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it's private
Annual meeting - March 3, 2004
Friends of Alewife Reservation
Notes and President's presentation

Friends of Alewife Reservation held its annual meeting to Elect a slate of officers and a Steering Board which was composed of Task Forces Alewife decision makers and noted environmental spokespersons were guest speakers..Forty members of the public attended to hear environmental speakers and elect the new Board and officers.

Wildlife Task Force is composed of Stew Sanders, secretary, Mark Kirk, treasurer from Belmont, and Mary White of Cambridge. Education Task Force is composed of President-Elect, Mike Arnott who is an AMC naturalist, and George Ehrenfried, geologist of Cambridge. Invasive Species Task Force is Peter Alden, author of Audubon Society New England Guidebook. Forest Preservation Task Force is Sally Alcorn of Belmont . Stewarding ( cleanups) is John Walker, architect and resident of North Cambridge. Lizzie Feigenbaum of west Cambridge Highlands neighborhood represents Blair Pond Task Force. The Alewife ARts Mural project Task Force is lead by Ellen Mass, president. This group recently received the Mass Cultural Council's Goldstar award.

FAR president and secretary committed its 04-05 priorities to, 1) pay closer heed to inventorying habitat of species, and addressing the needs of the wildlife from nesting box maintenance to alewife herring monitoring, 2) promote the Master Plan's Storm Water-wetland Basin and CSO separation plan that includes recreation and restoration, 3)Greater efforts to preserve the Belmont Uplands forest, 4) Preserve Blair Pond and stop further drying and dying.

Speakers who spoke to the needs and high environmental values for wildlife, water quality and for classroom and neighborhood enjoyment were Leg. Anne Paulsen representing the 3 towns surrounding the Reservation; Senior Dept. of Conservation and Recreation Senior Planner; Peter Alden, Naturalist and international Eco-Tour leader; Owen O'RIordan, City Engineer and Tri-Community Flooding group; Fred Paulsen, president of Mystic River Watershed Association.All spoke of the need to implement the Master Plan on a major transportation artery for access to the metropolitan regions unique wildlife refuge.

President's presentation

If our agenda is to take care of mother nature at Alewife, and teach ourselves and generations to come about our sacred charge. If we consider ourselves devoted o this goal, then we will listen very carefully to our special guests tonight who have responsibilities as decision-makers in this field of environmental protection. They are our gate keepers to our preservation aims and we must work with them to meet our noble goals. WE must preserve and restore our habitat and Wildlife areas, halt and remove some of the invasive species, hydrate our dying waterway areas of once wetland marshes and streams, And allow our Alewife their life cycle spawning grounds through the prevention of more silting of our river. These essential herring will continue the food chair in our mother ocean, a vital source of protein for larger fish and for future human life on planet earth.We have an opportunity to give great resources to this part of the watershed. And FAR wants to be a part of that process. WE will be taking up any difference of opinion on the Basin at our next Steering Comm. Meeting April 10 or 17.

You all know our purpose and role as a stewarding and education group, but this year, we've had to advocate for preservation of the main areas of the Reservation such as our forest, the Reservation's essential and isolated habitat core where hibernating and nesting is protected. WE've tried to attend to the serious decline of Blair Pond on the Cambridge/Belmont line which is an important source of water, habitat and hydrology for our Mystic River watershed waterways. We've done this VIA many walks, by attending many meetings, both relevant and not to our charge, ,organizing site visits and publishing and keeping reports, moving and hiring a consultant, etc.

We're most pleased to announce our 90 foot flora and fauna Alewife Arts Mural project which is now slated to put on the T early summer and everyone will know what Alewife is.

We welcome you tonight to help us monitor and continue the preservation goals of our organziation. We ask you to join our membership list and to join our stream team that we wish to carry forward for the next few years in order to be ON SITE stewards and friends ff the towns surrounding the Reservation city of Cambridge , Mass Water Resources Authority and especially to our public owners, the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation.

To all who will work to preserve Alewife forever.

I will share a few accomplishments with you this year and will have the honor of introducing our president- Elect nominee, Mike Arnott.

Stew will prioritize the o4/05 work ahead, much of which we have been trying to accomplish.

Mary will talk about FAR being ready to face the next few years, with some educational walk experience

George will talk about the tensions between urban development and natural resources, and will read our slate, and vote on them, many of whom are on board, and hopefully next year we will have more for our TASK FORCE based Steering Board. They are here tonight for you to talk with.

Mark will refer to the main points in the Treasurer's report and introduce our speakers with their credentials

Hopefully we will ajourn at a quarter to 9 so we want you to hit the Stream Team table.

Your packet includes these individuals, their background and environmental interests. Our accomplishments, treasurers report, news articles, flyer sent to all Belmont Town Meeting members, our earliest animal inventories and our arts mural project.

Unfortuantely we are almost out of our Biodiversity Books, Here is one and we will be having more printed, if you all become or renew your membership…TONIGHT. Sign up for one as we plan how many copies to order.

Your file also includes events coming up.

AT this time, I'd like to introduce Michael Arnott, our nominated president elect, who is an experienced community organizer, who has worked tirelessly within the Appalachian Mountain club to learn environmetnal skills and knowledge that will be invaluable to the Reservation work in the future.

Ellen Mass