SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – Rope swings on trees along the North Pond at the Congamond Lakes in Southwick are posing a safety risk for visitors.
Michelle Pratt from Citizens Restoring Congamond (CRC) told 22News that they have funding to help the town get rid of the rope swings and the trees used for it. When the weather is warm, people tend to go to the North Pond to have fun with their family and friends, going swimming and taking a ride on the boat. However, when rope swings are tied to trees, that’s when CRC says it becomes a safety risk.
“It’s very shallow in that area, only couple feet deep in some spots. The rope swings are sometimes pieced together so you don’t know how sturdy they are going to be and people are jumping off very close to boats and other people in the water as well,” said Pratt.
According to CRC, teenagers are using the trees and rope swings to jump into the lake. They say it’s dangerous especially without supervision. CRC told 22News that those taking part in these activities are also drinking alcohol, which can impair their judgement, motor skills and strength. This goes against the conservation commissions website that says no alcoholic beverages or rope swings allowed.
Some residents who live near the pond say people also climb these trees and jump into the water. So to maintain a safe environment for everyone, Pratt says the Southwick Select Board Conservation Commission and the Southwick Police Department are planning to cut down the trees and plant other trees that do not promote these dangerous activities.
Pratt added that CRC is considering providing funding, “Citizens Restoring Congamond felt it was within our mission statement to help with the safety on the lake so we would provide some funding towards that.”
Once the trees are removed, they would be left on the shoreline to help prevent erosion and promote animal habitat.
CRC has launched an online survey to get feedback from members on whether they should help fund the tree cutting. If you are a member you can visit the website congamond.org and vote.