Towne Pond in Boxford & North Andover


Lily Pads
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Historical Info

Frog in lily padsTowne Pond is a large shallow pond straddling Boxford and North Andover in Massachusetts, approximately 30 miles north of Boston. One end of the pond is in the Boxford State Forest. This healthy pond supports a wide variety of plants and animals. During the summer, most of the pond is covered with lily pads and teems with wildlife: beaver, river otters, muskrats, frogs, turtles, fish, birds, insects, etc. In winter, the pond is covered with snow and ice (and the ice skating is good!). Water fowl, beaver, river otters, and mink are still active on the pond when the pond is not completely iced over. For the three months that straddle late winter and early spring, when the ice has thawed, the pond looks like a deep lake with no lily pads. In fall, the trees that border the pond produce colorful foliage typical of New England.


Topographic map from Boxford Historical Society (124KB)Satellite image from the US Geological SurveyTowne Pond covers an area of 26 acres. A marsh at the south-east end, in the Boxford State Forest, adds another 3 acres to the pond. Most of the pond is only 3 to 4 feet deep. Surrounded by woods, 5 houses are visible from the pond. A road comes close to the pond for only a short distance, so pollutants such as salt from the road are minimal. The picture on the left is a topological map. Click on it for more details. Click on the right image to go to a satellite view of the pond from the US Geological Survey. You can zoom in and out of this image.

To attest to the health of the pond, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health tested 21 bodies of water in the area and found that all but two contained fish contaminated with mercury. Beth Quimby, writer for the Eagle-Tribune, reported in 9/19/99:

In the Merrimack Valley study only one tenth of the bodies of water studied contained fish free from mercury contamination. Those "clean" bodies of water include Stevens Pond in North Lawrence, sandwiched between Malden Mills and Immaculate Conception Cemetery, and Towne Pond in North Andover, on the Boxford border near the edge of Sharpner's Pond Reservation. [For the complete article, click here.]


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