Drainage and Community Garden Project Page

DCG rendering

Guided by the Fresh Pond Master Plan, the Drainage and Community Garden project is a complete re visioning of this narrow stretch of railway corridor.  The finished product will better protect water supply water quality, improve universal accessibility, and create a more peaceful, naturalistic user experience that we strive to cultivate in the rest of the Fresh Pond Reservation. The project design addresses:

  • Drainage issues on the perimeter path which result in pooling and unsafe icing in winter
  • Proper repurposing of a defunct railroad right of way
  • Increased accessibility and ADA-compliance for the community gardens and pathways
  • Redesigned plots for the gardens, increasing definition & access
  • Invasive species management and the creation of a native plant community that increases ecological and habitat value
PLEASE NOTE: The parkway community gardens will be closed this growing season for construction.


6/16/2017 - Rail and tie removal 99% complete.  Contractor conducting earthwork to carve out the stormwater basin and build up berms. Construction of new garden could begin as early as 6/26.

The detour around the site will put users on to the DCR multi-use path adjacent to Fresh Pond Parkway from the Water Treatment Plant, north to the Sunoco crosswalk at Concord Ave. for the duration of the project.  For your pet's safety, we strongly encourage keeping your pet on-leash on the detour path.  Please note, the detour is subject to change, but we will communicate and post changes on-site and on the web.

Contact David Kaplan with questions.

Spring 2017 - Fall 2017

Contract Award, Construction.

Spring 2018

Install fall planting hazards, bioswale plantings, substantial completion 


Please contact David Kaplan with any questions, concerns, or comments.

The Drainage and Community Gardens construction project will eliminate untreated stormwater discharges to Fresh Pond Reservoir; re-purpose and improve a former rail corridor; improve perimeter road drainage; create a graded, planted buffer between Fresh Pond Parkway and Reservation users; create an accessible, relocated, updated Community Garden; and restore native plant communities. 

Demolition will include removing existing railroad rails and ties, the existing perimeter road, community gardens, and wooded area between Fresh Pond Parkway and the reservoir.  All but 25 high value trees and primarily invasive understory will be removed to facilitate relocating both the perimeter road and community gardens, and allow for the installation of planted bermed barriers and the new vegetated stormwater detention and treatment system.  To mitigate the removal of 70 trees, the project will plant 182 native trees, 729 native shrubs/understory, and 7,500 native wet-tolerant plants in the stormwater basin.  Improvements also include new and refurbished fencing, a new seating area on the pond road, hubway, big-belly trash and recycling unit, and a water fountain and bike racks at the garden.

The existing community garden has limited accessibility, in an isolated area subject to flooding, and has 23 large and ill-defined ground-level plots.  The new community garden will be located closer to the Water Treatment Plant parking lot, and create 26 defined plots with raised planters, two of which are fully accessible.

Construction will last through Spring 2018


Brief project history:

  • Summer 2009 – Kleinfelder (formerly SEA) begins Conceptual Project Design
  • December 2010 – Preliminary Drainage Design Report -  included a phased full build concept excluding railroad right of way (ROW)
  • 2011- 2012 – CWD, DPW, and Conservation Director developed additional drainage & garden alternatives for phasing and standalone improvements depending on ROW acquisition status and stormwater infrastructure constraints
  • Summer 2013 – CWD /DCR acquires ROW
  • January 2014 – Kleinfelder begins redesign incorporating the ROW
  • June 11, 2015 – Public meeting held to discuss project and present conceptual alternatives (see documents tab)
  • December 2015 – 75% design submittal
  • Spring-Summer 2016 – worked with Fresh Pond Master Plan Advisory Board (FPAB)  Planting Committee on planting plan refinement and tree preservation
  • November 14, 2016 – Conservation NOI Hearing
  • November 17, 2016 – FPAB Presentation
  • December 2016 – 100% submittal
  • January to March 2017 – Bidding, Contract Award

  • Construction Photo

    Old garden facing north

  • Construction Photo

    Tree removals, saves (flagged) in and around the future constructed storm water wetland footprint

  • Construction Photo

    Looking north along the future perimeter road

  • Photo

    Removing rails

  • Basin

    Basin taking shape!