Greenbuild: Fresh Pond in the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts

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In a packed session at Greenbuild, Chip Norton, Watershed Manager, City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Thomas Benjamin, Senior Landscape Architect, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin gave a presentation on the USD 1 million habitat improvement project focused on the park around Fresh Pond reservoir in the City of Cambridge.

Fresh Pond is the main water source for the City of Cambridge. Fresh Pond Reservation consists of a 155 acre lake, and 162 acres of surrounding land, with a 2.25 mile perimeter road used by walkers, runners and cyclists. There is also a nine-hole golf course.

Chip Norton of the City of Cambridge government explained that dealing with the local community, and government constituted 20 percent of the cost of project. The design phase has taken more than two years, and involved numerous community groups, local boards, and water officials. The design goal for the project was for local residents not to notice anything had been done. Norton explained the importance of selecting a landscape architecture firm with solid sustainability experience.

The landscape architect, Thomas Benjamin, explained how his firm focused on removing invasive plants, increasing the use of native plant species, making the reservoir shore more accessible, and building in plant diversity. Benjamin equated increased plant diversity with increased biodiversity, and pointed to the return of deer, rabbits, birds, and snakes to rehabilitated areas of the park.

The improvement of the habitat will be completed in mid-2009.

Find out about the 2008 event as well as Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix.

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