Lake Quannapowitt is one of two main lakes in Wakefield, Massachusetts, the other being the manmade Crystal Lake. Lake Quannapowitt is a popular setting for walkers, joggers, bikers, and in-line skaters off Route 128 in Middlesex County. It is the site of many organized races from 5Ks to Ultra Marathons. Since 1992, Friends of Lake Quannapowitt is an organization that has worked to fulfill its goal of promoting public awareness and providing long-term protection and enhancement of Lake Quannapowitt and its environs. Large amounts of tar were found in the lake some years ago. The lake is emptied by the Saugus River.
Lake Quannapowitt (KWAN-ah-POW-it), which was originally known as Reading Pond, has numerous nicknames today. Some area natives refer to the lake as "Lake Quannapolluted" due to their view of the state of health of the lake, but the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection handled only one isolated open case of contamination from the electric company that was remediated in 2008. The two former beaches remain closed to swimming, due to arsenic which was introduced into the lake in the early 1960s to deal with aquatic weeds.
The town common of Wakefield is on the south shore of the lake. Probably the most well known scene in the town is of its iconic bandstand on the town common, with Lake Quannapowitt in the background.
The lake has active populations of warmwater species of fish.
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