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FAR Wins Financial Support from State for Education
at the New Wetland-Stormwater Restoration Project

FAR has received money for writing, designing and publishing a high quality Brochure for the general visitor to the Alewife Reservation for the new stormwater-wetland model that has been designed by city, state and Bioengineering firm for the regional wildlife conservation and recreational area at the Alewife Reservation.

The brochure will explain to the public how to understand and navigate through the new marsh restoration, spawning Alewife oxbow, forebay area, walkways, bike and access path, large teaching amphitheater, the tens of thousands of plantings and expected wildlife to come as a result of the New England model.

The Brochure will be developed by the FAR Stream Team. Maps and illustrations of the Reservation and the new restoration area will be included.

Information above added to website January 7, 2005
Information below added to website January 25, 2005



Stream Team Implementation Award FY2005

Brochure and Guide for constructed wetland project at Alewife Reservation



Friends of Alewife Reservation (FAR) was started in the fall of 1998 as an Urban Wilderness Committee to call attention to the Alewife Reservation as valuable open space within a larger city-wide environmental group.† In 1999 FAR partnered with Riverways Adopt-A-Stream Program to establish a Stream Team that conducted a Shoreline Survey of the streams in the reservation and produced an Action Plan for the streams and adjacent banks.


†After 4 years of consistent growth, the organization has become an official non-profit, has a steering committee and brings consistent activity to the Reservation. This friends group has made the Alewife Reservation known as an important environmental center, as a drainage basin for three towns and as an important wetland and floodplain resource.


Over the past 5 years, FAR has worked with many volunteers, elected officials, Alewife area groups, and the Mystic River Watershed Association. FAR has conducted over 50 cleanups and 60 other events, including tours, biodiversity walks and docent trainings. Participants have included elementary school pupils and students from local colleges and universities that have environmental tree and forestry teaching requirements, adults and area businesses. FAR works with youth groups and promotes public and private school use of the Reservation for science and biodiversity curriculums. Seven Cambridge schools used the area for field studies during the 2004 Biodiversity Days. FAR does two newsletter mailings per year and has an electronic newsletter that comes out weekly with news of local regional and national relevance. Since its inception, FARís goal has been to understand and bring attention to the existing conditions in the Reservationís 115 acres of wetlands and floodplain, and its wildlife, ecology and biodiversity.


The organizationís current challenge is to increase its constituency of environmentally grounded youth, watershed professionals, officials and corporate funders and to catalyze more neighborhood and greater city official participation in order to meet the goals of implementing a master plan recently created by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Strong community advocacy and educational campaigns are needed to gain buy-in and cooperation from the surrounding communities to advance solutions to clean up their waterways despite prohibitive costs.



The Alewife watershed urban forest includes at its heart, the Alewife Reservation, a 115 acre urban wild, the largest untouched urban wild in the Boston area. This is a rare and complex ecosystem, in the middle of an urban setting governed by 3 municipalities and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The Alewife Reservation serves a diverse community, due to access via the MBTA (Red Line), and a growing network of bikeways to Arlington, Somerville and Belmont, and due to its proximity to an ethnically, racially, and economically diverse population in North Cambridge. The Reservation has become a valuable source of recreation and learning in Cambridge, and beyond it to the greater metropolitan area. It is connected to the surrounding communities by patches of forested areas. Some sections have healthy groves of quaking aspen, paper birch, and silver maples.


The Alewife Reservation contains a bike path that is used by commuters as well as local citizens, and is used heavily for nature study and bird watching. Because of its habitat diversity, the Reservation is important for migratory birds as well as resident mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. An excellent Master Plan for the Reservation was recently completed by DCR which contains strong recommendations for removing invasive species and for using the Reservation for recreation and nature study.


The City of Cambridge has been mandated to separate all combined sewers and to treat and manage stormwater before it enters Alewife Brook. To do this, the city will be constructing a stormwater wetland within Alewife Reservation which will have a considerable impact on the habitats and ecology of the area. During the construction of this wetland, invasive and native species will be removed and the area will be replanted with specific native species. This project is currently in the design phase and FAR is reviewing the planting and habitat design plans for the proposed wetland.


The design for this eight acre wetland is ambitious and includes a sediment forebay, high marsh, low marsh, emergent marsh and riparian woodland areas. The plans also include a natural teaching amphitheater, an extensive boardwalk, benches and observation areas. FAR will be designing a brochure that will describe the new plantings and habitats that will be present in the constructed wetland using diagrams created by the Cityís consultant, The Bioengineering Group, as a guide for visitors. The emphasis of this brochure will be the specific habitat types, their location, and best vantage points within the walking trails of the eight acre wetland and other features of the area for public use.




1.       Develop content and design for the brochure using available information and diagrams on flora and fauna of the reservation from the Cityís planning documents, local knowledge and other sources:

  • Hold at least 2 meetings with FAR Stream Team members to develop content, text and design and review design with Riverways staff.
  • Edit and finalize text and choose photographs.

2.       Provide preliminary design plans including text, diagrams and photographs for brochure layout.

3.       FAR will obtain final layout and camera-ready brochure for printing.

4.       Print 2000 two-color copies of brochure.

5.       Distribute brochure to members of the community and the FAR mailing list, use at the FAR kiosk at the entrance to the Reservation, and use during outreach events.

6.       Project Reporting: complete final report to be submitted to the Adopt-A-Stream Program to include an overview of project success, final tally of in-kind services and volunteer hours, final brochure, copies of any outreach or publicity and lessons learned.


Special Note:

All written materials distributed associated with the above project, i.e. brochure, press releases, summary reports, etc., whether printed or in digital form, should carry the following acknowledgement: ďThis project is funded in part by the Riverways Program of the Department of Fish and Game.Ē


1.       2000 two-color printed brochures created for distribution at the Reservation and through FAR activities.

2.       Final Report (2 hard copies and an electronic copy.)


The work, as described in the Scope of Services above, will be completed by June 30, 2005.

Requests for Reimbursement for work completed in the Scope of Services, as outlined above, should be submitted in accordance with timeline milestones. Applicable segments of completed work must accompany all Requests for Reimbursement.

February/March††††††††††††††††††††††† Stream Team meets and designs content for brochure

April†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Brochure completed by Bioengineering Group

May/June††††††††††††††††††††† Brochure Printed and distributed


Funding requested

from Riverways

Other Funding or Donation


Brochure Printing

2000 copies




Publicity and Mailing




Volunteer labor for brochure design

30 hours @ $20/hour




Project Coordination

30hrs @ $20/hr




Design Layout

2hrs @ $60/hr




TOTAL Project Costs





Ellen Mass

P.O. Box 161

1770 Mass Ave.

Cambridge, MA