|Friends of Alewife Reservation (FAR)
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Updated Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Alewife: Map — Directions — Places to Park (on Events page)
|Sections on this page: |
Wildlife and Water News - Office - Bulfinch Marsh Restoration - Reservation improvement - Belmont Uplands: Forest Development and Developer
Cambridge Storm Water Basin - New England Restoration Model - News about FAR
Development News - Resources from FAR
Image Collections - Development Information - Current FAR projects - Of Special Significance - About FAR - Get Involved
FAR's office is located conveniently in the Fresh Pond Mall at |
186 Alewife Brook Parkway, Suite 304, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617 415-1884
|Wildlife and Water News|
Buzz and Ruby- Better News- Kids are Alright - added to website May 5, 2013
Storm water/ wetlands restoration tour May 13 - Sponsored by Friends of Alewife Reservation - PDF - Word file
added to website May 5, 2013
Buzz and Ruby - Difficult news to share - added to website May 3, 2013
The children arrive - by Paul Roberts - added to website April 29, 2013
Botanical Findings on Walk at Alewife - First Friday of the month - Photos by A. Richard Miller of Natick, Mass. - April 26, 2013
Sustainablity at Alewife - High standards of Bioengineering Group of Salem - added to website April 22, 2013
Buzz and Ruby at Nest..... Waiting well-wishers - added to website April 15, 2013
Mystic River front page article from Boston Globe - Water Quality Scrutiny and Interview with MyRWA - February 18, 2013
Stop bee killers - added to website February 7, 2013
Peregrine and Red Tails Continue Territorial Dispute at Alewife Fresh Pond - added to website January 31, 2013
|Bulfinch Central Marsh: Muskrat Marsh Restoration Project|
Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Priority Project at Alewife Central Marsh — Active Participants:
USDA – Conservation Preservation Resources Services: Massachusetts Community Assistance Partnerships — Coastal Zone Management: Wetlands Restoration Program — Bulfinch Company Inc. — BSC Engineering Inc. — Friends of Alewife Reservation — Mystic River Watershed Association — Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership — Lesley University: Natural Sciences Program — Cambridge Conservation Commission — Arlington Conservation Commission — Belmont Conservation Commission
|FAR seeks help to map plant communities in the Bulfinch Muskrat
marsh in the restoration area. Contact David Morimoto: Morimoto@lesley.edu |
FAR Ecology Camp 2008 plans to restore a section of Muskrat Marsh (PDF)- April 23, 2008 - added to website May 12, 2008
Ecological overview - Belmont Uplands and Alewife Reservation - an important report, prepared for FAR, for use by the town of Belmont and other groups replying to the 40 B filing - Feb. 2006
Belmont Conservation Commission letter to Muskrat Marsh team, January 18, 2006
Muskrat Marsh study - preliminary drafts (maps) - added December 2005
Muskrat Marsh Meeting - July 12, 2005
Muskrat Marsh Restoration Team project — Concrete Description from Wetlands Restoration Program
Muskrat Marsh Restoration Project Team requests Belmont Uplands Advisory Committee wait for any plans while study is being made of the area — Letter of request for consideration
Stream Flow Conference - notes
Spring Progress and Planning for the Restoration Project at the Bulfinch marsh 40B Application: by AP Cambridge Partners (O'Neill Properties) for a 40B development on the Belmont Uplands site - April 2004 - link to a large (4.9 MB) Adobe Acrobat file on Town of Belmont website.
Adobe Acrobat reader is available free at www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
Bulfinch Gets Praise from City Council — Unanimous Council resolution
FAR seeks help with restoration project
Link to article in Cambridge Chronicle, Thursday, January 27, 2005 (article is "archived or expired off the site")
"Friends of Alewife Reservation's 10-acre marsh restoration proposal has been put on the Massachusetts Wetlands Restoration Program's priority list for improving the area's largest wetlands . . ."
Catherine Woodbury is the Project Manager of Alewife city stormwater program, Engineering Division - Department of Public Works, City of Cambridge.
FAR Priority status Wetlands Restoration Project (WRP) nomination form with invited Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership (CWRP) Partners: Bulfinch Co, regional conservation commissions, Mystic River Watershed Association, Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, and more.
Actual CZM Proposal
FAR Wins Priority Status with State Wetland Restoration Program (WRP) of Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management (CZM) for 10 Acre Central Marsh Restoration in Cambridge and Belmont.
Description of purpose and intent of proposal
"FAR is seeking conservation-minded partners who will work with non-profits, state agencies and the Bulfinch Company affiliate BHX to restore a large invasive dominated marsh of 10 acres at the heart of the Alewife Reservation"
|Reservation Improvement Plans Move Forward in Cambridge|
FAR Completion of Muskrat Marsh Pilot Project. - November 21, 2009
Alewife cleanup stirs hope - Others begin to speak out - July 23, 2009
Bridge Work in Belmont Rock Meadow - Model for North Trail at Alewife Reservation - photos - added December 10, 2008
Pathway surfacing in the Alewife Reservation, letter to Jennifer Wright, Executive Director- Cambridge Conservation Commission (Microsoft Word file) - added November 15, 2008
Alewife Reservation Bike Path disputed by Friends of Alewife Reservation - November 12, 2008
Maintaining Alewife Reservation trails - North Side Trail
Alewife wetlands model in the making
Alewife Mural - Photos of October 22 dedication (added photos of Jason Weeks and Daniel Kertzner) and link to Massachusetts Cultural Council profile about the mural.
FAR Takes a Hard Line for Soft Pavement on Cambridge-Belmont Bike Path - pervious pavement options
Alewife Reservation's meadows mowed for restorative measures to enhance native vegetation and diminish invasive species - with photos
Disappearance of Alewives - Research Proposals - possible Improvements - preliminary analysis by Stewart Sanders and Ralph Chang
|Belmont Uplands: Forest Development and Developer|
|DEP File #: 123-0180, Notice of Intent (NOI); |
EOEA #13312 Environmental Notification Form (ENF)
|Cambridge Storm Water Basin - New England Restoration Model|
Cambridge and regional storm water basin makes progress - added to website January 31, 2012
Major Progress in Alewife Reservation Stormwater Wetland Construction - December 19, 2011
FAR Wins Financial Support from State for Education at the New Wetland-Stormwater Restoration Project - updated January 25 with Department Of Fish And Game Riverways Program scope document.
A Major Wetlands Restoration/Storm Water Management Model Project, and Environmental Learning Center for Cambridge and the Massachusetts metropolitan western corridor, covering 8 to 10 acres, by City of Cambridge, Bioengineering Group, MWH Inc., Mass Water Resources Authority and SEA construction and Friends of Alewife Reservation.
List of the 22 project pages (with link to the 7MB Adobe Acrobat file, which takes about 22 minutes to download with a 56K dial-up modem - compared to about 15 to 30 seconds for each project page)
New on January 6:
Planting details page available as easy-to-read-and-print Microsoft Word file and text Adobe Acrobat file.
Letter plus number designations from the drawings added to page-number list for easier reference..
Restoration Plans Move Forward for Wildlife and Communities of Cambridge, Arlington, Belmont, Somerville and Metropolitan Boston
|News about FAR|
|Town, City and
Win Major Temporary Victory
FAR continues to promote environmental considerations over residential concerns. Watershed continues to need water for river and stream flow, restored wetlands, and marshes — for its health and safety for wildlife and people.
Conservation Commissions of 3 communities agree: "Uplands are an Environmentally sensitive Area" "Should not be developed" says town meeting of Arlington and Belmont. 3 Conservation Commissions also agree: Cambridge, Belmont, Arlington.
Communities agree on Uplands site — article on Belmont Citizen Herald website
Links to all the news
|FAR wins Mass
Cultural Council Goldstar Award for Alewife Arts Mural Project |
The Mural was 1 of 13 projects (out of 7,000) to win this February. Cambridge Arts Council granted nearly $3,000 to the FAR for this project. The mural is slated for hanging at the MBTA Alewife transit station this summer.
American Women Conservationists — Twelve Profiles (2004 book by Madelyn Holmes). FAR is in this book.
Links to all the news
|Resources from FAR|
in the Alewife Reservation Area: Species, Habitat and Ecosystem —
Available from FAR for $10. Describes Reservation and its wildlife and
locations and access. |
A major assessment: 120 pages of maps, charts, illustrations and details of the Reservation topography; habits of the wildlife.
|Storm water brochure developed by Friends of Alewife Reservation and City of Cambridge for local businesses and neighbors as a watershed Pilot Project, implemented and organized by local Scout troop.||Stream
Team materials page |
(updated October 5, 2004)
|Image collections — slide shows|
Silver Maples In the Urban Wild
art of Sarah Leon 4 paintings
See also the text at
Silver Maples In the Urban Wild - art of Sarah Leon, which includes a link to artist's website
North Trail Maintenance Improvement Project Improved Pathway for conservationists, hikers, birders and class rooms, fishermen.
Partners: Student Conservation Americorps, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Friends of Alewife Reservation
67 photos/slides, taken March 2006
Walk, January 7, 2006
15 photos/slides by Janet Malenfant
Wilds Past-Present-Future |
The Alewife Reservation's wildlife, wetlands, meadows, and woodlands. A Friends of Alewife Reservation presentation by Michael Arnott, with 67 slides.
Urban Wild (Alewife Reservation)
Paintings by Vicki Paret, a page with 3 images.
Summer 2004 Alewife Reservation Photos
Unseen and Unknown Areas and Wildlife
Spectacular photos by Michael Arnott, FAR Steering Board, AMC naturalist, with 10 slides
Friends of Alewife Reservation images — maps, plans, photos (Silver Maple Forest, fauna, flora, water, and people — many categorized by season), with 135 slides .
|Alewife Master Plan - Complete contents of June 2003 MDC CD, with maps.||Alewife
Master Plan - assessment |
(Summary of strong and weak points of MDC Master Plan — not a FAR final assessment.)
|Floodplain Map from FEMA of GIS - Belmont Uplands DEIR / proposed land-swap area||Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to put bulletin board / sign up at Blair Pond (part of Master Plan)|
|Current FAR projects|
|Nesting box map; getting to and working with the boxes.||Nesting boxes|
|Herring monitoring: who does what, when, and why||Draft herring monitoring plan|
|Invasive species — updated. Directed by Peter Alden.||Invasive species|
|Of Special Significance|
|Silver Maple Forest building — architect's renderings||Aerial view 1 of building Aerial view 2 of building|
|Little Pond — headwaters in proper perspective||Aerial view of Little Pond|
|Boston Basin ecoregion, Cambridge land use,
Vernal pools (including potential pools near Little Pond)
|MDC Master Plan Nov. 20, 2002 presentation
— Ellen Mass' description
|MDC Master Plan — Ellen Mass' description|
|MDC Master Plan Nov. 20, 2002 presentation
— Russ Cohen's comments
|MDC Master Plan — Russ Cohen's comments|
|370+ flora & fauna (with more flora, from Betty Wright)||Biodiversity lists for Cambridge|
|Forest, shrub, wetland, marsh, waterways — Ellen Mass||Greater Alewife ecosystem|
|Environmental Notification Form comments||Frontage Road Office/R&D|
|Maps: forests and proposed soccer field||Forests and soccer field|
|Alewife Wildlife Inventory - David Brown's initial findings||Alewife Wildlife Inventory (edited version)|
|Presentation to MDC and design firms||Plans for Alewife Reservation|
|About FAR||Get involved|
|FAR is a multileveled stewarding and advocacy
group that desires to protect the public Reservation land owned by the MDC
and to preserve it for wildlife and for future generations, providing a
highly accessible area in limited wilderness areas for passive
recreationists. The group is run by a board of overseers that oversee
activity and help advocate for Reservation needs.
Statement of Purpose
|If you'd like to be on our mailing list for updates and events, and quarterly newsletter, join our email list.
We welcome you to join FAR for $20 a year. Our address for sending dues is 186 Alewife Brook Parkway, Suite 304, Cambridge, MA 02138.
The naturalist, William Brewster, wrote in 1906 about the "Great Swamp" area, now known as the Alewife Reservation.
Quote follows from his book, Birds of the Cambridge Region:
This fine, large meadow, upwards of one hundred acres in extent, has changed but little, either in character or surroundings, within the past thirty or forty years. It lies partly in Belmont and Waltham, but chiefly in the southeastern corner of Lexington, near the source of Beaver Brook. Although for the most part open and grassy, it contains many swampy thickets, several tracts of low-lying maple woods and a few wooded ridges and 'marsh islands.' The Concord Turnpike crosses it from east to west on an ancient causeway bordered by pollarded willows. Through the long and alluring vista formed by the trunks and overarching branches of these fine old trees one may walk or drive in cool and unbroken shade during the hottest June day, listening to the songs of Bobolinks, Red-winged Blackbirds, Swamp Sparrows, Yellow Warblers, Maryland Yellow-throats, Catbirds and other marsh- or thicket-loving birds . . . As the meadow is also bordered on every side by sparsely populated country, abounding in woods, thickets, cedar pastures and grassy fields, it offers to the bird lover one of the most attractive and interesting resorts to be found anywhere, at the present time, within easy reach of Cambridge.
Blair Pond in Cambridge,
on Blanchard Road, fills in with
mud flats from sediment. Summer.
South Belmont forest. The forest is open grasslands and wetlands.
Important transitions are between forest scrubland and river. Summer.