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FAR and Green Cambridge hold a wildlife tour

The tour, conducted with the help of naturalist Dave Brown, was a part of the Exploratory Committees' legal process for investing in the area.

Cambridge Chronicle Updates Wheeler St. Courtyard Case

The Cambridge Chronicle has published an update on the status of the development that is threatening a rare and valuable arboretum at 55 Wheeler St. Twenty Cambridge residents have appealed to Mass DEP. You can read the full article, written by Ellen Mass and Kathy Johnson, here.

Photo by Friends of Fresh Pond

Summer Wildlife Learning Programs with Friends of Fresh Pond

Join Friends of Fresh Pond for their summer outdoor activities! Their program includes bird walks, woodland restoration gardening and other events. You can check their upcoming opportunities here.

DCR Citizen Forester, May, 2019

The July 2019 issue of The Citizen Forester is here! The Citizen Forester is the monthly newsletter of the Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In this issue:

  • Tree City, Tree Campus, and Tree Line USA Forum and Award Ceremony
  • Species Spotlight: Swiss stone pine, Pinus cembra
  • DCR Director of Forest Health, Ken Gooch, Retires
  • DCR Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners Announced
  • EAB Update, Webinars, Classes, Events and more!
How to transform sinking cities into landscapes that fight floods

Cities around the world are sinking as a result of climate change, but a noted landscape architect has described in a TED talk how intelligent development projects can help cities fight floods. Her project in Bankok, Thailand could serve as a model for Cambridge. Video.

Global Water Dance at Fresh Pond

On Saturday, June 15 the Cambridge Water Department, community groups and local residents came together to celebrate Fresh Pond. Events included live music, nature activities for youth and a Global Water Dance performance. You can watch a video of part of the performance here.

FAR Merger May Be Near

FAR is working with a local non-profit to merge its programs, filings, outreach information, including Mailchimp, donors and volunteers with a larger local and more active organization. See the May newsletter for details.

Photo by Larry Childs

A Reconnoiter down the old North Trail at Alewife

Regular visitor Larry Childs recently walked the Reservation's North Trail to prepare for a wildlife walk this Sunday, Jun 9. You can read his observations here.

Photo by Kathy Johnson

Four heron fledglings thrive near Jerry’s Pond

Regular visitor Kathy Johnson has been following the lives of a family of great blue herons nesting at Jerry's Pond. You can read the latest update here.

Photo by Kathy Johnson

Cygnets Arrive at Yates Pond

Regular visitor Kathy Johnson reports that the mute swan that has been diligently nesting at Yates Pond has revealed a flock of seven cygnets. Papa was there, too.

Belmont continues to try and improve conditions in Upper Alewife Basin

Belmont is working under a federal cort order to reduce the pollution it sends into Boston Harbor from leaks and connections of underground sewer pipes into the storm drain system. Currently, contamination flows through Cambridge's Little River and Alewife Brook in Arlington and Somerville. Read more here.

DCR Citizen Forester, May, 2019

The May 2019 issue of The Citizen Forester is here! The Citizen Forester is the monthly newsletter of the Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In this issue:

  • Growing Degree Days for Management of Insect Pests in the Landscape
  • Species Spotlight: Scarlet OakQuercus coccinea
  • 20,000th Tree Planted under Greening the Gateway Cities
  • DCR Challenge Grant Awards Announced
  • EAB Update, Webinars, Classes, Events and more!
Spring Cleaning at Alewife Reservation

Nearly 40 youth from Boston, Cambridge, Arlington and Somerville came to clean the Alewife Reservation on Park Serve Day, April 27. Volunteers removed car parts, metal barrels, shopping carts, beds, syringes and other trash. Many thanks to all. Pictures.

Green Budget Update: Good News

The Massachusetts House Ways and Means committee has released a budget that meets nearly all the goals established by the Green Budget Coalition (see the fact sheet and justifications. Thank you to our readers and supporters of the Massachusetts DCR for helping make this happen. More information is here.

Annual Earth Day Cleanup at Jerry's Pond on April 28

Friends of Alewife Reservation invites you to join fellow supporters of urban wildlands for the third annual Earth Day Cleanup at Jerry's Pond on April 28 from 2:30pm to 5pm. More information is available here for more information.

Park Serve Day at Alewife Reservation: April 27

Friends of Alewife Reservation invites you to join fellow supporters of urban wildlands on Park Serve Day on Saturday, April 27 from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Volunteers will work together to remove trash from Alewife Reservation, maintain trails and improve the health of the ecosystem in this floodplain region. See the flyer for more information.

Photo by Jake Osborne

Letter for Green Budget request from State Legislature 2020

The Green Budget Coalition has submitted a letter to the State Legislature recommending funding levels for state environmental agencies. You can read the letter here.

Photo by Clark Abt

Attorney Files DEP Complaint over 55 Wheeler St; Courtyard Arboretum

Environmental law attorney Jamy Buchanan Madeja has submitted a letter requesting that MassDEP require the developers of 55 Wheeler St to submit an alternative design that omits destruction of the courtyard arboretum. You can read the full letter here.

Photo by Kathy Johnson

Springtime for Kronker: Great Blue Mating Began March 1 at Jerry's Pond

Regular Alewife Reservation visitor Kathy Johnson observed Kronker, a long-term resident great blue heron at Jerry's Pond, and his mate returning to their nest. Check out some pictures here.

DCR Citizen Forester, March, 2019

The March 2019 issue of The Citizen Forester is here! The Citizen Forester is the monthly newsletter of the Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In this issue:

  • Myth-busting trees and landscape plants
  • Species Spotlight: Eastern HophornbeamOstrya virginiana
  • 2019 Abor Day Poster Contest - deadline: March 15
  • Emarald Ash BOrer Update
  • Webcasts, Educational Opportunities, Upcoming Events and more!

Photo by Jake Osborne

National Conservation Measure- Good News

The Senate recently approved a major bipartisan package of legislation that would greatly expand access to public lands in Western states, permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund and designate hundreds of miles of river as wild and scenic. Read more here.

Photo by Public Library of Brookline

FAR friend and Board member killed on bike

Paula was a good friend to many in Cambridge, and a tireless activist on behalf of nature, climate change progress, Alewife Reservation conservation and much more. She involved herself in all aspects of progressive change. Our condolences go out to her husband, Eric Zinman and family. She will be deeply missed.

Neighbors Gather to Prevent Devastation of Precious Arboretum

Over 30 dedicated neighbors turned out on the cold evening of February 11 to raise awareness about the peril faced by the rare arboretum at the former Abt campus. Check out some pictures and a video of the march, which was seen by hundreds of drivers.

Historical Society Highlights Abt Associates Campus

Last October the Cambridge Historical Commission began releasing pictures and other documents highlighting the history of the former Abt Associates campus at 55 Wheeler St. The first batch of information consists of pictures and a brief history of the building. You can read more here.

Governor's 2020 Green Budget: A Very Long Way To Go- FAR from 1%

The Governor released his FY20 budget proposal earlier this month. Each of the four Green Budget priority line-items received an increase, but the total share of the state budget is still only 0.58%, far less than the 1% the governor campaigned on in 2014. We have a long way to go. More details are here.

Call and gather to prevent devastation and danger to the neighborhood

Neighbors and tree lovers are encouraged to fight to protect the unique trees at 55 Wheeler St by contacting City government officials and assembling for a rally on Monday, Feb 11th at 6:00pm. More information is on this flyer.

Retired engineer Clark Abt Critiques New Owner Plans

Highly knowledgeable professionals are discussing the questionable path chosen by 55 Wheeler St. developers in their December 2017 Design Plans to remove the trees in the courtyards at 55 Wheeler. You can read a letter from Clark Abt of Abt Associates here.

Photo by Max Pixel

National "Green New Deal" Proposed

A Green New Deal has been proposed that would transform our economy and society at the scale needed to stop the climate crisis. You can read about it, and about the work of a recent climate justice workshop ("The Next Two Years and Beyond"), here.

City Update on Wheeler St Trees

While the city Tree Ordinance is in the midst of heated discussion, and the Council has not voted on the new Zondervan Amendment for permits for larger private property trees, nor agreed upon revision of the Tree Ordinance, with competent enforcements, a tree cutting moratorium must be in place to protect the rare large trees at the Wheeler St. arboretum here and elsewhere in the city. Read a letter from the DPW Commissioner to City Councilor Quinton Zondervan here.

Photo by Charlie Teague

Climate Change #1 Again in Cambridge at large gathering

Climate issues, as well as trees and parks, were ranked most important by neighborhood groups at a community forum held at the Citywide Senior Center on Saturday, January 12. You can read about the the forum here and read a response by FAR president Ellen Mass.

Photo by Stephanie Liu

Hanging Together Works: Two Little Pond Eagles

Regular visitor Stephanie Liu sent us a heartwarming video compilation of some of her pictures and videos of a pair of eagles at Little Pond to celebrate the new year. You can check it out here.

DCR offers Boston area winter holidays recreation

Winter is here, which means it’s time for adaptive outdoor adventures like cross-country skiing, sit-skiing, snowshoeing, kicksledding and ice skating! Check out the DCR's winter newsletter for more information.

City investigates transparency in Redgate and WestBrook Special Permit submissions

The City has finally taken steps, after intense public scrutiny and advocacy, to begin to investigate the omission of a Tree Study from the Special Permit for the proposed project at 55 Wheeler St. Letter to the councillors. Famed Clark Abt, founder of ABT Assoc., has also called for sparing courtyard trees.

Photo by Andrew Hobby

City and Envisioning Process Ignore Rare Arboretum

Can Redgate and WestBrook Partners misrepresent the existing tree canopy in their newly purchased arboretum as they did in the December 2017 Planning Board meeting? Can a building permit be given when an accurate tree study report has not been given or approved by the city arborist? FAR encourages these unanswered questions be pursued. Op-ed.

Combined Sewer Overflow in Alewife Brook on Nov 25

A Combined Sewer Overflow (when stormwater runoff and untreated sewage flow into a waterbody) occurred in Alewife Brook on November 25. These events contribute to the high bacterial load and generally poor water quality of Alewife Brook and Little River. You can read more here.

Photo by Stephanie Liu

Eagle Family Observations At Little Pond

Regular visitor Stephanie Liu recently captured some images of a family of bald eagles feeding at Little Pond. You can check out her pictures and read her observations here.

Fall Alewife Wildlife Walk

A Wildlife Walk is scheduled for Alewife Reservation on Saturday, November 10 from 1-3pm. The walk will be led by lifelong naturalist and wildlife tracker David Brown. Meet at the Acorn Park Drive parking lot. More details are in the flyer.

DCR Citizen Forester, November, 2018

The November 2018 issue of The Citizen Forester is here! The Citizen Forester is the monthly newsletter of the Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In this issue:

  • Quickly Assessing Tree Canopy Cover
  • Species Spotlight: Dove TreeDavidia involucrata
  • Growing Greener – in Framingham
  • 2019 Arbor Day Poster Contest
  • Webcasts, Classes, Upcoming Conferences, Events, News, and more!
Tree massacre planned for Alewife Floodplain

Developer Westbrook Partners wants to build 526 units at 55 Wheeler St in Cambridge. The project, in its current form, will remove many beautiful trees, some over 60 years old. A building permit has not been issued yet, so we might still be able to get the design altered. Letter to the editor on Wheeler St Trees (including pictures).

Photo by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects

Natural Systems: Major mitigator of climate change

Natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, peatlands and oceans sequester billions of tons of carbon. Harming such ecosystems releases that stored carbon into the atmosphere. You can learn more about how these ecosystems help us, and how we can help them, here.



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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.

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Right now, view the wildlife-rich North Trail of Alewife Reservation.
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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)
 
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