One of the reasons people continue to come to the Vineyard is its beauty and calming effect, its difference from busy city life. Part of this comes from its landscape. Two places in West Tisbury that offer special qualities and can be viewed from the road are Polly Hill Arboretum and the Mill Pond.

Each proclaims that West Tisbury is not just a pass-through town. Along with friendly inhabitants and a one-of-a-kind village center, it’s a town where people care about their environment — slowing down perhaps, enjoying nature, sharing a pastoral history as well as modern amenities. To keep these qualities takes continual caring.

There is nothing worthwhile that doesn’t need maintenance from children, pets and health to family homes, cars and clothing. Since change may be coming to West Tisbury in the way of a marijuana dispensary, it makes sense to stay in touch with our past, as well.

Today as we drive by the Mill Pond, a prominent gateway to our town, we can see growth edging out into the pond — little formations of grassy islands. Some of it dies off and falls to the bottom, adding to the pond’s shallowness. Some of it becomes permanent, fed by the nutrients in the sediment and the sunlight now reaching the bottom. The more the pond becomes a marsh, the more we will be looking for mosquito pesticides.

The white pipe which we see from the road is less visible after rains, but it doesn’t tell us what the bottom of the pond looks like. Thin layers of sediment have lined the bottom over time, adding up to a lot of muck, which the professional companies hired by the town to assess the situation have pointed out. To get rid of it and maintain the pond, dredging is the only sensible answer.

How much to dredge, the town will decide when we vote again after the designing and permitting processes have been professionally completed and the watershed study finished.

West Tisbury is more than buildings and roads, it’s a legacy to be passed on proudly for generations. The arboretum and the Mill Pond attest to that.

Barbara Day
West Tisbury