Edison residents fight to save 20,000-year-old pond named for Lucille Ball from developer
On the border of Edison and Metuchen sits an old vacant house and a big, muddy hole in the ground.
The location tells the story of 20,000 years of New Jersey history, from Ice Age glaciers to quirky urban legends, to modern day conservation battles.
It is called Lucille Ball Pond and neighbors are launching a battle to save it from a developer who has taken steps toward filling in the pond and knocking down the vacant house so that three new homes can be built there.
“It’s a 20,000-year-old glacial kettle pond. They’re not making too many more of those,” says Joe Rydarowski, who started the group Save Lucille Ball Pond. “You can build a house anywhere. Why do you have to build it on top of a pond?”
The pond takes its name from an urban legend that Lucille Ball once considered living in the old stone house on the property. It seems that Lucy may have checked it out when it was on the market after her breakup with Desi Arnaz.
The pond was formed 20,000 years before “I Love Lucy” debuted, when a chunk of the glacier melted underground, creating what is called a kettle pond. And that’s how it sat until last year a developer who owns S&A Construction in Edison came to neighbors with a plan to fill in the pond and build new homes.
This plan spawned a grassroots conservation effort to save the pond. The Save Lucille Ball Pond Facebook group has 1,000 members.
The Facebook group features old pictures of the pond before the invasive reeds took over and videos of the spring peeper frogs who still perform their mating calls there.
The town offered assistance in restoring the pond to the way it was, but the developer isn't talking.
News 12 New Jersey called the developer for comment on this story, but those calls were not returned.