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Morses ode: Wellesley pond a jewel

By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Reporter

There are many walking trails around Morses Pond that provide shade and great views of the water. Photos by Daniel Curtin

There are many walking trails around Morses Pond that provide shade and great views of the water. Photos by Daniel Curtin

If you’re looking to go paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, fishing, or just want to go for a hike in the great outdoors this summer, Morses Pond in Wellesley might just be the place for you.

Morses Pond is a natural gem in the northwest corner of Wellesley, right between Route 135 and Route 9.

The pond has quite the history, which dates back to 1738, when Edward Ward damned his brook to create a small mill pond. In the following century, the pond switched hands several times, serving as a source of hydropower, and then eventually being used by ice-making companies toward the end of the 1800s.

Although Morses Pond looks idyllic with its calm blue waters and peaceful greenery that surrounds it, there are several issues facing the conservation of the area.

Some of the issues facing the upkeep of Morses Pond include runoff from fertilizer from lawns, erosion along the banks, and invasive plants, like the Eurasian watermilfoil, that overtake habitats for native aquatic plants.

Richard Howell, the President of the Friends of Morses Pond, believes that some people are unaware of the amount of work it takes to care for the pond.

“One of the things I’d like to do is get more people interested in the pond. I think it’s under-appreciated by a lot of people in Wellesley. Many years ago, there used to be a sailing regatta on the pond. The thing that had stopped is invasive water weeds, particularly one called watermilfoil,” Howell said.

The pond covers about 100 acres now, and is surrounded by a variety of different trees and plants. Other wildlife that can be seen around the area include swans, ospreys, bald eagles, kingfishers, Canadian geese, coywolves, deer, and fishers.

Howell believes that by addressing the problems facing the pond, it will help wildlife in the area.

“It’s a nice wildlife refuge. I think if we can restore the banks, as well, and get some more native species in, it will provide a better selection of wildlife,” Howell said.

For several years, the town has had to hire a harvester to clean the weeds in the pond to make sure people are able to swim in it.

Richard Howell holding invasive plant found in the pond, watermilfoil. Photos by Daniel Curtin

Richard Howell holding invasive plant found in the pond, watermilfoil. Photos by Daniel Curtin

Howell is hoping to raise awareness of what it takes to care for the pond - and to allow people to appreciate all that Morses Pond has to offer.

“This is a really lovely pond - a jewel of Wellesley, really. The more people that can get to appreciate it, the more money there will be to make it even better,” Howell said.

Morses Pond Beach is located on Turner Road in Wellesley. Paddle boards and kayaks can be rented out, and Wellesley residents may purchase a tag to swim at the beach, which opened on June 6. The pond is surrounded by walking trails, which many residents utilize for strolls with their dogs.

Further information is available at https://www.wellesleyma.gov/353/Morses-Pond.

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