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Black Pond Woods Nature Area

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​Black Pond Woods is a 34-acre woodland on the north side of the city off Traver Rd. It is bordered by Leslie Golf Course on its east side, and it is located north of the Leslie Science and Nature Center. Parking is available in the Leslie Science and Nature Center parking lot.

The unpaved trails can be reached from Tibbits Ct., the Arrowwood Housing Co-op, and from the Leslie Science and Nature Center. The trails wind through the woods of oak, hickory, maple and dogwood. The spring wildflowers offer a terrific show. Black Pond is a vernal, or seasonal, pond that supports a variety of wildlife.

Black Pond Woods is named for a small, vernal pond whose basin was carved by receding glaciers. Tannins and humic acids from leaf litter cause the water color to be dark brown, thus giving rise to the name “Black Pond.” The water in the pond is collected entirely from rainfall that drains into the basin since there are no incoming springs or stream. The pond is, therefore, at its height in the spring and dry during summer months, effectively excluding fish from its inhospitable conditions.

The woods surrounding, although named for the Pond, are noteworthy as well. Black Pond Woods has three distinctive habitat types within its boundaries. The woods surrounding the pond and comprising most of the northern and western areas of Black Pond Woods are mature oak-hickory forest. A large area adjacent to the Leslie Science Center boundary and into the central region of Black Pond Woods had historically been fallow fields and is currently growing in with shrubs and herbaceous savanna plants. There is also a wet meadow located in the northeast corner of Black Pond Woods. Each of the three habitat types hosts a different diversity of native plants and animals which contribute to make the overall biodiversity of Black Pond Woods relatively high.