at Fresh Pond Reservation

Offered by Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation and the Cambridge Water Department

These events are FREE and open to the public. Children are welcome in the company of an adult.
You will receive information on parking when you register. Registration information is below.

Recurring Programs 

Wake Up and Weed

Dates: Thursdays in July 
Time: 10 am to 12 noon
Meeting Place: Volunteer Trailer in the front parking lot

Join our weed-warrior crew! We are Fresh Pond citizens dedicated to keeping invasive plants at bay for the benefit of wildlife, water and humans alike. No experience or long-term commitment necessary! All tools are provided; sturdy shoes, pants, long-sleeves and a water bottle are strongly recommended. Please contact Martine at (617) 349-6489 or fpr@cambridgema.gov for any RSVPs or questions!


Fresh Pond Kids' Walks

Dates: Fridays, July 1 and July 15
Time: 10 to 11 am
Meeting Place: Register for parking and meeting information

Join us for casual nature explorations, designed for young kids and their parents/caretakers, and play in 
our urban wild!  Please come dressed ready for the weather (and in clothes that are OK to get 
dirty!). Please register for parking and meeting information with Catherine Pedemonti at


Woodland Restoration Area Gardening 

Date: All Tuesdays in July
Time: Between 9:30 am and 1 pm 
Meeting Place: E-mail friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com
for meeting information

Join other stewardship-minded volunteers in caretaking the native plant restoration area next to Lusitania Meadow, and learn all about the diversity of native plant life! Drop in and lend a hand with watering new plantings, making rabbit cages, pruning, weeding, and other gardening tasks.  Please email friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com if you would like to come, and for more information.
July Programs 
Fresh Pond Herb Walk
Date: Saturday, July 9
Time: 9:30 to 11 am
Meeting Place:
Register for parking and meeting information

Learn about some of the most interesting, abundant (and weedy) plants that grow around us in our city environs. We’ll discuss the medicinal and edible uses of these herbs as we stroll around the pond, and also review tips for harvesting and preserving plants. Learn to see your urban surroundings in a whole new light, and discover the wonder of the plant world, from humble dandelions to graceful lindens. Led by Steph Zabel of Flowerfolk Herbal Apothecary. Register with Catherine Pedemonti at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com.

Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility Tour

Date: Monday, July 11
Time: 6 to 7:30 pm
Meeting Place : Water Purification Facility front door
250 Fresh Pond Parkway

Find out how water that falls as rain in the suburbs 10 miles west of Cambridge is transported to Fresh Pond, and then tested, treated, and delivered to the City’s residents and businesses! Learn about the plant’s state-of-the-art technology that keeps our community’s tap water clean. You’ll have the chance to speak with water treatment staff, see the equipment in action, and check out our water quality lab. Advance notice is appreciated if coming with a large group. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Martine at (617) 349-6489 or fpr@cambridgema.gov.

Future Monday evening Water Department tours: August 15, September 12, October 17, and November 14.


Summer Bird Walk 

Date: Saturday, July 16
Time: 7:30 to 9:30 am 
Meeting Place: Register for location and parking information

The best time to look for birds during the summer is early in the morning. That is when birds are most active: they are hungry for breakfast and the air is cool and comfortable. With walk leader Nancy Guppy, we may find adults feeding babies in the nest and fledglings following their parents while begging for food.  As always, beginning birders are welcome.  We have binoculars to lend and will show you how to use them. Register with Catherine at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com.


Purple Loosestrife & Galerucelle Beetle Monitoring

Date: Sunday, July 17
Time: 1 to 3 pm
Meeting Place :
Register with Martine at fpr@cambridgema.gov for meeting location

Help Reservation staff in our ongoing effort to biologically control invasive purple loosestrife with the Galerucella beetle! This is a day of science-in-action, so come prepared to collect plant and beetle data in the field. Pants, long sleeves and a water bottle are strongly recommended. No experience necessary! Open to ages 8 and up; children must be accompanied by an adult assistant.


Seasonal Walkabout with Ranger Jean
Date: Thursday, July 21
Time: 10:30 to 11:30 am
Meeting Place:
Maher Park parking lot

Join Ranger Jean for a lunchtime Ranger walkabout around Fresh Pond. We will monitor wildlife by sign, track or presence, and make note of weather, state of plants, condition of water and other abiotic resources. On these monthly walks, help chart the seasonal changes of some of our most active wildlife spots, or simply come and enjoy the walk.  Come dressed to be outdoors for the hour. Attend one or the series and develop your ability to take in more of the reservation.  No dogs please! Extreme weather cancels.  For more info, contact Ranger Jean at (508)-562-7605.




Milkweed Planting & Kick-off! 

Date: Monday, July 11
Time: 5:30 to 7 pm 
Meeting Place: Lusitania Meadow

The monarch butterfly is increasingly threatened, but we can take action to stop this beautiful species’ decline, starting here. Join the effort to protect monarchs at Fresh Pond - starting with the habitat they depend on! We’ll plant the milkweed that monarch caterpillars need to thrive in preparation for the arrival of 28 caterpillars that Reservation staff will be raising for release in August.


Cambridge Pod Patrol Weed-Outs Monarch Prep 

Dates and Times: Saturday, July 16, 1 to 3 pm
                                       Monday, July 18, 5:30 to 7:30 
Meeting Place: Register for location and parking information

Help us patrol the reservation for black swallow-wort, an invasive, non-native plant that threatens monarch butterflies. We will be releasing monarchs later this summer to help a struggling wild population: getting rid of black swallow-wort will help our Fresh Pond Monarchs thrive! We will pod-pluck our way around the pond at a moderate pace-no experience or equipment necessary. For more information, contact Martine at (617)-349-6489 or fpr@cambridgema.gov.


Caterpillar Check-ups 

Dates: Thursday, July 14
                   Wednesday, July 20
Time: 1 to 3 pm 
Meeting Place: Outside the Ranger Station, inside if raining

Reservation staff are raising monarch caterpillars for release! This butterfly species is under threat and we’re taking action to protect them (and help our local habitats) at Fresh Pond. Come see how the caterpillars are growing, learn how you can help, and prepare crafts for our big release!


Monarch Butterfly Release Parade! 

                   Exact date TBA - depends on butterfly lifecycle. Will be announced later this month!
                  Either Saturday, July 30 or Saturday, August 5
Time: 2 to 3:30 pm 
Meeting Place: Parade starts from Water Treatment Facility at 2pm!

This is the big day all our hard work has been for - the release of our monarchs back into the wild!  A parade - open to all , costumes and noisemakers encouraged - will take us from the Water Treatment Facility to Lusitania Meadow where we’ll sends our butterflies off into the flowers.  Feel free to just meet us as the meadow too!  Volunteers needed!


Follow registration directions
included with each program description

You will receive directions and information on parking in response to your registration or inquiry.

To receive monthly email program announcements, send an email to friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com

Learn about growing Native Plants: Visit the website of


You can sign up for the
City of Cambridge's user-friendly and informative

Recycling and Composting Newsletter
by emailing recycle@cambridgema.gov

Also, check out the Recycling Division's Website






























































































New England Wild Flower Society's


Our Urban Gardening Series is a set of classes designed to help city dwellers grow healthy, sustainable, and beautiful urban gardens. Led by Society staff in partnership with the Cambridge Conservation Commission, these free classes take place in the lecture hall at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138.


Tough Plants for Tough Places

Date: Saturday, July 23
Time: 10:30 am to 12 noon
Meeting Place:Cambridge Public Library, Main Library Lecture Hall
      449 Broadway,Cambridge

What will grow well under that hemlock tree? Or out back on the edge of the neighbor’s lawn where the goutweed pushed in? How about those really difficult places where nothing grows? Join Dan Jaffe to learn about the toughest of the New England flora, from black cohosh, which thrives in dry, acidic, shady ground, to little blue stem, at home in sunny, barren, dry sites. Instructor:  Dan Jaffe


Pruning Fundamentals 

Date: Saturday, August 13
Time: 10:30 am to 12 noon
Meeting Place:Cambridge Public Library, Main Library Lecture Hall
      449 Broadway,Cambridge

Proper pruning of trees and shrubs improves their health and structure while enhancing their appearance in the landscape. Learn basic pruning principles, how to make proper cuts, when to prune different species, and how to select and maintain tools. Instructor:  Mark Richardson


Planting Basics 

Date: Saturday, September 17
Time: 10:30 am to 12 noon
Meeting Place:Cambridge Public Library, Main Library Lecture Hall
      449 Broadway,Cambridge

Find out which plants thrive in an urban environment and which do not. Learn how to choose the healthiest plants at the nursery and then how to plant those trees, shrubs, and herbaceous species so that they will thrive for years. Instructor:  Mark Richardson