News Feature

Sedgwick
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, September 27, 2018
Nelson Grindal honored for ensuring public access to Walker Pond

Clare Grindal

Clare Grindal reads the plaque dedicating Walker Pond Landing to her husband, Nelson, at a ceremony on September 22.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Anne Berleant

In recognition of former Sedgwick Selectman Nelson Grindal’s unwavering service to bring public access to Walker Pond, selectmen from Brooksville and Sedgwick joined with his family and friends to dedicate Walker Pond Landing to Grindal on September 22.

Grindal died on April 14, 2017.

“He wasn’t much on being recognized,” his daughter, Darcy Grindal, observed. “He liked standing in the background.”

A public landing and recreation area was merely an idea for years after the Town of Sedgwick purchased 28 acres with shore frontage on Walker Pond in 1994. The property lacked public access but, in 2007, rights-of-way from neighboring landowners, and an alliance with the Town of Brooksville to share costs and benefits, paved the way. Grindal helped secure $250,000 in state conservation grant money, while citizens from both towns voted in favor of moving forward on the project in 2011. The Sedgwick-Brooksville Town Landing Committee, on which selectmen from both towns serve, oversees the site that opened in 2013.

Now, down a winding road that extends from Cooper Farm Road, there is parking, a boathouse, a boat launch, floats, picnic tables, and a small, sand beach open to all.

“Without everything Nelson did it probably wouldn’t have been as nice,” Brooksville Selectman John Gray said. “He really did a lot.”

Sedgwick Selectman Ben Astbury noted Grindal’s concern, as he saw shorefront property being bought by private individuals, that everyone, now and in the future, have public shore access.

“He had some foresight that this was coming down the pike,” Astbury said. “We’re going to try and continue that legacy.”

Words of praise

Brooksville Selectman John Gray, left, and Sedgwick Selectman Ben Astbury speak of Nelson Grindal’s service and foresight at a ceremony dedicating Walker Pond Landing to Grindal on September 22.

Photo by Anne Berleant
Clare Grindal

Clare Grindal reads the plaque dedicating Walker Pond Landing to her husband, Nelson, at a ceremony on September 22.

Photo by Anne Berleant
Percy Brown

County Commissioner Percy Brown speaks at a ceremony dedicating Walker Pond Landing to former Sedgwick Selectman Nelson Grindal September 22.

Photo by Anne Berleant
Comfort

Clare Grindal is comforted after a dedication ceremony to her husband, Nelson Grindal, at Walker Pond Landing on September 22.

Photo by Anne Berleant