BY KATHERINE LAZARUS
PROCTOR –– Beaver Pond on Beaver Pond Road in Proctor is a gorgeous park, recently renovated for the first time since the 1960s, that is now complete with a swimming area, two fishing docks, two hiking trails each .25 mile long, a sand pit with toy cars, and tables and seating galore.
“I would like to know I have helped to make some things better than they were before me,” said Chairman of the Beaver Pond Committee Dale Christie, 47, who stepped up from being a committee member on March 31, 2021 to chairman, when the position was too much for 92-year-old Ray Beyette.
“But Ray deserves all the credit,” said Christie.
Beyette started chairing Beaver Pond Committee after Town Manager Stan Wilbur presented the idea and nominated him to take charge in the fall of 2016. He continues now as a member.
“I’m excited about the community using this space,” Bevette said.
The 38 acres of land, 11 of which comprise the pond, were donated as a parcel from OMYA in March 2016 along with a fund so that the popular recreation space would be revamped for town residents.
Picture by Pauline Hogan
Other sources of funding for various park projects were as follows:
• $2,700 worth of picnic tables from the Mortimer Proctor Fund;
• $4,225 for the year-round dock from the town budget, which included volunteer labor, especially Beyette , who constructed one of the two fishing docks and donated his Adirondack chairs as well as some tables;
• Rutland Rotary also sent about 15 people to clear the shoreline so people can cast when fishing, and helped clear the hiking trails, one of which overlooks the pond;
• Proctor Gas donated a bench;
• and members and volunteers have used the town chipper to clean up the brush and trees, and Public Works Foreman Tom Corliss and the town highway crew have assisted with prepping the entrance road and tree removal throughout the park.
Town volunteers singled out by Christie and Bevette include: Vice Chair Tim Covey, Tom Hogan, Carrie Covey, Chance Covey, Gunner Tuttle, Jim Moore and Kim Metcalfe.
The committee had their Fish and Frank Fishing Derby on May 29 that Gunner Tuttle helped with, giving about 25 Proctor kids a chance to get together and fish, which they hope to make an annual event, said Christie. The committee also stocked the pond this summer with 170 trout, though the pond hosts mostly black crappies, some northern pike, and a few perch, said Beyette.
“I’m happy and proud of the pond park,” said Christie. “It has become one of many great benefits the residents have here in Proctor. It is a great example of how people can come together and make something bigger than themselves. I feel this will help attract people to want to live in Proctor, and it will benefit the community.”
Photo by Dale Christie
Looking to the future, the committee is hoping to get another grant at the next application period with the Mortimer Proctor Fund to purchase a swinging lounge chair, another picnic table and a few benches. They are also interested in creating additional hiking and biking trails, an outdoor classroom, interpretive signs, a gnome/fair trail, enlarging Beyette’s dock, a trail kiosk, launch ice fishing events, ice harvesting and finding an artist to carve a beaver or bear into a tree by the picnic area. Beyette also wants to sound the depths of the pond so everyone knows exactly how deep it is in which parts.
The Beaver Pond Committee meets every third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the town office meeting room.