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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.
 
Join Watershed friends for annual Mystic River Watershed Association event

The Mystic River Watershed Association is holding the 21st annual Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle on Saturday May 20! The Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle includes a 5K run/walk race, three paddling races (3, 9, and 12 miles), educational booths, children's activities, and more. All events are held at the DCR Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville. For more information, read the event flyer

Fresh Pond Residents Alliance opposes Lanes and Games Permitting on Floodway

From the statement: The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance has serious concerns regarding this project. It is a redevelopment of a currently low-density commercial site that is not only within the current 100-year flood delineation but within the floodway itself. It is in the worst part of the whole Alewife area in terms of flooding.

For more information, check out the entire story.

DCR Citizen Forester, May, 2017

In this issue:

  • Book Review: Branching Out: Features from the Past for the Future
  • Species Spotlight: Pagoda dogwood Cornus alternifolia
  • Edible Spotlight—Revisiting Yellow Birch
  • Webinars, Upcoming Conferences, News, Events, and more!
Final plans made for youth nature mural at Alewife Reservation

Friends of Alewife Reservation, students and teacher Leo Muellner from Rindge and Latin High School and artist Janet Hobbs plan flora/fauna murals at entry to Alewife T stop. Students Pyter Fellweiler, Grace Picard, Amira Rezaei-Kamalabad won the FAR Arts Mural contest. Congratulations to such artistically skilled and passionate young conservationists!. Picture.

Watch Alewife Fish Migration at a dam in Medford

Want to see a wildlife migration in your own backyard? If yes, head to the Mystic Lakes dam in Medford on the two upcoming open house days (Tuesday, May 16, 3pm - 7pm and Saturday, May 20, 12pm-3pm) to learn about the river herring migration and to see the migration firsthand. Your support has helped this migration rebound, with 71% more herring spawning in the Mystic Lakes since 2012. The dam is located at 517 Mystic Valley Pkwy Medford, MA, 02155 United States. We hope to see you there!

Join DCR for the 2017 Accessible Recreation Fair at Herter Park/Artesani Playground

The Massachussetts DCR is holding its annual Accessible Recreation Fair on Saturday, June 3 in Brighton. From the event flyer: Family-friendly, accessible, and inclusive activities include: cycling with an assortment of adaptive cycles, hiking and letterboxing with all-terrain wheelchairs and walkers, face painting and kite decorating, golf and other equipment demonstrations, bubble blowing and games, music and dancing, and much more!

Mothers Out Front: Spring Calendar

From the Mothers Out Front website: We are mothers, grandmothers, and other caregivers coming together to make climate change an issue that our leaders can no longer ignore.

You can check out the calendar of upcoming events in Massacusetts (currently a work-in-progress) here. For more information about the organization in general, check out their website.

Photo by George McLean

Hungry Offspring in Springtime

Award-winning nature photographer and Friend of Alewife Reservation George McLean has captured another precious moment in nature: a bluebird bringing food for its offspring in a nest box. What a fantastic photo!

Happy SPRING from FAR

During a recent episode of 'The Writer's Almanac,' host Garrison Keillor recited a very moving poem about Spring written in 1877 by British poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring—

When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;

Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush...(Full Poem)

Illustration by Enzo Pérès-Labourdette

New Yorker Magazine Publishes Two Stories In Honor of Arbor Day and Spring

New Yorker Magazine has published two stories in honor of Arbor Day. The first explores 'big questions about what trading, sharing, or even friendship might mean among plants.' The second explores the unique role and sad fate of London plane trees in New York. Both are great reads and provide fascinating insights into the world of trees!

Dedicated Volunteers Turn out for 2017 Park Serve Day

Saturday, April 29 was 2017 Park Serve Day, and Friends of Alewife Reservation volunteers were out in force! You can check out a couple pictures from the event here.

MWRA Does not have to show compliance with EPA water quality regulations until 2020

The annual update on progress of Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) control measures on Alewife Brook has been released. Solving Alewife Brook's appalling water quality problems has been a long struggle (see previous posts of stormwater updates for the past 10 years) and it appears we still have a long way to go: the MWRA will not have to show compliance with water quality standards until 2020. You can check out the full report here.

Photo and linked video by Stephanie Liu

Eagles Return to Belmont's Little Pond

Eagles have returned to Little Pond in Belmont! Not only that, but wildlife specialists say they may be here to stay. You can see some video of the eagles here. You can learn more about eagles here.

City releases storm water testing Data for Alewife Brook for 2016 and 2017

You can check out the data at the City of Cambridge's website.

Lighting at Night- Not for wildlife habitat areas: Fresh Pond Alert

As you may have heard, the City of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation are building a bike path on the old rail bed running from Fresh Pond to Mt. Auburn Cemetery. The friends of Fresh Pond Reservation respect and applaud the City’s desire to provide lighting for all new bike paths; however, since the new bike path that runs through Fresh Pond Reservation functions as a wildlife corridor, they are asking the City not to install lighting along the existing rail bed at Fresh Pond Reservation. It is of utmost importance that you call your City Councillors with this message as soon as possible. Find out more here.

Green Budget Ammendments Need YOU!

The Environmental League of Massachusetts is taking action to ensure the environment remains a budget priority in our state, and they need your help! If you haven’t already placed a call to your State Representative to urge co-sponsorship of amendments 830 , 1196 , 1053 , 940 , 1073 , 839 , and 288 , please do so this week. Letters to the editor of your local newspaper also help. Together we can make a difference! You can use this tool to send an email to your representative.

Alewife Reservation Cleanup Day on April 29

Come join Friends of Alewife Reservation for its annual cleanup on Saturday, April 29 from 9am to 2pm! For more information check out the event flyer. See you there!

Global Blueprint for Climate Change: Implications for Quadrangle Restoration

Author and scientist Paul Hawkin has published a book describing a comprehensive plan to reverse global warming one manageable step at a time. Eco-agricultural and diverse solutions presented in this book may help with future restoration of the Cambridge Quadrangle floodplain!

Large Numbers of organizations sign onto 2017- 2018 "Green Budget"

From The Environmental League of Massachusetts: On behalf of the Green Budget Coalition, the Environmental League is writing with the Coalition’s budget amendment co-sponsorship requests. See the attached letter for details. We will be following up soon with the amendment numbers.

Boston Architectural College (BAC) visits Alewife Reservation

A group from the Boston Architectural College visited Alewife Reservation on April 8. Check out the full-size picture!

Photo by George McLean

Alewife Art Show at The Cambridge Homes

The Cambridge Homes and Friends of Alewife are sponsoring an exhibit of nature and wildlife images captured by award-winning local photographer George McLean and noted youth photographer Jake Stout. Stop by April 1 - May 30 and check it out! View the full flyer for more details!

Artwork by Grace Picard

Submissions come in for public arts project at Alewife

Local high school students have begun submitting artwork for a public arts project at Alewife Reservation. There are many talented young artists in our community!

New International Environmental Group on the Block
Join the March for Science

As the new administration continues its War on Science, citizen involvement and activism become ever more important. Our next big chance to show our support for knowledge and fact-based public policies is coming up on April 22 at the March for Science on Boston Common. For details, check out the event's Facebook page

Photo by George McLean

Drought brings early migration for herring

How do we know? The gulls told us! George McLean captured a photo of a gull with a herring in its mouth. Both gulls and eagles are taking part in the spring bounty. With good weather approaching, who WOULDN'T want to be outside?

Photo by Chris Cruz/Wilson Center

EPA Environmental Justice Leader Resigns

From the Washington Post A key environmental justice leader at the Environmental Protection Agency has resigned, saying that a recent budget proposal to defund such work would harm the people who most rely on the EPA. Full story.

DCR Citizen Forester, March, 2017

In this issue:

  • Practical Science of Planting Trees, Part II
  • Species Spotlight: yellow birch, Betula alleghaniensis
  • Celebrate Arbor Day
  • Webinars, Upcoming Conferences, News, Events, and more!
Two Upcoming Events at Alewife Reservation

Spring is just around the corner, and tours of Alewife Reservation will be starting up soon! Our first scheduled walks will be a Walk on the Wild Side with Dave Brown on March 25 and a Wildlife Tour hosted by reservation monitor Jake Stout on April 8. See the event fliers for more information. See you there!

Living With Water

Top New England leaders in urban design at the Urban Land Institute discuss growth in Cambridge Quadrangle (see note about the 500-year floodplain on page 17) Full Article.

Enforcement of Environmental Rules Dips

From the Boston Globe: Over the past decade, the state Department of Environmental Protection’s enforcement of air and water quality rules has fallen off sharply, as the agency’s workforce shrunk by nearly a third, according to a Globe review of state records. Full Article.

Photo by Glen Campbell

More Eagles in our Midst

The waters of Alewife Reservation are part of the Mystic River Watershed and are known to be bald eagle hunting grounds. A local partner organization, Medford Wildlife Watch, has posted many spectacular pictures of eagles taken at the nearby Mystic Lakes. You can check them out here.

March 30: Lobby for the Rivers Day

From Massachusetts Rivers Alliance With a new administration in Washington weakening river protection, and news of water disasters around the country, our rivers desperately need our help. One critically important, positive action we can take is to protect our rivers at the state level. The Massachusetts Rivers Alliance invites you to participate in the first-ever Lobby for the Rivers Day, on Thursday, March 30th at 11 am, at the State House in Boston. More details are here.

Massive Building Proposed on City Floodplain

Major residential and commercial developments, including a marijuana dispensary, have been proposed by the Cambridge Community Development Department, Utile Inc and various corporations and Alewife committees. Some of these projects are planned for areas that are identified in the City of Cambridge Open Space Report for 2009-2016 as being in the 100-year flood plain. Check out the full-size map here. Check out the notes from the 6th meeting of the Envision Cambridge Alewife Working Group here.

Photo by George Mclean

Bald Eagle Seen at Alewife Brook

George Mclean captured this fantastic picture of a bald eagle at the mouth of Alewife Brook near the Cambridge and Sommerville city line. (Full-size image ).

Photo by Daniel Behm / Audubon Photography Award

Screech owl seen at Alewife

The family of Matthew Urciuoli saw a screech owl, like the one to the left, while walking on Saturday, February 11th around 7pm in East Arlington at the end of Lafayette St. Learn more about screech owls here .

Walking on the Wild Side

See www.friendsofalewifereservation.org/sightings for more wildlife in Alewife Reservation.

Envisioning Workshop brings anyone and everyone to hear Tim Love of Utile spell out heavy density for city of Cambridge and subsequent "upzoning" plan for the floodplain with little feedback from public.

Over 80 people attended a workshop at the Tobin School cafeteria on February 8. You can read the workshop agenda here.

Briefs from CPAC

Several reports have been published regarding Massachusetts and New England Climate Change reports and Green Infrastructure. The Cambridge Climate Protection Action Committee (CPAC) has released its February 2017 bulletin. One of the main stories is that Massachusetts leads the way in LEED certified buildings!

UMass Amherst has also published a study showing temperatures in New England should rise faster than the global average.

DCR Citizen Forester, February, 2017

In this issue:

  • Gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar
  • Species Spotlight: chestnut oak, Quercus montana
  • DCR Challenge Grant
  • UMass Summer College
  • Webinars, Upcoming Conferences, News, Events, and more!

Photo by ceed.org

Envision Cambridge | Alewife Working Group #6 | Meeting: 1.26.17

Meeting begins voices for mitigation of storm water/flooding/climate change. You can check out notes here . The date of the next meeting was also announced.

A Bald Eagle Visits Alewife (Videos)

Visitor Stephanie Liu observed a bald eagle hunting around Belmont's Little Pond and the nearby upland wild area. She sent us two great videos taken over a two-week period. Thanks, Stephanie! Click here to watch them!"

Action Alert: Head on EPA attack

From The Massachusetts River Alliance: We need your help with legislation for rivers. State representatives will be considering six important bills this session to improve water quality and quantity in rivers and their success depends on you! Click here to find out how you can help these bills pass. Thank you for your support!

Upcoming Programs from DCR Friends and Partners

Click here for the full list of upcoming programs.

  • Eastern Forest Pest Update (Jan 25)
  • Tree & Forest Health Update (Feb 3)
  • DCR Arbor Day Poster Contest
  • UMass Community Tree Conference (Mar 2)
  • And many more!
George McLean's Photos of Birds at Alewife Reservation

George McLean is a frequent visitor at and much appreciated friend of the Alewife Reservation community. Over the years he has taken hundreds of pictures of wildlife at the Reservation. Check out several of his finest bird pictures here .

City Passes Policy Order Opposing additional pathways in Alewife Reservation to the Alewife T stop or intrusive walkways in the Reservation

City councillors Craig Kelley and Jan Devereux proposed the policy order at the October 17 City Council meeting and it was approved by the full Council on October 31. You can read the full text of the order, and watch video of the City Council proceedings, here .

Free Education Program Offered to Municipalities in 2017

Last week the EPA and the Consensus Building Institute hosted an international webinar about free education programs in 2017. This program consists of a series of four 'learn and do' workshops that will help you work with your community to explore funding solutions tailered to your town's specific needs and fiscal realities. Workshops begin January 31, 2017. Contact Carrie Hulet for more information. You can watch the 15-minute webinar here .

Mystic River Watershed: Updates

The next steering committee meeting will be held on Thursday, January 26th from 9:30 am - noon at Watertown Town Hall. Dan Driscoll will discuss the MA DCR's Mystic Master Plan. You can prepare for the meeting by reading the summary of the October 2016 Steering Committee meeting here . FAR encourages all involved in Alewife work to attend and participate in shaping the future of our Upper Alewife Basin. Drop us a note if you attend!

Environmental Activism On The Rise In Mass. and Vermont

From: Toxics Action Center

Toxics Action Center works with hundreds of remarkable local leaders each year, but few are more straight-talking and passionate than Andrea Morgante (pictured here in orange, and speaking fearlessly to a crowd). Click here to learn more about this brave public servant and to read a special message from her.


photo: Jake Osborne (cedar waxwing)
Birding at Alewife - December 20

Birder Cliff Cook observed 28 different species of birds on a recent walk at Alewife Reservation, including a cedar waxwing like in the picture to the left, and reported his findings using the eBird smartphone app. Data collected by ordinary citizens can be valuable for conservation, restoration and monitoring projects, especially when government agencies lack the funds or political leaders lack the will to do the work.

Participation is fun and easy! You can see Cliff's entire list of birds, and learn about the eBird platform, here .

City of Cambridge Releases Climate Preparedness Resiliency Study

The City of Cambridge has released an updated presentation on climate change preparedness and resiliency under different climate change scenarios. It is a great resource for learning how climate change might affect the Cambridge area and also identifies steps to address negative impacts. You can view the presentation here .

See FAR's Purpose in final city Climate Congress statement which focuses on natural resources

The proceedings and findings of the 2016 Climate Congress are documented in the report "Building a Community of Response to Climate Change." The report also defines three "pathways of response" (adaptation, conservation and restoration) as well as the practices of climate citizenship. This report and video recordings of the congress sessions and discussions are available for viewing here .

Alewife Development Expansion in Quadrangle.

Development is picking up speed in the Alewife/Quadrangle area of Cambridge. Check out the latest information on projects that are proposed, under construction or recently completed. Links to the City of Cambridge Property Database are provided for many projects. Citizens must be informed and watchful of these projects to make sure they follow all applicable environmental projection laws.

DCR Citizen Forester, mid-December Announcements

In this announcement:

  • Urban Wood Utilization: Options and Alternatives
  • Webinar: Climate Change & Urban Environments
  • i-Tree Q&A with the i-Tree Development Team
  • Preparing Urban Forests in the Boston Area for Climate Change
  • And many more!
Sightings for December 12 FAR Wildlife Walk

Five students and a teacher from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School participated in a wildlife walk at Alewife Reservation on Saturday, December 10. It was a chilly morning, but well worth braving the elements! During the 2 hour walk on the South side of Little River, we saw a Belted Kingfisher and four muskrat lodges. (Pictures).

Dismantling of the DCR Alewife Reservation North Trail?

Friends of Alewife Reservation has advocated for years for the protection of the Alewife floodplain and urban wild, especially as the water quality at Little River has continued to fail to meet Federal Standards. We hoped that greater protections would be forthcoming since the City Manager’s office and Community Development Agency recently created climate change and Alewife committees, but sadly, that is not the case...

Read the full message from FAR President Ellen Mass here .

Friends of Alewife Reservation captures 2016 City High School Environmental Focus

Students from the Rindge and Latin High School Media Center have produced a phenomenal video about Alewife Reservation. Check it out here .

Northeast Stream Quality Assessment

The USGS recently conducted an assessment of rivers in the Northeast. We hope to build a stronger water quality component into FAR’s small Perch Pond model to mirror the national policy employed by USGS this last summer.

There are streams that flow into our Little River area which should be monitored soon, as their water quality is failing

DCR Citizen Forester, December, 2016

In this issue:

  • What is i-Tree? Background and Updates for 2017
  • Species Spotlight: eastern white pine, Pinus strobus
  • DCR Arbor Day Poster Contest
  • Grant Opportunities
  • Webinars, Upcoming Conferences, News, Events, and more!
Alewife Reservation Nature Tour on December 10

Join us from 10am to 1m on December 10 for a nature walk in Alewife Reservation led by Reservation Monitor Jake Stout. Meet at 10am at the Reservaton entry bridge behind Alewife T Station and dress warmly! Flyer.




To view previous news, click here .


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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
(video)


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