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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.
In this issue:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ).
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 .
See www.friendsofalewifereservation.org/sightings for more wildlife in Alewife Reservation.
Over 80 people attended a workshop at the Tobin School cafeteria on February 8. You can read the workshop agenda here.
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.
In this issue:
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.
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!"
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!
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 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 .
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 .
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!
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.
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 .
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 .
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 .
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.
In this announcement:
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).
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 .
Students from the Rindge and Latin High School Media Center have produced a phenomenal video about Alewife Reservation. Check it out here .
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
In this issue:
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 .
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.