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Summerbridge Visits Alewife - Invasive Species Control
2nd Annual Visit, August 1, 2002
by Ellen Mass

Summerbridge youth from the Cambridge area, with teachers from around the nation, led by team leader, Joshua Billings brought 50 students and teachers to the Alewife Reservation Friday between rains to work with Stewart Sanders and Peter Alden in pulling black swallow wort, an ominous invasive plant which has gotten a foothold on the Cambridge-Belmont border at the west end of the Reservation multi- purpose path. For two hours, youth of all ages tried to find the root systems, and also get the pods which, when spread, will move even more rapidly than knotweed.

The problem with the black swallow wort which makes it more threatening to biodiversity is that it does not allow anything else to grow there, and even seems to supercede bittersweet. Federal historic sites and Walden Pond are having good success with Peter as instructor and pace setter in the invasive species field. Getting it early is the key. Try to note it in your surroundings and pull it while young. The point is to allow New England biodiversity to thrive.