Friends of Alewife Reservation (FAR)        Join Email List     DONATE!
Updated Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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( below: reports on past events & activities - updated May 7, 2013 )
For any general questions about the walks, or if you would like to schedule a walk yourself, please contact
FAR office: 617 661-1730

Volunteers and serious Reservation researchers
Volunteers and serious Reservation researchers needed for future plans at Alewife Reservation and its buffers. We ask that you send your interest and concern on these matters to FAR at our e-mail address

Upcoming Events: May-June, 2013
Directions, Map and Alewife parking info, below
Walks on the first Friday of every month 1-5
Friends of Alewife Reservation is sponsoring walks on the first Friday of every month 1-5 from Alewife Reservation with botanist Walter Kittredge who is doing a region-wide herbarium project to bring attention to the local New England flora, its presence and value.
More . . .

Storm water/ wetlands restoration tour May 13
Sponsored by Friends of Alewife Reservation - PDF - Word file - added to website May 5, 2013

Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition
Find Jobs, Conservation workshops and conferences throughout Mass.
"Without the soaring birds, without the great forests, the free-flowing streams, the sight of the clouds by day, and the stars by night, we become impoverished in all that makes us human."
--Thomas Berry (1914 - 2009), Cosmologist and Geologian, from The Great Work --

added to website January 21, 2013

Silver Maple Forum
April 25, 2013

poster (PDF)

Environmental forum on Alewife Reservation at Lesley University


April 5, 2012

A six-member group of scientists will be part of the "Three Towns, One Forest", a regional environmental forum on April 25 at 7 p.m. at Lesley University Hall's Amphitheater in Cambridge, 1815 Massachusetts Ave.

The panel group will discuss the conservation value and future of the state-owned Alewife Reservation and its abutting Silver Maple Forest at the Belmont Uplands, a land and river confluence between Cambridge, Belmont, and Arlington, according to a press release.

In the age of climate change, the speakers will focus on Wetlands Protection Act regulations and hydrological concepts that could be activated to preserve the silver maple forest and its surrounding floodplain in the Mystic River watershed. Community initiatives will be suggested to preserve these New England natural resources.

The event is open to the university body and to the public.

Featured expert speakers include EK Singh Khalsa, executive director of the Mystic Watershed Association; Scott Horsley, hydrologist of Horsley and Witten Group and Tufts faculty; Minka vanBeuzekom, Cambridge city councilor; David Morimoto, director of Lesley's Natural Science and Mathematics Department; Lucia Lovison, geophysicist and instructor at Harvard's School of Continuing Education; and Mike Nakagawa, biomedical engineer and board member of Alewife Neighbors, Inc.

The Forum is moderated by Amy Mertl, biology professor at Lesley.

Sponsors include Lesley University, Friends of Alewife Reservation, and Green Cambridge, and co-sponsors include a number of local Boston-wide environmental organizations.

Poetry Reading- Bike Tour-Botany Walk in May and early June
PDF - Microsoft Word file
Join us

Can you Volunteer to Count Fish?
From Mystic River Watershed Association

FAR will need monitors in the Alewife Reservation for March and April
Please let us know if you sign up.

On April 1st, the Mystic River Watershed Association will launch the second year of the Herring Monitoring Program. Volunteers are needed to monitor the river herring as they pass through the Upper Mystic Lake dam in Medford. All training is provided and there is a minimum 10-minute per week commitment.
The program runs April 1 - mid-June.

Register today for the Saturday, March 16th, 10am - noon Herring Monitoring training. (And if you can't make it on March 16th but would like to volunteer, please register and we will train you separately.)

Read more about the Herring Monitoring Program here.
Watch a short video here.

Please feel free to share this announcement with your network. Flyer is attached (PDF)

Thank you! Beth

-- Beth Meserve MacBlane
Outreach Coordinator
Mystic River Watershed Association
20 Academy Street, Suite 306 Arlington, MA 02476

Connect with MyRWA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and FlickR.

Raise money for MyRWA just by searching the Internet with

map of Alewife Reservation with directions
Alewife Reservation on Google Maps

Alewife — Directions — Places to Park
  • New Alewife Reservation Parking Lot at Discovery Park
    Driving to the parking
    Drive west on Route 2 from Cambridge, to Belmont end of Lake Street.
    Turn left at underpass and immediate left again on Frontage Road to Discovery Park (large sign).
    Turn right onto Acorn Park Drive and go to end where there is a 20-space parking lot for Alewife Reservation visitors.
    Park (up to 4 hours).
    Walking from the parking — to meeting places
    Walk across bridge back towards Alewife T stop for meeting places to begin birding walks, educational tours or clean ups.
    Walking from the parking — to Little Pond
    From the new Alewife Reservation parking lot, go due south towards the river over the old parking lot that was pulled up.
    Do not walk on private gravel pathway.
    Go over lumpy ground by locust trees to behind the Bulfinch buildings along the river.
    Follow that pathway all the way up the river of 5,200 linear feet (one mile) to Little Pond through marsh, shrub, fields and woodlands. (This is an old fishing pathway used for years by local residents who used to swim and fish from the banks. Development and deadly impact threatens the area from an out-of-state developer.)
    Thanks to the DCR and the Bulfinch Company for building the lot.

  • Dodge Co. Parking Lot — 165 Cambridge Park Drive
    Driving to the parking
    When coming into Alewife T area from Alewife Brook Parkway, go to red light.
    Continue down Cambridge Park Drive straight almost to end, to 165 Cambridge Park Drive.
    Turn right in second Dodge lot where you see cars parked (large willow trees in back).
    Park in the back of the lot. Your car will be safe.
    There is a picnic bench to sit.
    Dodge has been informed that you might be there.
    Walking from the parking
    From Dodge Co., walk down bikepath to Alewife T entrance, T Passenger Pickup, or Alewife Reservation Kiosk (all within 2 minutes of each other).
  • Thorndike Field — parking places
    Driving to the parking
    Take Margaret Street from Lake Street in Arlington.
    You can get to Lake Steet from Mass Ave. or Route 2 going west. (Lake Street runs between Route 2 and Mass. Ave.)
    Drive to the end of Margaret Street (only one way to turn).
    There are parking places at the athletic fields (Thorndike Field).
    Walking from the parking
    From Thorndike Field, walk to Minute Man meeting place or Alewife Reservation kiosk or T Passenger Pickup (all within 2 minutes of each other).

Summer tours
For special tours of the Reservation with small groups of interested and concerned citizens, a date can be arranged. Call Friends of Alewife Reservation at 617 547-1944

Summer monitoring
FAR has 10 bird boxes throughout the Reservation that need monitoring. See the monitoring charts
Call FAR volunteer Rachel Philbrick for more information:( 617) 571 2412
 Reports on past events & activities
(updated May 7, 2013)

Park Serve/Earth Day photos
April 27, 2013

Lesley University Silver Maple Forest Forum Photos
April 25, 2013

Olmsted visits Little Pond
Photos from Poetry Walk May 5, 2013 with Frederick Law Olmsted

Wildlife Walk in Alewife Reservation-February 2013
"On Saturday afternoon of February 16 the Friends of Alewife Reservation sponsored a wildlife walk, one of a series held more or less monthly in the reservation. Eight people braved the cold and snow trekking the less-visited south side . . ."

National Day of Service at Alewife Reservation
January 19, 2013
"Thirty volunteers from the Boston area came to the Department of Conservation and Recreation's Alewife North Trail to pick up debris. . . ."

8th Annual Solstice Celebration description and photos
includes photos
added to website December 16, 2012

End of camp activities - Ecology Camp photos - final picnic
August, 2012, added to website September 13, 2012

2012 FAR Cambridge Ecology Camp Begins
July 5, 2012
'The sixth annual FAR Summer Ecology camp has begun. Mohit Holmesheoran, formerly of the Heifer International project will attempt "to expand the capacity of campers to view the varied environmental world at Alewife Reservation that contains many mammals such as deer, mink, fox, coyote and over 90 species of birds." . . .'

Dave Brown Leads Alewife Walk
February 18, 2012
"Ten hardy participants went on a two-hour walk on Saturday, led by tracker-naturalist David Brown, who conducted a pair of wildlife surveys in the park a decade ago. . . ."

Save the Silver Maple Forest concert program
February 4, 2012
". . . Please call these town and city representatives . . ."

Save the Silver Maple Forest Concert photos
February 4, 2012
"Benefit concert made 6k to sold out audience in Belmont."

Solstice Service at Alewife brings masks and dance to protect the silver maple forest
December 17, 2011
"Masks and dance of performer Maya Apfelbaum at Alewife to celebrate the 7th annual Solstice Service . . ." - with photos

Excel Academy Sixth Graders Clean Up Alewife Reservation!
October 19, 2010 - added to website November 21, 2010

FAR Wildlife Walk
November 13, 2010

FAR 2010 Ecology Camp summaries
From Allison Knight and Tessa Sanchez

Friends of Alewife Reservation Ecology campers learn birding techniques
July, 2010
Campers learn from Mass Audubon educators, Barbara Tarh and Roger Wrubel, on the Alewife Brook Reservation. Photo.

Alewife Art Show photos - Stebbins Gallery
April 18, 2010
Flyer for show - Word file

FAR Fund-Raiser Brings Silver Maple Woodlands Environmental and Financial Support
December 13, 2009
". . . we are delighted with the wonderful things that happened sunday night with your involvement, reminding FAR that Cambridge people do care very much . . ."

Cambridge Candidates Walk
November 1, 2009
Dave Brown locates coyote scat for candidates. With photos.

Excel Academy and Third Annual Cleanup At Alewife
added November 5, 2009
". . . The kids had a great time and learned a lot about the work of your organization and what kind of things you do for the reservation. . . ."
Photos, summaries, descriptions and writings of summer ecology camp at Friends of Alewife Reservation
added August 29, 2009

Friends of Alewife ecology camp going strong
August 4, 2009 Cambridge Chronicle article

FAR Photo Show at 150 Cambridge Park Drive
With two photos.
July 22, 2009

Walk In Honor of Bird Mothers
"The birding highlights were shorebirds . . ."
May 10, 2009

Video of water dances
April 5, 2009 - Link to video on another website.

Summer FAR Ecology Camp 2008 Teaches Environmental Science To Cambridge Youth
Daily Reports from FAR Coordinator Yannick Perrette - August 6, 2008 - photos added August 13, 2008

Cambridge Elementary classes observe and draw at Alewife
Susan Agger Coordinator-teacher - June 2007

Excel Academy cleans Alewife Reservation
Stephanie Lee, Shannon Coyle, Teachers - October 30, 2007

Ecology Camp Awards Picnic photos
". . . Representative Will Brownsberger . . . Ecology Camp group . . . Ellen Mass . . ."
added to website September 12, 2007

Photos from FAR Ecology Camp - Summer 2007
". . . Kenny, Deanne, Dave - Instructor, Chernika - Supervisor, Rayshonda all wait to begin global positioning session . . ."
added to website September 5, 2007

Letters from FAR Ecology Camp - Summer 2007
Youth tell of Ecology Camp experience
Youth write a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick asking for forest protection
". . . One thing we did during this camp was we removed invasive plants. We worked hard and some examples of plants we cut down included thorn bushes and Phragmites . . ."
August 22, 2007

Vernal Equinox Ritual at Alewife
Belmont and Cambridge Unitarians and neighborhood friends.
March 25, 2007, with photos and link to video.

Solstice Sunday service brought 30 persons from Arlington, Somerville, Belmont and Cambridge to the Reservation to give honor and celebration to the 130 acre urban wild we call Alewife. Photos added Dec. 27, 2006
"Interfaith Winter Solstice A Service of Celebration"

Alewife Sunday at First Parish Church
November 19, 2006
". . . In Honor of the Biodiversity of Life from the Alewife Reservation Harvest . . ."

Wild edible foods walk - led by Russ Cohen in Alewife Reservation
June 13, 2006
". . . Russ pointed out that many of the invasive species of Alewife Reservation are edible, and that a proper way to control the invasives would be for trail-walkers to eat them. Some wild foods . . ."

Major Super Mystic Cleanup Sweeps the Alewife Reservation New
"When 100 Novartis Corporation employees arrived at the Alewife T stop all wearing Novartis T shirts, they had no idea of what lay ahead for the 4 hour work day . . ."

Concord Serve-A-Thon youth show appreciation for work program
"Articles from Claire Teylouni and Malin Adams, both 9th graders, from First Parish in Concord . . ."

City Year Serve-A-Thon cleanup - photos added
" . . . Parents and youth work along the Belmont-Cambridge bikepath . . ."

MIT trail project - photos added
" . . . The group cleaned out vegetation along the blue marked trail from the meadow near Alewife station, along Little River, and . . ."

6th-8th grade students clean up Alewife Brook Reservation
" . . . The students were eager to do their part for the reservation . . ."

Mystic Mural Teens educational tour, led by FAR volunteer Dan Rueters-Ward
" . . . excited to catch a glimpse of a swan and her goslings . . ."

Partners in Nature walk, led by FAR docents Don Bockler and Daniel Rueters-Ward
" . . . the interconnectedness of the plants, wildlife, and surrounding communities . . ."

Urban Wilds: Past - Present - Future, led by Mike Arnott
" . . . the diversity of wildlife, wetlands, meadows, and woodlands within the reservation . . . the intimate relationship between man and nature, giving advice on how to peacefully co-exist with coyotes . . . the importance of a rare stand of sliver maples . . ."

Canoe rides led by Stew Sanders
" . . . We entered Perch Pond, where Wellington Brook comes in from the far right. After open meadows, Little River enters woods . . ."

Wild Plant Foraging walk with expert Russ Cohen
" . . . Participants from Friends of Alewife, and Sierra Club were treated to many surprises, including a pineapple weed that smells like canned pineapple that grows by the sides of the road . . ."

Cambridge Science Initiative Vacation Camp Alewife Trip
" . . . thirty middle school students from Cambridge visited the Alewife Brook Reservation to study the bird, plant and benthic macro-invertebrates found along the Little River . . ."

Morris Dancers - Alewife Reservation - May Day
"There are several different types of morris dancing, all from England and from different regions and different times of origin . . ."

Fourth Annual Docent Training at Alewife - April 16 & 23
"Many wildlife signs were found during the Alewife Reservation docent training sessions on April 16 and 23. Six future volunteer guides learned to . . ."

February 24 Alewife Reservation Panel Discussion - (from a Cambridge Chronicle article "Wildlife thriving in Alewife Reservation")
'. . . good news for the reservation, according to Alden and other experts who spoke last week about Cambridge's "urban wild." '

Celebrating the Winter Solstice 2004
" . . . Members of First Parish's Environmental Group, the Covenant of UU Pagans, First Church Congregational of Somerville, and many others . . ."

Social Justice Sunday
" . . . tour groups of First Parish [First Church in Cambridge Unitarian Universalist] RE students and parents . . ."

Alewife Mural
Dedication photos - October 22, 2004.

3rd annual Summerbridge Program with FAR - July 30, 2004
. . . Forty youth, from 4-7th grades, with about 8 college leaders from around the country as escorts, followed Mike's beaver path . . .

Mural art students canoe on Little River - July 23, 2004
. . . Sanders, leader of the trip, gave novice students an extensive lesson in canoe paddling and cooperation between bow and stern. Alewife water passage requires maneuvering around sand bars and fallen trees . . .

Springtime celebration - May 14 and 15, 2004
. . . musical performance and gathering: "From the Silver Maple Forests to the Redwood Forests". Featured was celebrated musician and red woods forest activist, Andy Barnett (May 14) . . . a large outdoor drum and dance gathering in the Alewife Reservation (May 15) . . . includes photos

Super Mystic Cleanup - Earthday at Alewife - May 1, 2004
. . . about 75 persons from Cambridge, Arlington, Somerville and other towns, stopped by Friends of Alewife Reservation's sign in and literature tables for a full cleanup of the 115 acres of urban wild . . .

2004 annual meeting - Friends of Alewife Reservation
. . . election . . . task forces . . . 04-05 priorities . . . speakers . . . President's presentation . . .

Walk at Alewife with Stew Sanders - February 21, 2004
". . . along the edge of Blair Pond, the orchard near Hill Estates, the Belmont bike path toward Alewife Station, and the trail at the #ffffcc birch tree to Little River . . ."

Uplands Forest walk with Peter Alden - February 16, 2004
". . . a group of rugged souls braved the cold to discover what is so special about a 15-acre parcel of land referred to as the Belmont Uplands . . ."