Cambridge Pod Patrol

Black swallow wort on chain link fence.

Black Swallow-wort is commonly found winding its way around chain link fences.

Black Swallow-wort was first found growing spontaneously here in our very own Cambridge. It is an invasive vine that is spreading rapidly throughout Cambridge and the Boston area, making it a challenge to home gardeners and those working to maintain healthy and diverse habitats for wildlife, native plants, and people. If you find it growing on your property, we recommend carefully digging it up. However, if you see it growing on hedges and fences, pulling seed pods and tossing them in the trash (in a sealed trash bag) is an easy way to keep it from spreading to new locations. 

The Cambridge Pod Patrol, started in 2011, has made great strides at reducing the amount of black swallow-wort vines throughout the city and at preventing vines from spreading to new locations. Fresh Pond Reservation has far fewer pods than previous years- and more work can be done! Check the City of Cambridge Calendar for upcoming Pod Patrol and other events at Fresh Pond, or check out the Facebook Page: Cambridge Pod Patrol Facebook Page. Also, check out the page of the Fresh Pond Monarch Watch, a project with great relevance. E-mail Martine at for more information.

Volunteer stewards after two hours of removing black swallow-wort pods at Fresh Pond.

Volunteer stewards removing black swallow-wort from Fresh Pond Reservation.


volunteers spreading the word (not the weed) at Cambridge Public Library

Volunteers spreading the word, not the weed, at the Cambridge Public Library

Click here to download an informational flyer.

Cambridge Pod Patrol Logo