Post Office Lake has been restored to its natural place as the centerpiece of the Smallwood Village neighborhoods.

The Smallwood Village Association, which has responsibility for the maintenance of the lake, recently completed over $300,000 of improvements to the lake, including dredging, reclaiming eroded areas, replacing the bridge at the outfall of the lake, repaving the walking trails, and adding new landscaping along both sides of the lake. As a result, the lake has been restored to its former splendor, and many Wakefield, Bannister and Huntington families are returning to the lake on summer evenings to walk, fish, or play at the playground.

Construction by Marshall’s Excavating began last September, according to Fred Scott, president of SVA. At that time, the village association had been patiently working on the project for about five years, saving money, hiring an engineer, and obtaining permits and plan review required by the Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland Department of the Environment, and Charles County Planning and Growth Management. The work performed by Marshall’s addressed the erosion that was taking place around the lake, submerged the silt island at the intake end of the lake, and planted grasses that will help stabilize the erosion and help improve water quality.

“This silt island was shaved down and reshaped so that it will stop water rushing into the lake, forcing silt that the water is carrying to be deposited there,” said Mark Huseman, property manager. “That will significantly reduce the amount of the lake that has to be dredged in future years, and beautify that end of the pond.”

In addition, landscaping plans crafted by Outdoor Creations planted trees and shrubs at various areas around the lake, and a new playground was installed, closer to Post Office Road than the previous playground location, which wa s removed in 2010 due to safety concerns.

“It’s a much more attractive landscaping package,” said Huseman. “Not only will it provide shade and beautification in years ahead, it will also help stop erosion, as will the grasses planted around the water’s edge. And the new bridge will be safer for kids and families walking around the lake.”

“We’re very happy with how the whole project came together,” said Scott. “It has been a priority of ours for a long time, and now that it is done, we look forward to our residents enjoying it for many years to come.”

- The Maryland Independent, June 29,2012