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Lesley University Professor Appeals for Preservation

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Robert W. Healy, City Manager
Cambridge City Hall
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139              25 October 2010

Dear Mr. Healey:

I am writing to urge that a hold be put on all permits to develop the silver maple forest and adjacent land in the Alewife region at least until the legal and regulatory issues referenced in the City Council Order of March 2, 2009 are resolved.

The silver maple forest is an irreplaceable natural resource for the entire community; it is not simply essential wildlife habitat (which it most definitely is) or an extremely important buffer for and extension of the Alewife Reservation (which it also is, most definitely). The silver maple forest also has great value for education at all levels and for passive recreational use by local residents, with all of the significant and increasingly recognized benefits of such uses. My students and I have been involved in the study and exploration of the local ecosystem for years. To destroy this habitat would have far too many negative repercussions for local ecology, hydrology, recreation, and education. The importance of the area is increasingly valuable in the era of climate change as well. It would be utter folly to let this habitat be built upon.

To preserve the multiple valuable benefits of this important land, I urge you as a citizen, an ecologist, and an educator, to put a decisive hold on all permits that the developer may request or require from the City, at the very least until the regulatory issues are resolved, with the end result hopefully being the preservation of this land as forest.

Thank you for your consideration of this appeal.


David C. Morimoto, PhD
Division Director, Natural Science and Mathematics
617 349 8226

Ellen Mass
Friends of Alewife Reservation
617 415-1884 office
617 290-4864 cell

186 Alewife Brook Parkway
Cambridge, MA. 02138