Wicked Good Guides / Boston Cityviews /

Frog Pond

The Frog Pond on the Common is a great place for hot kids (and adults) in the summer: Strip down, jump in and stand under the fountain at one end of this large wading pool. Ahhh!



There, there! Comforting one of the frogs that watches over the pond:


Next to the pond is the Tadpole playground, which continues the whole froggy motif:

Tadpole Playground

Frog image

More frogs

Frogs and rabbits


Frog mosaic

Clouds roll in over the Frog Pond:


Frog Pond in the winter


The Frog Pond is a kind of Pyrrhic victory. It is an expensive facility, built with public funds on common ground that is controlled by a private trust that limits it's use to the public. Millions were spent reinventing an existing facility that was once free and open to all, 24 hours a day.
The spray fountain that WAS there was self-draining and required nothing more than turning a valve. The new one does not drain and qualifies as a pool. The water must be circulated and treated and lifeguards must be present. Expense: plenty. Net gain for the kids: zero.
Winter skating: the Trust takes all revenues. Guess who paid for te facility and who pays for the electricity. It could have been a blade skating facility for a fraction of the cost and twice the amount of skating. Given an ice venue, the facility has
strict hours and nobody (even citizens who paid for it and bring their own skates) can go in the place without paying money to the Trust. During the months in betweeen ice and fountain, the area is kept filled with water, denying its use to blade skaters (who might -horrors- skate without paying somebody) and anyone else who wants to use the place for a legitimate activity that might not on the official list.
This facility was built as a tourist attraction and a boost to downtown stores: in its first year of operation the trust was proud to note that half the use was by people from out of town.
Nobody is arguing against skating and wading. These things have always been available at the Frog Pond. The difference is you now pay for what was once free and what was once public space is now under control of a private trust. Don't forget to stop by the snack bar ...

Parker Pettus on July 19, 2004 09:54 AM.

when will the frog pond be open for skating this 2004/2005 year?


karen on October 12, 2004 12:52 PM.

It's open now! Opened on 11/16/04.

David on November 23, 2004 03:31 PM.

Till when is the frog pond opened for skating?

Kara on March 9, 2005 01:07 PM.

when is the frog pond opened for skating? and what timeis it open at and till

joey on December 12, 2005 09:43 PM.

Is the pond chemically treated during the summer? (chlorine.
I am a preschool teacher and some of my parents were concerned as to the cleanliness of the spray fountain.


chris on May 10, 2007 10:34 PM.

nice ponds and I really liked the big frog!! I guess there's no koi in them right?

Nigel The Koi Guy on April 16, 2008 12:55 PM.

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