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Cranberry Bog
 Cranberry Bog Conservation Area in Woburn - kiosk installation
From left to right: Frank Medeiros, Rodney Flynn and David Cummings. The new kiosk was installed on October 22, 2009 at the entrance to the Cranberry Bog Conservation Area entrance.

The Cranberry Bog is situated on what was once Mill Pond. In 1905 the pond was drained and a cranberry bog was built by spreading a layer of sand over the top of the pond's peat bottom. Cranberries, so named by the Pilgrims who believed that the cranberry flower resembled the head of a crane, grow on low vines and favor sandy, acidic soil. Cranberries were farmed in east Woburn from 1908 until the late 1950s. Robert E. Fuller purchased the bog in 1915 and managed it until 1930 when he ceased operations. The bog was rebuilt in 1945 and farming continued for nearly fifteen years. Eventually, the level of pollution in the Aberjona River rendered the plants non-productive and operations ended. The Aberjona River played an important role in cranberry production in the Boston area. To protect the plants from frost, the bog was flooded each year from November to April. It became a favorite ice skating spot for Woburn residents. The dams which were built along the Aberjona to regulate the water flow still remain as do the irrigation ditches along the edge of the bog. When the bog was operational, Woburn youths did much of the cranberry harvesting in the Fall after school, and received two cents per quart of berries they handpicked. Some harvesters used a wooden scoop with teeth to scrape the berries from the vines. The cranberries were shipped to the Faneuil Hall marketplace where they were purchased by Ocean Spray for production into sauce, jelly and juice.

 Features
Area Map: Yes 

Access: Washington Street to Washington Circle. 

  Size: 29.5 acres   

Acquired: The Cranberry Bog Conservation Area was acquired in 1968 for the purpose of protecting the Aberjona River watershed. 

 History
History: The Cranberry Bog is situated on what was once Mill Pond. In 1905 the pond was drained and a cranberry bog was built by spreading a layer of sand over the top of the pond's peat bottom. Cranberries, so named by the Pilgrims who believed that the cranberry flower resembled the head of a crane, grow on low vines and favor sandy, acidic soil. Cranberries were farmed in east Woburn from 1908 until the late 1950s. Robert E. Fuller purchased the bog in 1915 and managed it until 1930 when he ceased operations. The bog was rebuilt in 1945 and farming continued for nearly fifteen years. Eventually, the level of pollution in the Aberjona River rendered the plants non-productive and operations ended. The Aberjona River played an important role in cranberry production in the Boston area. To protect the plants from frost, the bog was flooded each year from November to April. It became a favorite ice skating spot for Woburn residents. The dams which were built along the Aberjona to regulate the water flow still remain as do the irrigation ditches along the edge of the bog. When the bog was operational, Woburn youths did much of the cranberry harvesting in the Fall after school, and received two cents per quart of berries they handpicked. Some harvesters used a wooden scoop with teeth to scrape the berries from the vines. The cranberries were shipped to the Faneuil Hall marketplace where they were purchased by Ocean Spray for production into sauce, jelly and juice.
 Description
Description: The CBCA is a wetland which extends along both sides of the Aberjona River. At the corner of Washington Street and Washington Circle is a landscaped vista area with benches from which one can enjoy a splendid view of the bog. A descriptive stone marker commemorates the area's historic past. Cattails, loosestrife, sedges, and other marsh plants abound in the shallow waters of the bog and attract many species of wildlife. In August when the flowers of the purple loosestrife bloom, the bog becomes a sea of magenta.
 Activities
Activities: The trail along the western edge of the cranberry bog is excellent for walking, bicycling, and cross-country skiing. It is a superb vantage point from which to observe the birds, squirrels, and raccoons that live in the border woods. The unique aquatic conditions of a cranberry bog permit it to support a wide variety of plant and animal life. From the upper dam one can glimpse the pheasants and muskrats that nest among the cattails. A tree nursery has been started at the southern end of the bog. In the past, the northwest portion has been flooded for ice skating. Planned Activities: The Woburn Conservation Commission would like to extend the existing path around the entire perimeter of the bog and establish it as an interpretive nature trail with a descriptive brochure to enhance visitors' enjoyment of the area. Tree plantings and clean-up of the Aberjona River will continue as will guided field trips for school groups and others interested in exploring such an unusual natural environment.
 Purple Loosestrife and Cat-tails
 Bridge Over the Aberjona
 Bridge Over Aberjona River at Cranberry Bog Conservation Area
 Where is the Cranberry Bog Conservation Area?
Map courtesy of Gene Vogt