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Video of Alewife Great Swamp Legacy Forum

Lesley University
June 13, 2018

This page links to videos of speakers at the Alewife Great Swamp Legacy Forum, which was initiated by Friends of Alewife Reservation and hosted on June 13 by the Lesley University Natural Science and Mathematics Division: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUvGG1uheQc-gaJXkqHPORQ/videos

The videos demonstrate why the Envisioning Process requires expansion into environmental arenas of ecology and hydrology towards more inquiry and adoption of watershed science principles. The primary reason is that the Alewife floodplain is the geologically defined Great Swamp, and this hydrology and some of our present ecology existed 18 thousand years ago when the Lauentide Ice sheet covered New England.

The Panel of speakers consists of engineers, climate specialists, Mystic River watershed monitors and environmental spokespersons calling for urgent attention followed by a movement toward the "natural systems" adaptation policies used throughout the world for preserving communies' natural resources. Such an approach supports construction of appropriate housing and commercial space needed for climate change survival and basic health and safety protections.

The panel takes into account and spotlights water quality requirements and hydrology, which is often missing from official reports, as well as species protection.

This video can be shared far and wide with friends, neighbors and those you may know who feel development is being permitted unwisely and dangerously for the future of our communities, especially in west Cambridge at Alewife.

Ignoring ecology and biodiversity is at the peril of future residents in these floodprone areas.

Videographer: Charles Teague
YouTube transfer: Amy Mertl
Video sponsor: Ellen Mass


  • Adam Sacks
  • Mike Nakagawa
  • Eric Grunebaum
  • Sarah Slaughter
  • Quinton Zondervan
  • Andy Hrycyna
  • John Pitkin
  • Amy Mertl- Moderator

*Thanks to Lesley University for hosting and promoting this event.

*Special thanks to host, Amy Mertl, Professor of Biology at Lesley, who has been working at the Reservation for years with Friends of Alewife Reservation, and is currently conducting a field study at the Reservation with a special permit for Blair Pond and biochar experiments.

Thanks for the silver maple forest video, which sadly did not achieve its end of preserving the forest.

With this Forum, we pay homage to the Belmont/Cambridge silver maple forest, a regional treasure and unsurpassable climate change benefit for many towns and several cities throughout the Alewife region, lost to development avarice.

Especially grateful to Charles for making a second copy of the videos after many transfer snafus and Amy for working through this. (These clips were almost lost.)

-Ellen Mass

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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.

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

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Updated Dave Brown Inventories (2008, 2010)

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