Friday, Jul 12th

Letters Regarding the Duck Pond and Idling Cars

DuckPondThe Duck Pond in Heathcote is covered in algae.We received two letters this week. One regarding the Heathcote Duck Pond and another about idling cars.

Here they are:

Dear Sirs:

I and my family have lived in the Heathcote section of Scarsdale for over 60 years. I would prefer to submit this letter anonymously but the facts discussed below should be obvious to all Scarsdale residents:

My family and neighbors have all noted the condition of the Heathcote Duck Pond has seriously deteriorated since the COVID pandemic in 202. The water is now covered with a film of algae, with a foul order and is no longer an attractive destination for residents. For decades there were 2 or 3 water fountains that every spring, summer and fall sprayed and circulated water and were illuminated at sunset. This little park was a beautiful setting for locals to walk or drive to oin the evening and weekends and was often a backdrop for pictures of wedding parties, etc. We would also see many ducks and other birds in the park. This is not possible today because of its swamp-like decayed and deteriorating condition.

I was astonished to learn this property is privately owned and the Village has no authority to maintain it in the dignified and appropriate manner so appropriate as the center of our “Village in a Park.” The Village advised the pond and surrounding land are owned by The Heathcote Association, a private entity.

I request that the appropriate Scarsdale government officials inspect this pond and land and please have the lawful owner immediately clean and restore if and maintain it, in perpetuity, to its pre-pandemic condition, consistent with our community’s values.

With much appreciation,
A Heathcote Resident

(Note: Scarsdale10583 received a similar communication in July 2022. At the time, we reached out to the President of the Heathcote Association who said the following.)

“Yes, the Heathcote Association does own the pond and maintained it for years. But now there is considerable sediment on the bottom and it needs to be dredged. If not, the sediment will clog the fountains (bubblers) and break them."

He explained that the Association has been looking into doing the dredging but during COVID it was difficult to get people out to do the work. Furthermore, he said that the primary cause of the sediment is that the Village waterways empty into the pond. Therefore, they have been working with the Village Engineering Department and believe that the Village has an obligation to help the Association with the project and the costs. They don’t believe it is only the Association's responsibility as the Village has been using the pond as part of their water system and people from all over Scarsdale use the pond.

So for now, the fountains will remain off until the dredging can be done.”

From Susan Levine regarding cars:

Today was a lovely day in Scarsdale...75 degrees and breezy. Despite that I saw several cars disobeying the “No Idling for Over Three Minutes Westchester County Law,” including a huge black Lincoln Navigator with the occupant just sitting inside on her phone for more than 20 minutes creating huge amounts or air pollution right in front of Bagel Power. Scarsdale residents need to help to fight air pollution by obeying the law and turning off their car engines when they are parked and not driving.