Hidden pond comes with a history

Tucked in the woods below an embankment to the rear of St. Joe's Hall lies a pond. Once a well-used skating spot in the '60s and '70s, it later fell into disuse to the point where many students didn't know it was there. Along came Fred Stone.

Fred Stone

Fred Stone, an administrator at the college for many years, cared enough about campus to clean up a seldom-noticed pond off the beaten path near the ballfields. He was also an early advocate for, and creator of, the campus trail system. The college hopes to build an environmental field station near the pond that now bears his name.

Stone was the admission director for 17 years, from 1980 to 1997. In the '80s, he began to cut and drag trees to open up the pond and to clear a path around it (with help from Saint Joseph's students and area high schoolers). He supervised bonfires to clean up the brush, and he arranged to have lights strung around the pond for night skating.

"Fred did a great job of trying to create as many opportunities for students as possible," says Michael Bolanz '00. "Getting that pond plowed in the winter was a great idea ... a bunch of us would always go down there and get a game of pond hockey in whenever we could."

It's a gem right in the middle of campus.
- Dr. Greg Teegarden
Marine science professor

After leaving his admission post, Stone spent two years as campus recreation director. When the ice storm of 1998 wiped out a lot of Stone's initial good deeds with the pond, he cleared it out again, restoring the path around it as well. After Stone retired in May 1999, President David House named the pond in his honor. (Stone still works part time for the athletics department as the event manager for all home games.)

Stone Pond has also proved fertile for academics. When Sr. Eunice Boyd started the environmental studies major in the '70s, she took her classes out on the pond to sample the water. At least three professors currently use it for their science classes: Mark Green for limnology, Greg Teegarden for aquatic field studies, and Ray Gerber for ecology.

According to Teegarden, the pond is being used more and more. "It's a gem right in the middle of campus," he says. The pond is easily accessible, teeming with life - including frogs, turtles and herons - and lined with diverse vegetation.

In the near future, the college hopes to build an environmental field station not far from Stone Pond. If that happens, part of it will be a teaching lab. How fitting - when it comes to understanding the environment, Fred Stone taught us much.