Silence of the frogs

By Mark Squibb
November 17, 2023 Edition

On November 18, 2022, The Shoreline ran an article titled ‘Topsail residents shocked as W&S work leaves beloved Frog Pond high and dry,’ in which residents of Frog Pond Road bemoaned the state of the pond.

A year later, the Frog Pond is still dry, and residents are still seeking answers.

“I get people coming to me all the time, saying ‘What happened to the pond? What are they going to do about the pond?’” said property owner Randy Bell. “So, it’s certainly an issue that’s very prominent in CBS’s mind.”

Many people along Frog Pond Road believe the beloved gully lost its natural underground water sources when the road was dug up to make way for water and sewer pipes.

Last July, the Town hired engineering consultant firm Stantec to undertake a “desktop hydrology assessment” of Frog Pond. That assessment would give Town staff a better understanding of groundwater flow in the area, and how to remedy the situation.

The council is still awaiting that report.

“Once we have it, and have had a chance to look at it, we’ll release it to the public,” Mayor Darrin Bent said Wednesday. “The engineers have to do their work, and we’re not going to rush them… They got to do their work, and when it’s done, we’ll have a look at it. There’s not much to say about it really.”

Bent said that while he wishes he had a solution yesterday, the work is going to take as long as it takes.

“Everything that needs to be done has to be done, and if it takes longer, it takes longer,” said the mayor.

Prior to the loss of its water, the pond was a picturesque habitat for frogs and wetland flowers, and in winter an irresistible draw for the young and young-at-heart hankering for a skate or a game of shinny.

Bell said the Pond filled a little following last winter’s snow melt, but quickly drained again.

“About two weeks ago, we had a couple of days of heavy rain, and there was a small pond there about 10 feet squared, but it disappeared in two days,” he added.

Where water once reflected the clouds or stars above, now there is a grass covered hollow.

As to the road work, Bell said the Town has held off laying a second coat of asphalt over the water and sewer work until the issue is sorted out.

And to those who ask him about the pond, Bell gives them the only answer he can.

“I say to them that the council has hired Stantec, an engineering firm, to study the situation and come up with a solution,” said Bell. “And so, all I can say is I hope they come up with a solution.”

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