Mill Pond Dam Project: 2021-2022

The Town of Norwood was recently awarded a grant for the Traphole Brook flood prevention and stream restoration project.

Climate Change Survey

Your answers will help us plan for climate-related issues in the Mill Pond/Norwood Garden Apartment neighborhood — and more recreational opportunities in Pezwick Park. We look forward to hearing from you!

For any additional questions or comments about climate issues in your neighborhood — or if you would like more information — contact NepRWA River Restoration Director, Jennifer Rogers at

Take me to the survey!


Upcoming event!


The public is invited to join NepRWA staff and naturalists for a Nature BioBlitz!

Sat. Oct. 30 from 1-3 pm

Pezwick Park

Sumner St, Norwood

Meet by the Norwood Garden Apt. tennis courts, Hampden Drive.

  • Help seek out, observe, and tally the wildlife and plants that live near—or in—Traphole Brook and Mill Pond.
  • We will provide guides, nets, and yummy snacks!
  • This is a FREE event.
  • All ages are welcome.
  • Please bring bug spray and mugs for drinks.

For any questions, please contact NepRWA River Restoration Director, Jennifer Rogers, at

Register for the BioBlitz!

Mill Pond Dam Project Update

September 1, 2021 —

On July 12, the Town of Norwood was awarded a $682,421 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Action Grant for the Traphole Brook flood prevention and stream restoration project.

The grant will fund the construction to remove the Mill Pond Dam in Norwood, rebuild the stream channel, and revegetate the riparian zone. NepRWA and the Town of Norwood collaborated on this grant proposal, which comes after two years of study, sediment testing, and permit applications.

The removal of the dam will provide almost full connectivity to Traphole Brook (save a couple of undersized culverts!), which is eastern Massachusetts’ best trout stream. It will also help with climate change resiliency by reducing flood risk to the downstream neighborhood, another example of the synergy between habitat restoration and climate safety.

Construction is expected to begin in January 2022 and wrap up by June 1, 2022.  During this time, we will host at least two public events to get people outside and showcase the project. Stay tuned!

Questions about the project can be directed to NepRWA River Restoration Director, Jennifer Rogers, at 781-575-0354 x302 or Town of Norwood Conservation Agent, Holly Jones, at 781-762-1240 x6065.

Read press releases:

History of Mill Pond Dam

William Sumner or his heirs likely built the dam initially to serve a grist mill on Traphole Brook (hence “Mill Pond”). It was built sometime between the late 1700s and 1851 when it first appears on a map.

By 1905, Carlotta Emerson owned the property and she and her husband Dr. Nathaniel Emerson build an icehouse on the pond and harvested ice from it. The ice house stood at least until 1920.

Since the town has owned it, the pond has been used for boating, fishing, swimming, ice hockey, and skating, but in recent years the pond behind the dam has begun to become choked with silt and start turning into a shallow emergent wetland. The silt is partially what represents the flood risk as if the dam failed it could be washed downstream and choke up the channel.

The dam itself is a barrier to fish, and the shallow wetland forming behind the dam heats up the water and makes it harder for cold-water species like brook trout to survive.

Read Cultural Resources Assessment