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

it's private

Wildlife thriving in Alewife Reservation
by Chris Helms, Cambridge Chronicle Staff

Beavers are back in Cambridge for the first time in more than three centuries. Naturalist Peter Alden sighted them recently at Alewife Reservation.

That's good news for the reservation, according to Alden and other experts who spoke last week about Cambridge's "urban wild." The 130-acre wetland west of the Alewife MBTA station is under severe stress from human activity and invasive plants that choke out needed biodiversity, panelists said. The session, sponsored by Friends of Alewife Reservation, drew more than 60 people to Lesley University last Thursday.

Alden showed slides of the animals and plants who visit or live in the reservation, including great horned owls, raccoons, coyotes, even wintering bald eagles.

"This is the one place in Cambridge where you can see these creatures," said Alden, an author of Audubon Society guidebooks. "We must do something to save them for the 100,000 citizens of Cambridge."

Consciousness-raising efforts by the all-volunteer Friends of Alewife have borne fruit, said Mayor Michael Sullivan. He credited the organization with making city officials "much more cognizant" of the fragility of the area.

"Very easily, the Alewife could have disappeared," said Sullivan, who admitted that when he was growing up, he didn't know the wetland existed. "The Alewife is one of those special places that was protected because no one knew it was there."

Full article (
(if this article is no longer available at townonline, it may be available as a cached page at )

Speakers at the panel (co-sponsored by Lesley University Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division and The Friends of Alewife Reservation):
  • Peter Alden, Audubon Society Guidebook author and international nature tour leader,
    migratory bird patterns and the wildlife value of the Reservation.
  • Nancy Hammett of the Mystic River Watershed Association
    an overview of the Mystic River watershed, its needs and future prospects.
  • Ingeborg Hegemann of the BSC Engineering Group
    plans for priority marsh restoration underway by Bulfinch and FAR.
  • Mike Nakagawa, a neighbor and member of the Alewife Study Group
    neighboring concerns and goals.
  • Mark Kirk of FAR
    an overview of the work and history of the non-profit and its role in the Reservation.
  • Catherine Woodbury from the city of Cambridge
    in behalf of the city and Mass. Water Resources Authority (MWRA) stormwater detention basin-marsh restoration model project and explain the large regional improvements containing native plantings, a fish spawning oxbow and a natural amphitheater with granite boulders.
  • Dr. David Morimoto of Lesley University’s Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division