Liljegren Field: Part 2, Constructing a Wetland Replication Area

The new pond, also known as the Liljegren Field wetland replication area, reflected mature trees along the far shore at dusk on Wednesday – Image (c) JMcCT, 2017 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

By Julie McCay Turner

An Order of Conditions issued by Bedford’s Conservation Commission required that the Liljegren Field project must replicate the wetlands lost during the construction of the new fields behind the high school. The site chosen was the already marshy area between Veterans Memorial Park and the back of Page Field.

MJ Cataldo of Littleton is the contractor for both the new fields and the wetland replication project; they installed the original baseball field behind the high school. That field is being realigned, and the area has increased to include the formerly wooded area along Liljegren Way, making way for the addition of a new multi-use field and amenities.

A gallery of images of the new wetland replication area – Click each one twice to view it at full size.

The project’s wetland replication area includes the construction of a new dug pond, located between Veterans Memorial Park and behind the Page Field baseball diamonds. According to Town Engineer Adrienne St. John, a ‘wet pond’ was chosen because Bedford has many marshy wetlands but few parcels of open water.  The new pond is roughly one acre in area.

Over the past several weeks, bright yellow excavators have created a berm to contain the pond, and the berm has been hydro-seeded with a conservation mix. The mix includes native wetland plants to encourage pollinators and also provide a handsome, natural landscape.

Because standing water breeds mosquitoes, the DPW is considering methods to keep the water in motion. In this very wet year, the pond is expected to be approximately 12 inches deep, but in other years it might return to a wet marshland. And in cold weather, the pond’s shallow depth may allow ice skating.

The invasive phragmites previously located at the back of Veterans Memorial Park have been removed, the heavy equipment has moved along, and the pond is nearly complete.

Click here to learn more about the construction of Liljegren Field, and to look at The Citizen’s photo essay, Liljegren Field: Part 1, Clearing the Woods

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