

Mr. Fendley’s thoughts that allowing swimming would enhance our community are, I’m afraid, ill-conceived. Can you imagine the deafening din of children from every corner of the city descending on the pond? Yikes! I would venture to guess that the garbage generated, the noise, the mayhem, the increased parking would in fact deter neighbors and pond-lovers from taking that relaxing stroll or run around the pond on a summer Sunday.

And to further rain on Mr. Fendley’s parade is the list of costs and practical matters that would need attention, the ones already mentioned: trash and parking but also liability, safety, environmental impact, etc. As Mr. Fendley states, Jamaica Pond is a treasure. Allowing it to become the neighborhood swimming hole is no way to treat a treasure!

Patrick Lally
Jamaica Plain

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