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National Day of Service at Alewife Reservation
January 19, 2013
Thirty volunteers from the Boston area came to the Department of Conservation and Recreation's Alewife North Trail to pick up debris. They also committed their services to the local Alewife animals. Because the only local predators that do not inhabit the Reservation are bear and bobcat. Smaller mammals require respites and areas where they can 'lay low' when being chased by the larger ones, or hide from an aggressive mate, domestic dog or another human. Volunteers crossed three bridges with streams and viewed the area around Little Pond and the silver maple forest, a woodlands hotly contested for the last 5 years by neighbors and FAR. Abutters homes could be seen from the shore of Little Pond, known for its flooding.
Families from Arlington, Cambridge and Lexington, Waltham, Jamaica Plain, and other places in Boston walked the muddy linear mile to Little Pond with children delighting in the piling of brush and large logs. The Gill family boys from Lexington imagined a hiding cottontail rabbit in it.
Friends of Alewife Reservation sponsored the event, noting the value of having a "service" day, called nationally by the Obama administration to exemplify important community work, and to commemorate Martin Luther King's civil rights legacy and the President's Inauguration.
Ellen Mass, President of FAR, and planner for the Day's event, noted that performing "service" for the protection of our region's open space flood plain and urban wildlife habitat fit nicely under that policy umbrella because volunteers are doing community work which demonstrates a widespread wish to protect this rare wilderness environment managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Cambridge residents, Quinton Zondervan, President of Green Cambridge, and daughter noted that the day had gone splendidly with everyone working hard to get trash, tires and decaying man-made materials from LIttle River, flowing from Belmont's Little Pond. Professional naturalist David Brown, FAR's Reservation wildlife assessor informed the group of animal behavior as they worked along the ecologically rich North Trail.
On the South side of Little River at Hill Estates and at Blair Pond, debris was collected with leaders Bill Ackerly of Cambridge and FAR Intern, Lena Cavallo of Weymouth. This is the group's second National Service Day. Three years ago, FAR's project was opening a mile long pathway from the Alewife T to Belmont's Blanchard Rd., in 6 feet of snow.