Monk's Parking Lot

The Bourne Conservation Commission approved planned upgrades at Monks Park, including the paving of this gravel parking lot.

The Bourne Conservation Commission has signed off on plans to improve water quality at Monks Park off Shore Road in Pocasset. The proposed plan is also expected to restore a nearby salt marsh and to improve parking lot drainage and stormwater runoff in the area.

The commission gave its approval to the project during its meeting last Thursday, June 16. The work is being coordinated by the town’s Engineering, Natural Resources and Conservation departments along with Bracken Engineering of Buzzards Bay.

The project proposes improvements to the onsite drainage and parking within the Hog House Point parking area and the Monks Park parking area. Town Engineer Timothy P. Lydon explained that part of the project includes paving of the Monks Park parking lot at the foot of Valley Bars Road.

Mr. Lydon said he initially thought to keep the parking lot graveled, but experts with the US Department of Agriculture’s National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) argued that gravel does not provide the best stormwater treatment. In addition, the plan would involve installation of catch basins along with concrete stormwater interceptors and trench drains on Valley Bars Road.

The project’s location is within an AE flood zone and a V flood zone, and within 100 feet of a wetland resource area, which is why it had to pass muster with the conservation commission.

The commission has the authority to enforce all state and local wetland protection laws, bylaws and regulations. The Bourne Planning Board approved the initiative following a presentation in March.

The project would be in partnership with NRCS, and funding has been made available from NRCS to Barnstable County. The county commissioners have distributed those funds, $20 million over five years, to the Cape Cod Conservation District.

The conservation district has approved a $27,000 design grant to Bourne for the project, Mr. Lydon said. He added that the town does not have to come up with matching funds for the design portion; the grant is 100 percent. He said the cost of construction to implement the plan has been estimated at $260,000, and Bourne is responsible for coming up with a 25 percent match of the construction cost.

Mr. Lydon told the commission members that this is the first phase of a multiphase project. The plan, he said, is first to install stormwater improvements and then to address restoration of the salt marsh through mitigation of pollutants on town property.

Mr. Lydon noted that Monks Park has become increasingly popular in recent years. It provides easy access to Mud Cove, which attracts kayakers. Visitors come to the area for a wide range of reasons, from dog walking and kayaking to hiking and hunting. The area “has been everybody’s secret place,” he said, that is not so secret anymore.

“We really want to enhance places like Monks Park,” he said.

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