Back when I was in high school, Lake Street in Acushnet was a makeout spot. A lot has happened to transform the area for family and outdoor recreational use but more needs to be done.

Four freshwater ponds form the headwaters of the Acushnet River in the area the Buzzards Bay Coalition refers to as the New Bedford Reservoir in Acushnet. Names for the spot include the Old Reservoir, the Old Water Works Pond, the Keene River and Lake Street.

"The parking area on Lake Street is located at the scenic nexus of flour ponds, allowing anglers and paddlers easy access to these flat, quiet waters," the coalition says.

Town health regulations prohibit wading or swimming in the Lake Street Pond system.

Acushnet Wants New Bedford's Help With Weed Problem
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Lake Street is a popular spot for those with kayaks, small boats, canoes and folks who like to fish. The coalition advises, "Paddling is best in spring before lily pads and aquatic plants fill the water's surface."

The City of New Bedford has a 25-year inter-municipal agreement with the Town of Acushnet that permits the town to make "improvements to waterside public recreational facilities" in the Lake Street area.

Under the agreement, the city, "which owns the Lake Street Pond system and associated property in Acushnet," authorizes the town to "upgrade existing public recreational areas located on the city's property."

Acushnet Selectman David Wojnar says, "We have made significant safety improvements with guard rails, dedicated sidewalks and lighting on Lake Street."

In addition, Wojnar says, "We created walking trails on the property and better parking and access for kayaking."

Acushnet Wants New Bedford's Help With Weed Problem
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

New Bedford Public Information Officer Jonathan Darling says, "The site has seen several improvements, such as wooden barriers along the road, walkways being created at the shoreline areas so people can walk or fish away from traffic."

The biggest issue that needs to be addressed, according to Wojnar, is managing weeds. The town needs New Bedford's help with that.

"We hope to initiate a pilot program where we use an aquatic rake to remediate the algae and weeds," Wojnar says. "That is mission critical."

The selectman says, "Acushnet residents and taxpayers have committed $150,000 for this project, but we can't do it alone. At some point, we will need to discuss with the City of New Bedford a comprehensive plan to address the weeds, especially since the city retains ownership of the waterways."

Darling's statement did not address the weed issue in the Lake Street Pond system.

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