New Bedford Garden Club Reserve

Donor : New Bedford Garden Club

Acreage : 2.67 Acres

Location : Between Gaffney Road and Wadsworth Lane

Year Acquired : 2003

Access:  Off Gaffney Road (see Directions below)

Volunteer Steward(s) : Jack McCarthy & Peggy Bacon

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Description

Thanks to the New Bedford Garden Club, DNRT is now the happy owner of a beautiful rhododendron-encircled pond –actually a glacial kettle hole– between Gaffney Road and Wadsworth Lane. The two-and-a-half-acre property was originally given to the Garden Club by Gaffney Road resident Helen Wadsworth. For years the Garden Club maintained a pleasant walking trail around the pond and an access path from Gaffney Road. More recently the property was less carefully tended. Poison ivy blocked the access, and the rhododendrons grew so large that, in several places, they obliterated the trail or intruded on the pond itself. Even so, the property remains a little jewel hidden in the woods.

Anyone familiar with the history of glaciers within southeastern Massachusetts will find the pond interesting because it is a classic kettle pond. Dartmouth has –or once had–many such ponds, created when a large ice formation was contained within glacial sediment. As the ice melted, it created in its place a kettle shaped depression lined by relatively impermeable sediment and surrounded by conical hills of outwash material. Often these glacial features have been obliterated by roads, farms, gravel pits and residential or business development, so the Garden Club Reserve offers a unique opportunity to see a small example of this kettle and kame landscape.

Directions : Park on northwest side of Gaffney Road, just past Smith’s Way and before the Gaffney Road landing.  (Please take care not to block the access to the private garage adjacent to this property.) A narrow trail from the road leads to a loop trail around the kettle hole.