Little Fresh Pond Restoration

View overlooking Little Fresh Pond after the completion of the Shoreline Restoration and Drainage Improvements Project.

The Little Fresh Pond Restoration Project was completed in 2006, in an effort to restore the natural habitat and shorelines of Little Fresh Pond. For more information on the goals outlined by the project, see the Little Fresh Pond Restoration Goals webpage.

Work on the Little Fresh Pond Shoreline Restoration and Drainage Improvements Project was completed in 2006. 

The Little Fresh Pond shoreline stabilization and drainage improvements were constructed in March through September of 2006.

Located on the western end of Fresh Pond Reservation, Little Fresh Pond underwent an extensive landscape restoration project in 2006.  The Fresh Pond Reservation Master Plan--completed in 2000--identified Little Fresh Pond as an area of very high priority for restoration due to compaction of the shoreline, erosion, and overuse.  The Little Fresh Pond Shoreline Restoration and Drainage Improvement Project aimed to mitigate risks to the health and quality of the water in Little Fresh Pond, and restore natural beauty to its shorelines. 

Making improvements to the habitats of Little Fresh Pond has been a complicated undertaking that included integrating the needs of the many users of the spot.  The pond is bordered by the Fresh Pond Golf Course on one side and by the heavily used Perimeter Road on the other.  Many Cambridge dogs find relief from hot days in the water, while other animals--such as waterfowl and turtles--call Little Fresh Pond home.

The health of the water at Little Fresh Pond has been vastly improved through the restoration of the shoreline and wetland systems of the pond.  Prior to the restoration project, the banks of the pond had become compacted and the vegetation trampled, which had led to very severe erosion problems.  As a result of the project, a majority of the shoreline has been re-loamed and replanted with a mixture of wet meadow and wetland plantings.  A water-access point at the southeastern end of Little Fresh Pond has been fortified with a combination of stabilized aggregate and stone surfaces that will minimize impacts from users.  Formerly isolated wetlands on the golf course have been reintegrated into the pond’s drainage system, increasing filtration of the water. 

The end result is a beautiful, universally accessible space at Little Fresh Pond that users enjoy every day.   

 

For more information on the goals outlined by the project, see the Little Fresh Pond Restoration Goals webpage.

  • Southeast corner of Little Fresh Pond during construction.

    Southeast corner of Little Fresh Pond during construction with silt screen in place to prevent water quality damage.

  • Golf Tee 9 During Construction 1

    Golf Tee #9 During Construction

  • golf tee construction photo
  • Placing sod on the newly constructed golf tee.

    Placing sod on the newly constructed golf tee.

  • Golf Tee construction completed

    Golf Tee construction completed.

  • Perimeter Road tree clearing

    Perimeter Road tree clearing.

  • Perimeter Road tree clearing

    Perimeter Road tree clearing.

  • Perimeter road with trees cleared.

    Perimeter road with trees cleared.

  • Trench excavation for irrigation and drainage vault.

    Trench excavation for irrigation and drainage vault.

  • Crane lifting vault.

    Crane lifting vault.

  • Placing vault.

    Placing vault.

  • Vault in place.

    Vault in place.

  • Preexcavation of perimeter road slope with silt curtain in place.

    Preexcavation of perimeter road slope with silt curtain in place.

  • Excavation of perimeter road slope.

    Excavation of perimeter road slope.

  • Coir roll placement along golf course side slope.

    Coir roll placement along golf course side slope.

  • Staking coir rolls along Little Fresh Pond.

    Staking coir rolls along Little Fresh Pond.

  • Sediment forebay excavation.

    Sediment forebay excavation.

  • Cedar Log placement at south beach entrance.

    Cedar Log placement at south beach entrance.

  • Coir facine placement in southwest wetland.

    Coir facine placement in southwest wetland.

  • Dirt Weir constructed in Little Fresh Pond.

    Dirt weir constructed in Little Fresh Pond.

  • Prepping bondary wetland on golf course side.

    Prepping the boundary wetland on golf course side.

  • Tree placement and soil stabilization fabric along perimeter road side of the Pond.

    Tree placement and soil stabilization fabric along perimeter road side of the Pond.

  • Volunteers registering to help plant on Earth Day.

    Volunteers registering to help plant on Earth Day.

  • Volunteers planting in coir rolls.

    Volunteers planting in coir rolls.

  • NE Wetland Prep

    Northeast Wetland Prep

  • Northeast wetland prep plantings.

    Northeast wetland prep plantings.

  • Southwest boardwalk construction beginning.

    Southwest boardwalk construction beginning.

  • Bench base outline.

    Bench base outline.

  • Bench base construction.

    Bench base construction.

  • Boardwalk continued construction.

    Boardwalk continued construction.

  • Irrigation and drainage pipes construction.

    Irrigation and drainage pipes construction.

  • Irrigation and drainage pipe installation.

    Irrigation and drainage pipe installation.

  • Removing the silt curtain.

    Removing the silt curtain.

  • Planting the southwest triangle.

    Planting the southwest triangle.

  • Laying sod.

    Laying sod.

  • Northwest wetland.

    Northwest wetland after planting.

  • Little Fresh Pond nearing completion.

    Little Fresh Pond nearing completion.

  • Completed Boardwalk

    Completed Boardwalk

  • Silt curtain effectively containing loose sediments from perimeter road resurfacing.

    Silt curtain effectively containing loose sediments from perimeter road resurfacing.

  • Golf course wetland buffer.

    Golf course wetland buffer.

  • Perimeter Road grading.

    Perimeter Road grading.

  • Perimeter Road construction.

    Perimeter Road construction.

  • Perimeter road paving.

    Perimeter road paving.

  • Wetland plantings one year later.

    Wetland plantings one year later.

  • Restoration plantings one year later seen on Bioengineering sitewalk.

    Restoration plantings one year later seen on Bioengineering sitewalk.

  • Southern emergent wetland, seen on Bioengineering Sitewalk.

    Southern emergent wetland, seen on Bioengineering Sitewalk.

  • Southern emergent wetland.

    Southern emergent wetland.

  • Finished Little Fresh Pond restoration.

    Finished Little Fresh Pond restoration.

  • View overlooking Little Fresh Pond after the completion of the Shoreline Restoration and Drainage Improvements Project.

    View overlooking Little Fresh Pond after the completion of the Shoreline Restoration and Drainage Improvements Project.

Have questions or comments about the Little Fresh Pond Shoreline Restoration and Drainage Improvements Project? Email us!