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Map and directions to events at Alewife Reservation.
More information: info@friendsofalewifereservation.org or 617-415-1884.
For events sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, see the latest issue of the Citizen Forester newsletter.

Call to oppose Environment Budget Cuts

Do not throw out 10 million dollars of free US-EPA protection of our streams and rivers. This would increase the burden of watershed protection expenses for the State DEP. (what to say)

Map of Alewife Reservation locations of Climate Adaptation Regional Areas

(full size map)

More Environmental State Advocacy Needed

Support the 2017 Green Budget for Massachusetts from the Environmental League of Massachusetts.

Globe ad by the Environmental League of Mass. and Conservation Law Foundation

Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives, We have great respect for you and House members. Energy policy is complicated. It becomes simpler if you remove the profit motives of Big Utilities. Focus on only two considerations: What’s best for our economy and environment. ... (Ad in Boston Globe)

Temple Beth El in Belmont Assists Blair Pond area stewads on Mitzva Day, May 15th

FAR was very pleased to have Naomi Dworkin bring a group of adults and youth to the Blair Pond meadow and rain garden on May 15th to assist in sustaining the meadow, woodlands and Pond's ecosystems. (article)

Sun, May 15, 11am: “Immigrant Ecology”
Forests Still on our Minds

Peter Del Tredici speaks at Community Church of Boston (CCB)

The northeastern U. S. is a naturally forested landscape and has been so for thousands of years. In this slide lecture, Dr. Peter Del Tredici will present an overview of the recent history of the forests of the northeast as impacted by shifting land-use patterns (urbanization and suburban sprawl). He will not only discuss how today’s “emergent” forests differ from the native forests of the past but also how human priorities and evolutionary processes are working together to create a new ecological order. (article)

Spring Cleanup A Great Success!

This Spring, we have been blessed with a great deal of help with the annual cleanup:

  • Apr 14: International School of Boston
  • Apr 16: Boston University
  • Apr 30: Park Serve/Mystic Earth Day

Thank you to all the volunteers who made this Spring's cleanup so successful! (pictures)

April 30th Park Serve/Mystic Earth Day- Sponsored by Friends of Alewife Reservation

65 cleanup participants from Cambridge, Boston, Arlington, and residents from Somerville spent hours cleaning the Alewife Reservation 9am-2pm... (article and pictures)

May Citizen Forester Newsletter - From DCR (newsletter)

Read DCR's articles on Pollinators, Grants, webinars.
Exceptional ecology issue

Mass Rivers Alliance Responds to Fast Tracking Bad Environmental Policy


Spend your summer outdoors, learning valuable Green Job skills! (flyer)

FAR Summer Ecology Camp runs July 6th– August 12th every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Check us out : www.friendsofalewifereservation.org

MYSEP Applications due April 13 - May 6

Part of the 20th Annual Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle on Sunday, May 15th
ISB enjoys outing at Alewife with FAR


Boston University Service Day

April 16th: Cleaning around homeless encampments. (pictures)

International School of Boston Community Service Day at Alewife Reservation

On Thursday, April 14th twelve students from the International School of Boston found a way to give back to their community by spending the afternoon helping clean up the trails and surrounding area of the Alewife Reservation. Students removed a variety of plastic, styrofoam, and paper products throughout the afternoon. By the end of the day over 400 pieces of trash were collected and removed from the reservation! (pictures and ISB presentation)

Advanced storm water regulations (Phase II- MS4) from federal government are passed

Cambridge And Towns Take Heed
Becomes National LAW 7/1/17
(Notice From Mass Rivers Alliance)

Illegal Stormwater Dumping - Gushing from Belmont Uplands

Photo of storm water gushing from Belmont Uplands into land designated "Bordering Land Subject to Flooding", illegal for stormwater dumping by the Wetlands Protection Act.

MA DEP Proposes To Take Over Federal Oversight Despite Reduced Staff And Budget

Photo: Charles River Watershed Assocation (CWRA) meeting at headquarters in Weston with MA DEP Commissioner and watershed representatives and agencies. The Commissioner offers to take on role of federal government for many aspects of permitting, inspections, enforcement, despite the fact that DEP has been severely reduced in staff and budget.

"A recent article in the Boston Globe "US set to force cleanup of river" describes the new stormwater general permit that the U.S. EPA will be issuing next month. The MS4 (Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permit will regulate the stormwater that towns and cities discharge to the Charles River and to water bodies throughout the state. Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) has advocated for this overdue permit, which should have been issued in 2008 and which has already gone through two public comment periods." (CWRA statement)

MA DEP Agrees to US-EPA Clean Water Act Phase II (MS4)

MA DEP will co-sign Federal stormwater permit

Massachusetts DEP has agreed to federal oversight on US-EPA Clean Water Act's NPDES second phase, focused on storm water. This is good national news for now. Hopeful to get mitigation and outfall attention at Little River in Cambridge and Little Pond in Belmont. Heavily contaminated waters require grass roots and community attention. FAR has just written a grant for someone to run a local Cambridge program, as Belmont and Watertown are doing, by forming Committees. Good News for Massachusetts waterways, streets and for climate change mitigation. Adaptation on the way if municipalities agree.

MassDEP has decided to co-sign the MS4 stormwater permit for Massachusetts, so we should see this regulation out in a few weeks, jointly issued by the state and federal agencies. That's the good news. EPA has made several changes to the permit, per DEP's requests. But DEP did not make this decision with great enthusiasm (see MA DEP letter to EPA.)

Boston Area 4th Annual Water Forum and Cambridge

Annual Boston Water Conference Points towards Future Environmental Changes
Adaptation and Compliance Needed in Massachusetts
by Ellen Mass

EOEEA speaker Secretary, Matthew Beaton, noted that Massachusetts is one of 3 states still using US-EPA for storm water and waste water pollution standards and enforcement. We want them to continue to save the state close to 10 million a year and doing a high quality job. Our rivers and watersheds have become cleaner because of it. State apparatus is not equipped at this time to monitor and enforce these high federal standards, maintains many in the watershed movement meeting and campaigning on this issue. But Cambridge has received a ‘D minus’ federal report card for Alewife sub-watershed (one mile of Little River) and an ‘F’ grade for Belmont’s Little Pond and Perch Pond, indicating high dangerous bacteria counts. (full article)

"A Listening Session"

from MA Energy and Environmental Bureau

Attorney General Maura Healey’s Energy and Environmental Bureau will be hosting a series of Listening Sessions across the Commonwealth this Spring. We hope you can join us for an evening of learning and sharing information about the environmental and energy issues that are important to you and your community. Our first Energy and Environmental Bureau Listening Session will be at the Chelsea Collaborative on Thursday, March 31st from 6-8pm. (article)

photo: Center for Watershed Protection
FAR criticizes City 2015 storm water Annual Report to US-EPA

A serious EPA notice about our water bodies and severe contamination from urban infrastructure. Keep Flint in mind.

Take Care of the Discharge Problem Now - Growing Risk to Human Health

FAR criticizes City 2015 storm water Annual Report to US-EPA
Uses Sudbury MA as example of good watershed conservation practices in complying with MS4 federal regulations.

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: A Guidance Manual for Program Development and Technical Assessments

Sat, Apr 17, 1pm-3pm: Spring Wildlife Walk at Alewife Reservation

Meet at bridge Entry across from Alewife MBTA Station, Cambridge.

A two-hour walk at Alewife Reservation will celebrate the spring emergence of wildlife in the park. Birds and mammal sign will be identified, and the relationship of these wild animals to the various habitats in this urban wild will be discussed. We will also keep an eye out for spring ephemeral wildflowers and other new growth. Wear sturdy footwear as well as long pants and sleeves. The walk is suitable for adults and teens 13 and up. Meet at the reservation parking lot on Acorn Park Drive off of Route 2 in Cambridge. Call 617 415-1884 for more information.

The walk will be led by tracker-naturalist David Brown, lead surveyor for the Biodiversity Study of the Alewife Reservation Area. He is the author of several wildlife tracking publications including the recently-released book: The Next Step: Interpreting Animal Tracks, Trails and Sign.

Friends of Alewife Reservation
Ages 13+. Cost: Free. Donation requested.

Dauphin County Conservation District
Advance in Federal Environmental Protection Through Storm Water Regulations

A clean bill of health cannot yet be given to the city, state and the engineers as yet, says Friends of Alewife Reservation to a Belmont Citizen Forum February news about two combined sewer overflows (CSO) cut offs in Cambridge. (article)

FAR Newsletter, March/April 2016
Urgent conservation measures

Massachusetts Rivers Alliance has been working closely with ELM to craft the water items in this year's Green Budget.
Now we need your help. (article)

Barry Chin/Globe Staff
Clean River Water Options

February 22: Globe Reporter David Abel Explains Clean River Water Options from new EPA River regulations.

Strong storm water Implications for changes to D- report card for Little River in the Alewife sub-watershed of Mystic River Watershed

"Municipalities will be required to do whatever they can to allow more water to drain directly into the ground and wetlands, which filter out the phosphorus and other harmful chemicals, rather than have that water flow into the river. Over the next 20 years, communities will be required to replace asphalt with porous pavement, increase street sweeping, clear catch basins more regularly, and rebuild wetlands, among other things." (full article)

Vital Legislation for Climate Change Planning in Boston Metropolitan Region

FAR signs to support Adaptation legislation:
(Adaptation Support letter to Rep. Smyzik)

2016 February DCR Citizen Forester Newsletter

Citizen Forester Newsletter- February 2016
- DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program

Ellen Mass speaks to Harvard Biodiversity conference

Entire Tufts Biodiversity Conference 2015 description and videos

Ellen Mass speaks to Harvard Biodiversity 4 "A Livable Climate" conference May 2015 on losing a small floodplain forest and why our urban wilds are so important.

Seattle Times
Nature's Wonders: One of World's largest Dams Removed

Elhwa River Freed- Brings glorious biodiversity to Washington State and beyond. (article)

(video) Stephanie Liu
VIDEO: Bald eagle over Little Pond

Eagle at Alewife Little Pond. Bald Eagle requires protected habitat. Taken by Stephanie Liu of Oliver Road on Little Pond, February 15th, 3:30pm. (video)

Climate Rally in Boston 12/12/2015

State House Climate Rally- Last day of Paris global climate conference where global Agreement was reached to curb greenhouse gases. (article)

Rivers Alliance fights for stricter federal storm water regulations

"We must ensure enough clean water to meet the future needs of wildlife, people, and a growing economy." (from Vision Statement) (article)

Massachusetts Ecological Restoration Projects

DER restoration projects of Massachusetts. (article)

State Enters Alewife Reservation to verify endangered species

We found 35 genets of the plants there on Friday 4 December 2015 in the early afternoon Other species present were ... (more)

Monitoring at Storm Water Wetlands- Recent city data

Cambridge Data on Storm Water wetlands water quality November 2015.
(sample locations) (data table)

Kleinfelder, MWH and Chester Engineering Staff. Photo: City of Cambridge at Fresh Pond Rotary
FAR Congratulates MWRA and City for Closing off two Alewife CSO areas of Mystic River watershed on December 15

Dialogue with MWRA continues. Discussion of more Variances proceeds (read more)

Variance Extension

(older news articles)

On This Site
Forest and Park Friends Network

winter wildlife walk Presentation Spotlighting Alewife Reservation
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Regional, National and International Climate Change
Aggregated by David Landskov of Sustainable Arlington and FAR board member.
Local Resources
About Friends of Alewife Reservation

The Alewife Reservation is a unique natural resource for the communities of Belmont, Arlington and Cambridge and home to hundreds of species, including hawks, coyotes beavers, snapping turtles, wild turkeys and muskrats, the reservation is a unique natural resource for the community.
Historical information (Powerpoint)
Interactive map with directions

Friends of Alewife Reservation works to protect and restore this wild area and the surrounding area for the water quality, native plants, animals and over 90 bird species with paths for walking, running and biking, recreation, and for classroom education and research. We regularly steward and preserve the Reservation area for wildlife and for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

photo of nature walk

About Friends of Alewife Reservation
Statement of Purpose
Virtual Tour
Right now, view the wildlife-rich North Trail of Alewife Reservation.
MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
Master Plan for Alewife Reservation
Citizen Forester newsletter archive
History of Cambridge
Free Download from Google Play
The Birds of the Cambridge Region of Massachusetts

by William Brewster 1906
Nuttal Ornithological Society

Biodiversity Study of Alewife Reservation Area: Species, Habitat, Ecosystems

Inventories by David Brown, wildlife assessor (2003, 2004.) Published by and available from FAR for $10. Write or call for your copy. (sample)

Updated Dave Brown Inventories (2008, 2010)

Inventories of Alewife Reservation Wetland Plants by Walter Kittredge, Botanist (2013)
Friends of Alewife Reservation (FAR) office is in the Fresh Pond Mall
186 Alewife Brook Parkway, Suite 304, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-415-1884
Email: info@friendsofalewifereservation.org
Join our mailing list

For technical problems with this website, email: webmaster@friendsofalewifereservation.org