Part of the Blue Hills Reservation, Ponkapoag Pond and Bog have significant archeological and natural resources. According to USGS, the name Ponkapoag is derived from a tribe name meaning "a spring that bubbles up from red soil", "sweet water", "shallow pond" (Douglas-Lithgow 1909), (US-T121). The tribe name Massachusetts, or “people of the great hills,” may reference the Blue Hills, which figure prominently in the view from Ponkapoag Pond. Located in an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), Ponkapoag Pond and Bog are habitat for at least 13 state-listed rare species.
Project Goals and Scope
DCR’s vision for Ponkapoag Pond is to protect and restore the ecologically sensitive landscape as we create an accessible and sustainable outdoor destination—featuring hiking, wading, boating, horse riding, and cross country skiing—that provides an opportunity to educate park users about the rich and diverse ecology of the ACEC. To achieve this vision, DCR retained the consultant team Halvorson Tighe & Bond to complete a master plan for Ponkapoag Pond to develop an integrated approach for public access, including accessible parking, trails and recreation opportunities to enhance visitor experience, reduce routine maintenance and improve ecosystem function. The project scope also includes the design and permitting of an early action project, Fisherman’s Cove Improvements.
The project includes three phases over the course of 12 months:
- Phase 1: Master Plan - The Master Plan will inventory and synthesize historical documents and land use, DCR’s Resource Management Plans, the ACEC designation and survey the existing habitat and current recreational programs to make recommendations for sustainable site improvements that protect cultural resources, promotes restoration of ecological habitat and provides a welcoming environment with enhanced public access to Ponkapoag Pond and its trail network.
- Phase 2: Fisherman's Cove Improvements - Design and construction of an accessible parking lot, trailhead, trails and waterfront area (including site signage, furnishing, and other site amenities) to improve public access and install stormwater best management practices.
- Phase 3: Landscape Management Plan - Create a vegetation management plan that improves maintenance operations to preserve existing native vegetation, restore low‐functioning ecosystems and improve ecological function.
Phase 1 - Master Plan (July 2021 - December 2021)
- Public meeting December 8th, 2021
- Master Plan Submittal – December 2021
Phase 2 - Schematic Design (February 2022 – June 2022)
- Public meeting March 2022
- File NOI with Conservation Commission in Spring 2021
- 100% Plans, Specifications and Estimate by June, 2022
- Construction start in Summer /Fall, 2022
Phase 3 - Landscape Management Plan (Concurrent with Phase 2)