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Frequently Asked Questions


When is the Fresh Pond Reservation open? Fresh Pond Reservation is open from dawn to dusk. 365 days a year.

Is Fresh Pond really used for drinking water? YES! Cambridge owns and treats its own water supply. Fresh Pond Reservoir is the terminal reservoir of our four-reservoir system. Every day 12-16 million gallons of water are piped into Fresh Pond from Hobbs Brook and Stony Brook Reservoirs (which are located in Lexington, Lincoln, Waltham and Weston) and the same amount is drawn from Fresh Pond. It is then run through our treatment plant to undergo the transition from pond water to drinking water. The "finished" water is pumped 1/2 mile away to our underground storage tanks at Payson Park Reservoir in Belmont. The hill on which Payson Park Reservoir sits provides the elevation (176' above sea level) needed to deliver good water pressure in the 190 miles of water mains that carry water down each street in Cambridge to you. (See more information about our reservoir system under "Watershed Management.")

How far is it around the Pond?  The Perimeter Road is 2.25 miles. The loop around the crest of the Kingsley Park Hill is 0.25 of a mile and the unpaved path behind the Kingsley Park hill is 0.7 of a mile.

What are the parking regulations? A Cambridge resident parking permit is required for the use of Reservation lots. Visitor permits are not accepted. This regulation is in force every day of the year for all users. Due to the limited number of spaces, we recommend that visitors use alternate methods of travel to the Pond such as MBTA buses, 72,74,75 and 78, which originate from Harvard Sq. There is a bicycle lane on portions of Huron Ave and Concord Ave. and a new bike path on Fresh Pond Parkway as well.

What is the speed limit around the Pond? Motorized vehicles including mopeds and off the road vehicles are allowed in the parking lots only. Bicycles must operate with due care, recognizing that pedestrians have the right of way. Water Department vehicle drivers have been instructed not to exceed 5 mph.

Where do I apply for my group to hold an event at Fresh Pond Reservation? Requests for permits can be made to the Cambridge Water Board for events and activities involving 25 or more people.  The Board meets during the first week of the month. Requests should be made 7 business days before the first of the month.

Is fishing allowed in the Pond? No.  Persons entering the fence for any purpose are trespassing and creating damage to the shoreline of the Pond. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife operates an 800 number for licensed anglers to consult. The line provides information about the types of fish stocked in specific bodies of water and current fishing conditions. The number is 1-800-ASK-FISH. PLEASE LET US KNOW OR CONTACT THE CAMBRIDGE POLICE DIRECTLY IF YOU SEE ANYONE INSIDE THE FENCE.

What authority do the Rangers have? As an authorized agent of the Water Board, the Fresh Pond Reservation Rangers are authorized to enforce all the rules and regulations of the Reservation through providing information and education, requesting compliance, writing citations for parking, animal control and pertinent City ordinances and if need be, arrest and prosecute violators.

Do you have a question or suggestion about the management of Fresh Pond Reservation?

Call Vince Falcione, Site Supervisor of Fresh Pond Reservation at 617 349-4762 or email Vince at vfalcione@cambridgema.gov                               

The City of Cambridge Water Department does not discriminate on the basis of disability. The Water Department will provide auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures to persons with disabilities upon request. For further information, call Jean Rogers at 617 349-4793 voice, 617 492-0235 tty/TDD.

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