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.