Vernal Pools in Mary Cummings Park and Whispering Hill Woods


There are three major vernal pools in the Mary Cummings - Whispering Hills park system. Each is quite different in terms of location and how they fit into the landscape. Here are maps and photos to help you find the pools. We named them just for convenience. We thank The Trustees of Reservations for help finding these pools, as we had "lost" them for a few years!

Mary Cummings Vernal Pool Map

This map shows the locations of the three major pools with the trails showing. None of the pools is on a trail, so you need to walk off a trail to find each one. The map at the bottom of this page shows the locations on the aerial photo image so you can see each in the context of its surroundings.

Vernal pools are critical to the breeding cycle of various species, so they are considered precious and to be protected. Read the Wikipedia entry on vernal pools.

Vernal Pool, Mary Cummings Park

Pipeline Pool

This pool appears to be partially or entirely man made. There a large heaps of soil all around the pool. In wet weather the pool drains off into the nearby wetlands. It is not clear who might have dug this pool; it doesn't seem old enough to have been done by the Cummings farm workers; it might have been dug by the people who built the pipeline, but what purpose?

Cath Moore, a founder of The Friends of Mary Cummings Park, prepared the paperwork and submitted this pool to the Commonwealth as a registered vernal pool.

Vernal Pool, Mary Cummings Park

Forest Pool

This pool sits in the middle of a relatively flat forest. At this date (March 2017) it has a number of wooden palettes sitting in it. Clearly these were place for a reason, but not clear why. Were people skating here and using the pallets for seats?

Pat Reilly, a founder of The Friends of Mary Cummings Park, prepared and submitted the paperwork to establish this pool with the Commonwealth.

Vernal Pool, Whispering Hill Woods

Swamp Pool

This pool is the center of a large area of wetland. The overall wetland drains downhill towards the Woburn Soccer Field on Cambridge Street. 

Vernal Pool Map, Mary Cummings Park

This map shows the locations of the three major pools over the Google satellite image. You can see that the Pipeline trail is close to the large wetland; the Forest Pool is by itself in a flat forested area; the Swamp Pool is in the middle of an extensive wetland.