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Cleaning and Environmental Teaching at Alewife

Conservation lessons go beyond books

April was an important month for spring cleaning and celebrating lifeforms and natural resources at Alewife. Friends groups of Alewife Reservation, Jerry's Pond and Fresh Pond all celebrated the coming of spring with cleanups and youth activities, leaving most of the Alewife area devoid of familiar trash, with the exception of the Route 16 rotary area. At Alewife and Fresh Pond, volunteer surveyors captured interesting species with cell phones, and noted plants, birds, and a newly reported reptile, the Northern Brown snake, identified by Earthwatch Research Director, Stan Rullman. At Alewife Reservation, residents and families from surrounding towns Somerville, North Shore and Cambridge came for the annual state-wide cleanup. Earth Watch visitor Mike Mulqueen taught visitors to post their species findings on the website, iNaturalist.com, which pools and ID's nature photos among common species within specific local or world-wide locations, e.g. Alewife urban wild. As participants located biodiversity, they also cleaned 6 sections of the Reservation by recycling materials and gathering large amounts of trash as requested by MA Park Serve Day DCR directives and duplicated across the Commonwealth. At Alewife Reservation, 6 cubic yards were removed. Jerry's Pond volunteers, including many neighbors and residents of Fresh Pond Apartments, collected nearly 3 cubic yards. Also on board at Alewife were the New England Aquarium Live Blue Service Corps under supervision of Evan Henerberry.

"The cleanup", said President Ellen Mass, "comes at a most important time, when high levels of Cambridge development are impacting the rare city resources such as recent presence of a dead swan and weakened duck, and turbid smelly water at the storm water wetland, preventing waterfowl nesting. Alarming water quality changes and colors were also noted just below new construction on Route 2 at the city wetlands by passers-by. FAR requested testing for the area's discharge areas which flow to Little River. Afterwards, a clean bill of water quality was given by Haley and Aldrich international consultant firm. Many monitors and stewards are needed to protect the open space along the 'Alewife Corridor', as the Earthos Insititute Tufts Symposium highlighted recently."


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winter wildlife walk Presentation Spotlighting Alewife Reservation
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Regional, National and International Climate Change
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About Friends of Alewife Reservation

The Alewife Reservation is a unique natural resource for the communities of Belmont, Arlington and Cambridge and home to hundreds of species, including hawks, coyotes beavers, snapping turtles, wild turkeys and muskrats, the reservation is a unique natural resource for the community.
Historical information (Powerpoint)

Friends of Alewife Reservation works to protect and restore this wild area and the surrounding area for the water quality, native plants, animals and over 90 bird species with paths for walking, running and biking, recreation, and for classroom education and research. We regularly steward and preserve the Reservation area for wildlife and for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

photo of nature walk
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By-Laws
About Friends of Alewife Reservation
Statement of Purpose
Virtual Tour
Right now, view the wildlife-rich North Trail of Alewife Reservation.
MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
Master Plan for Alewife Reservation
Citizen Forester newsletter archive
History of Cambridge
Free Download from Google Play
The Birds of the Cambridge Region of Massachusetts

by William Brewster 1906
Nuttal Ornithological Society

Biodiversity Study of Alewife Reservation Area: Species, Habitat, Ecosystems

Inventories by David Brown, wildlife assessor (2003, 2004.) Published by and available from FAR for $10. Write or call for your copy. (sample)

Updated Dave Brown Inventories (2008, 2010)

Inventories of Alewife Reservation Wetland Plants by Walter Kittredge, Botanist (2013)
 
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