Friends of Alewife Reservation (FAR)        Join Email List     DONATE!
Get email when website is updated

it's private
FAR success — canoeing upstream to Little Pond
Mural Art Students Canoe on Little River
July 23, 2004

Little River flows into Alewife Brook, reaches the Mystic River in Medford, and continues to the Boston Harbor and Atlantic Ocean, bringing a number of municipalities together via their connection to the water, and its contents from upstream ponds, streams, rivers and lakes.

Friday morning, Somerville and Cambridge youth met each other at the DCR parking lot in the Bulfinch Discovery Park complex formerly (MDC), to share water and art experiences at the Friends of Alewife Reservation fourth annual canoe event. A practice trip revealed shallow low flow with a number of blockages. The silted condition may totally obstruct the passage for the Alewife herring and recreational canoers next year say watershed specialists. Many river spots are no more than a foot deep and carp spend their lives in the mud. "This is the first time in 30 years", says Stew Sanders, "that Alewives have not been seen to spawn at Little Pond." The day of the ride, however, the River had risen several inches, enough from the East Bulfinch lot to Little Pond in Belmont to allow visual and bonding experienced for the art directed youth. Participants from Cambridge were: Anika Ahlberg, Chris Ayube and Christina Groeger. Somerville youth were: Deja Williams, Sidia Lecell, Cotyia Gomes, Jesse Almanzar.

Sanders, leader of the trip, gave novice students an extensive lesson in canoe paddling and cooperation between bow and stern. Alewife water passage requires maneuvering around sand bars and fallen trees. Wildlife seen on the trip were muskrat, Canada goose colony, muted swans with chicks, two large snapping turtles, many carp, a few small fish, great blue heron, and black crowned night heron. The red and silver maples lined the banks, with button bush, mulberry, and river bank vegetation. Cat birds, song sparrows, gold finches and tree swallows were noted by the students.