Great Pond Residence with Swimming Beach
East Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA
Working on the shores of a much valued and rare freshwater “great pond” within Cape Cod’s coastal zone, this project preserved and enhanced the site’s main feature: a cherished swimming beach serving generations of residents and their guests. Here Tom replaced a toxic, aging railroad tie retaining wall with a sensitively terraced naturally vegetated slope. The project won approval after rigorous review by the Falmouth Conservation Commission.
After removing the wall, the project re-contoured and stabilized the three-sided sand embankment surrounding the intimate beach by placing soft compost-mulch tubes filled with good soil across and stepping up the slopes. Attractive textured and colorful native coastal plantings were then added to the tubes and slope to create a stable and lush transition into the surrounding woods. Plants choices featured highly drought and shade tolerant species to thrive in the slopes’ native pure sand, nutrient-deficient soils.
Today subtle fragrance from these tough yet beautiful plantings has replaced the pervasive creosote odor emanating from the former railroad tie wall. The residents and beachgoers have also been spared the former nuisance of many splinters!