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Friends of Fresh Pond Reviews its outdoor public benefits and lists February Programs.

Alewife Reservation and Fresh Pond Reservation are migratory flyways, and in the middle of the night serve as important wildlife corridors. Conservation measures in the area are required for preservation of rare natural resources. However, development of much of the outlying areas from these 2 Reservations will impact these resources.

We encourage Cambridge, Arlington and Belmont families and neighbors to participate in preserving this rare regional ecosystem from the Mystic River watershed for generational posterity. See a list of recreational opportunities sponsored by Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation here

Public Responses to draft CCPR are available for review and need to be publicized

The official public comment period for the draft Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience report prepared by the City of Cambridge ended on January 31, and the comments are now available for review. We need the existing responses publicized to make sure all Alewife stakeholders are involved. You can still have your say by posting in the 'Additional Feedback' section or supporting the feedback posted by FAR president Ellen Mass. You can read her feedback here.

International Biodiversity Group in Cambridge Brought experts together

In November of 2017, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate held a conference at Harvard University exploring how restoration of Earth's ecosystems might help mitigate (or even reverse) the impacts of Climate Change. You can read the conference program and watch videos from the many distinguished speakers here.

West Cambridge Developments now permitted at Alewife Quadrangle

Almost a dozen projects are currently under development and have been permitted in or near the Alewife Quadrangle. Most are located in the 100-year flood zone. A complete list of projects can be viewed in the City of Cambridge development log. You can also explore interactive maps showing developments planned for flood zones and the assessed value of vulnerable parcels.

DCR Citizen Forester, February, 2018

In this issue:

  • DCR Arbor Day Poster Contest
  • Mass. Tree Wardens’ Annual Conference
  • Species Spotlight: Staghorn sumac, Rhus typhina
  • Mass. Tree Wardens’ Annual Conference
  • Growing Greener: Concord
  • Webcasts, Classes, Upcoming Conferences, Events, News, and more!
FAR Alewife Symposium Thank You Letter

FAR president Ellen Mass has submitted a letter to the Cambridge Chronicle thanking the organizers of and participants in the recent Alewife Symposium Conference held at Tufts University. Sponsored by the Cambridge-based Earthos Institute, the conference brought together scientists, community advocates, city councilors and others to explore options for managing the Alewife area, with an emphasis on preserving its natural areas, in the face of a rapidly-changing climate. You can read the letter here.

Reminder: Alewife Corridor Resilience Symposium Starts January 19

Earthos Institute and Tufts University invite you to a symposium on Alewife corridor collaborative resilience. The symposium will bring together the Alewife corridor communities of Belmont, Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, and Winchester to look at the Alewife flood plain in its entirety, and explore collaborative scenarios for tackling issues of resiliency and climate adaptation. More information can be found here.

FAR Recommends Stormwater Wetland Project for Quad properties in Belmont

Proposed developments in the Quadrangle area of Belmont will raise flooding risk and further impair local water quality. FAR recommends construction of a stormwater wetland across the railroad tracks south of the wetland bordering Belmont to mitigate those risks. Parcels in the floodplain that could serve as the basis of a stormwater wetland should be purchased. You can learn about the successful stormwater wetland project near the Alewife T station here.

Photo by Jake Stout

FAR Responds to City Climate Preparedness Draft and requests others do so

FAR president Ellen Mass has drafted a report showing why remaining Alewife must remain open space. It contains links and references to many useful resources. FAR Response to City. The report includes a link to a history of Little River, including antique maps.

Details of the CCPR and instructions on how to submit comments are here.

More bird life on Alewife Little Pond

Some birds migrate south for winter, but these great blue herons spotted at Little Pond decided to stick around. You can watch a short video of them here.

Mystic River Watershed Association comments on city Climate Plans in watershed

The Mystic River Watershed Association, a valuable partner in protecting the watershed that includes Alewife Brook and Little River, has sent the City of Cambridge a letter raising several concerns with the Envision Alewife Plan released on November 20. You can read the letter with MyRWA's concerns and recommendations here.

Photo by Jake Stout

Alewife Wildlife Abounds in Winter

From the walk report:Today was a very cold day so we only went on the north side of little river. We saw hooded mergansers along the river, mallards, starlings, three blue herons, a red tailed hawk, and a pair of white tailed deer. Despite the cold there were many wildlife sightings. Overall a very nice walk. Check out pictures from the walk!

FAR responds to City Climate Change Display Presentation

On Nov 30, the City of Cambridge released a draft plan to minimize climate-related flood risks to Cambridge residents and businesses. Some local businesses and environmental advocacy groups, however, cited important concerns. Friends of Alewife Reservation President Ellen Mass suggested that restoration of porous marshland, which allows rainwater to filter into the ground, should be a priority. You can read local media coverage here.

Earthos Institute and Tufts University to host Alewife Climate Resilience Sympoium

Earthos Institute and Tufts University invite you to a symposium on Alewife corridor collaborative resilience. The symposium will bring together the Alewife corridor communities of Belmont, Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, and Winchester to look at the Alewife flood plain in its entirety, and explore collaborative scenarios for tackling issues of resiliency and climate adaptation. More information can be found here.

International Biodiversity Group in Cambridge brings experts together

In 2016, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate held a conference at Harvard University exploring Earth's biodiversity and how it benefits humanity. You can watch videos from the presentation here. The director of Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, Adam Sacks, has also written an article illustrating that biodiversity, not geo-engineering, holds the key to addressing climate change. That article can be read here.

America's First Day Hikes in our Region

The Department of Conservation and Recreation has announced dates for the the 2018 'First Day Hikes.' Family-friendly hikes will be provided on January 1 at seven state parks across the Commonwealth, as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative. Hikes at Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord (12pm) and at Breakheart Reservation in Saugus (10am) are the closest. You can read the full press release, including the complete list of times and locations, here.

Artwork by Stephanie Liu

Amazing water color of eagle at Belmont's Little Pond

Regular visitor Stephanie Liu has taken many great videos of bald eagles at Little Pond in Belmont. Now she has captured eagle behavior in another medium: watercolor! It really is an impressive work of art! You can see a larger image here.

Charles River Watershed Association Explains its Water Quality Duties

Developments proposed for the West Cambridge Quadrangle will add thousands of units and increase stormwater discharge (some of it contaminated with harmful bacteria) to Little River, which received a 'D' grade in the last round of federal water quality assessment. A rigorous water quality testing program, like that used by the Charles River Watershed Association in the Charles River, is needed in the Alewife subwatershed of the Upper Mystic River Watershed.

Video from the Climate Resilience Candidates Forum: Alewife Flooding Addressed

Many of the consequences of Climate Change will be felt at the local level, and how we plan for the future will determine our ability to sustain our quality of life. Cambridge residents had an opportunity to hear what candidates for City Council knew and thought about this important topic on September 26. Video of the forum has been posted here. Discussion of Alewife floodplain protections occurs at ~1:49:00.

Is Cambridge Climate Resilience Planning Left to Boston?

Climate change is here and it will dramatically affect the lives of Cambridge residents in the future. A recent article suggests that the lives and property of those residents will depend on the Coastal Resilience Solutions (including a sea wall) proposed by the City of Boston. Meanwhile, some meteorologists are saying our unusual weather is mostly related to an 'El Niño' effect. You can check out the Cambridge Climate Protection Action Committee's November Climate Bulletin here.

Picture taken by Christopher Addis

FAR and others lobby for Mass Parks and Water at Beacon Hill

Friends of Alewife Reservation president Ellen Mass joined Gabby Queenlan from Massachusetts Rivers alliance and others to advocate at the state legislature for parks and clean water. They met with Cambridge representative Mike Connolly. One of the primary goals was to call for an increase to the DEP and DCR budgets. The 'Lobby Day' event was sponsored by the Environmental League of Massachusetts. Picture. TV station WWLP provided coverage of this important citizen effort.

DCR Citizen Forester, November, 2017

In this issue:

  • Income, equity and the urban forest
  • Species Spotlight: Common witchhazel, Hamamelis virginiana
  • TREE Fund webinar
  • Grants, Webcasts, Events, Resources, and more!
Webinar Training for lobbying at the state house on behalf of parks and water

November 2 is Lobby Day at the Massachusetts State House, and the Environmental League of Massachusetts wants to help you learn how to effectively advocate on behalf of parks and water. They have organized a free online training event on Oct 30 from noon - 1pm that will cover the Lobby Day agenda, materials to bring, a 'Budget 101' and other useful information. You can register here. FAR needs your advocacy!

Picture by Maria Smith

Aquarium Volunteers Team Up with Friends of Alewife Reservation for Cleanup

Volunteers from the New England Aquarium 'Live Blue Service Corps' came to Alewife Reservation to help remove wood pallets found in Little River.The volunteers also mapped invasive vegetation so FAR could apply to the Conservation Commission for permission to do further cuttings. Pictures.

To view previous news, click here .

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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)

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