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Movement Is On To Save 'Lucille Ball Pond' In 2 N.J. Towns

EDISON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Lucille Ball, the iconic comedic actress, never lived in two New Jersey towns that border each other, but those municipalities are fighting to keep a Lucille Ball namesake from disappearing.

It's a 20,000-year-old pond, and developers could be destroying it to make way for new homes. The communities, however, aren't taking this one sitting down, CBS2's Dick Brennan reported Monday.

Everyone still loves Lucy -- sweet, even after all these years.

Neighbors in two towns adore Ball so much, they even named a pond after her. It's located in Edison, on the border of Metuchen.

Lucille Ball Pond
A group of residents in Metuchen and Edison, New Jersey are working together to save a pond that most of the locals know as Lucille Ball Pond. (Photo: CBS2)

"The neighborhood is just a fantastic neighborhood. The pond was a center of that," Metuchen resident Rydarowski said.

Rydarowski said Ball was dating a man there in the 1960s, while performing in a New York City play. And rumor has it, she was looking to rent a specific home with a pond on the property, but never did.

"Everybody always referred to it as the 'Lucille Ball House,' so why not name it the 'Lucille Ball Pond,'" Rydarowski said.

Now Rydarowski and his neighbors are trying to save it, putting signs in front of their homes and rallying together using social media since a developer bought the property, and is looking to possibly fill in the pond to build three new homes on it.

"I am disturbed and saddened that this may go away," Edison resident Tracy Wenk said. "I have known about this pond since I was a kid. It's legendary."

"I think it's important to say that there's too little open space in central New Jersey as it is," added Metuchen's Rob Stephenson.

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It's known as a kettle pond, and experts say it's tens of thousands of years old, the last existing one in Middlesex County.

"It was created by a glacier. It's area that was gouged out by a glacier. It's fed by underground springs," professional wildlife biologist Steve Toth said.

Toth lives around the corner from the pond, which is home to endangered species and birds.

"It's not the kind of thing, OK, we fill in a pond, the wildlife will go somewhere else. That's not the case. When you lose habitat, you lose the wildlife that goes along with it," Toth said.

Both mayors are against the plan, with one saying in a statement, "Edison wants that historic pond restored and preserved. Any attempt to fill it or damage it is unacceptable."

Neighbors said they are just hoping their love for Lucy is stronger than a construction concept.

CBS2 reached out to the president of S&A Development and General Construction. He said the company hasn't submitted any official plans just yet, but didn't comment any further.

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