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Protecting the Planet Newsletter

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has just published the November edition of its newsletter "Protecting the Planet: Delivering on the Promise of Sydney". You can check it out here .

Ecological Landscape Alliance Event

The Ecological Landscape Alliance has an event coming up where you can learn about the health and welfare of urban forests .

Germany to ban glyphosate in 2023

The German government has taken the bold step of agreeing to phase out the use of glyphosate, a widely-used herbicide that also decimates insect populations and is suspected to cause cancer in humans, by 2023. A similar campaign is needed here. Article.

DCR Citizen Forester: Join Tree Steward Training

The September 2019 issue of The Citizen Forester is here! The Citizen Forester is the monthly newsletter of the Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program. Learn how you can join the tree steward training.

In this issue:

  • DCR Participates in Yo-Yo Ma’s Day of Action in Pittsfield
  • Species Spotlight: Smooth Serviceberry, Amelanchier laevis
  • DCR Tree Steward Training - Registration Now Open
  • New Director of Forest Health at DCR – Nicole Keleher
  • Grants, EAB Update, Webinars, and more!
CSO Alerts Issued by City Engineer

The chief engineer for Cambridge issued alerts for CSO (combined sewer overflow) events in Alewife Brook on August 30 and September 2. Avoid contact with contaminated water and be especially careful with children and pets.

Keep up with Ecology scientists in Cambridge

The latest international climate science is always available from "Biodiversity for a Livable Climate," a non-profit think tank headquartered in Cambridge, MA that is dedicated to reversing global warming by restoring ecosystems. You can follow them and find out about the international conferences they host at local universities here.

DCR Citizen Forester, August, 2019

The August 2019 issue of The Citizen Forester is here! The Citizen Forester is the monthly newsletter of the Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In this issue:

  • i-Tree Global Science and Users Symposium
  • Species Spotlight: Chinquapin oak, Quercus muehlenbergii
  • DCR Challenge Grant Info Session - August 20, 10am-noon
  • Growing Greener - in Worcester
  • Grants, EAB Update, Webinars, and more!
2019 Massachusetts DCR Adaptive Recreation Opportunities

The Massachusetts DCR's Universal Access Program organizes opportunities for residents with disabilities (and their families) to participate in outdoor activities such as kayaking and canoeing. Spots are still available for programs at Lake Cochituate, Lake Quinsigamond, Pottapoag Pond and Walden Pond. More information is here.

Poor Water Quality Grades Once again for Little River

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mystic River Watershed Association issue a yearly water quality report card for the Mystic River watershed. Little River failed again, achieving a score lower than the previous year and a grade of D+. Read the report card here.

FAR and Green Cambridge hold a wildlife tour

The tour, conducted with the help of naturalist Dave Brown, was a part of the Exploratory Committees' legal process for investing in the area.

Photo by Friends of Fresh Pond

Summer Wildlife Learning Programs with Friends of Fresh Pond

Join Friends of Fresh Pond for their summer outdoor activities! Their program includes bird walks, woodland restoration gardening and other events. You can check their upcoming opportunities here.

DCR Citizen Forester, July, 2019

The July 2019 issue of The Citizen Forester is here! The Citizen Forester is the monthly newsletter of the Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In this issue:

  • Tree City, Tree Campus, and Tree Line USA Forum and Award Ceremony
  • Species Spotlight: Swiss stone pine, Pinus cembra
  • DCR Director of Forest Health, Ken Gooch, Retires
  • DCR Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners Announced
  • EAB Update, Webinars, Classes, Events and more!
How to transform sinking cities into landscapes that fight floods

Cities around the world are sinking as a result of climate change, but a noted landscape architect has described in a TED talk how intelligent development projects can help cities fight floods. Her project in Bankok, Thailand could serve as a model for Cambridge. Video.

Global Water Dance at Fresh Pond

On Saturday, June 15 the Cambridge Water Department, community groups and local residents came together to celebrate Fresh Pond. Events included live music, nature activities for youth and a Global Water Dance performance. You can watch a video of part of the performance here.

FAR Merger May Be Near

FAR is working with a local non-profit to merge its programs, filings, outreach information, including Mailchimp, donors and volunteers with a larger local and more active organization. See the May newsletter for details.

Photo by Larry Childs

A Reconnoiter down the old North Trail at Alewife

Regular visitor Larry Childs recently walked the Reservation's North Trail to prepare for a wildlife walk this Sunday, Jun 9. You can read his observations here.

Photo by Kathy Johnson

Four heron fledglings thrive near Jerry’s Pond

Regular visitor Kathy Johnson has been following the lives of a family of great blue herons nesting at Jerry's Pond. You can read the latest update here.

Photo by Kathy Johnson

Cygnets Arrive at Yates Pond

Regular visitor Kathy Johnson reports that the mute swan that has been diligently nesting at Yates Pond has revealed a flock of seven cygnets. Papa was there, too.

Belmont continues to try and improve conditions in Upper Alewife Basin

Belmont is working under a federal cort order to reduce the pollution it sends into Boston Harbor from leaks and connections of underground sewer pipes into the storm drain system. Currently, contamination flows through Cambridge's Little River and Alewife Brook in Arlington and Somerville. Read more here.

DCR Citizen Forester, May, 2019

The May 2019 issue of The Citizen Forester is here! The Citizen Forester is the monthly newsletter of the Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In this issue:

  • Growing Degree Days for Management of Insect Pests in the Landscape
  • Species Spotlight: Scarlet OakQuercus coccinea
  • 20,000th Tree Planted under Greening the Gateway Cities
  • DCR Challenge Grant Awards Announced
  • EAB Update, Webinars, Classes, Events and more!
Spring Cleaning at Alewife Reservation

Nearly 40 youth from Boston, Cambridge, Arlington and Somerville came to clean the Alewife Reservation on Park Serve Day, April 27. Volunteers removed car parts, metal barrels, shopping carts, beds, syringes and other trash. Many thanks to all. Pictures.

Green Budget Update: Good News

The Massachusetts House Ways and Means committee has released a budget that meets nearly all the goals established by the Green Budget Coalition (see the fact sheet and justifications. Thank you to our readers and supporters of the Massachusetts DCR for helping make this happen. More information is here.

Annual Earth Day Cleanup at Jerry's Pond on April 28

Friends of Alewife Reservation invites you to join fellow supporters of urban wildlands for the third annual Earth Day Cleanup at Jerry's Pond on April 28 from 2:30pm to 5pm. More information is available here for more information.

Park Serve Day at Alewife Reservation: April 27

Friends of Alewife Reservation invites you to join fellow supporters of urban wildlands on Park Serve Day on Saturday, April 27 from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Volunteers will work together to remove trash from Alewife Reservation, maintain trails and improve the health of the ecosystem in this floodplain region. See the flyer for more information.

Photo by Jake Osborne

Letter for Green Budget request from State Legislature 2020

The Green Budget Coalition has submitted a letter to the State Legislature recommending funding levels for state environmental agencies. You can read the letter here.

Photo by Kathy Johnson

Springtime for Kronker: Great Blue Mating Began March 1 at Jerry's Pond

Regular Alewife Reservation visitor Kathy Johnson observed Kronker, a long-term resident great blue heron at Jerry's Pond, and his mate returning to their nest. Check out some pictures here.

DCR Citizen Forester, March, 2019

The March 2019 issue of The Citizen Forester is here! The Citizen Forester is the monthly newsletter of the Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In this issue:

  • Myth-busting trees and landscape plants
  • Species Spotlight: Eastern HophornbeamOstrya virginiana
  • 2019 Abor Day Poster Contest - deadline: March 15
  • Emarald Ash BOrer Update
  • Webcasts, Educational Opportunities, Upcoming Events and more!

Photo by Jake Osborne

National Conservation Measure- Good News

The Senate recently approved a major bipartisan package of legislation that would greatly expand access to public lands in Western states, permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund and designate hundreds of miles of river as wild and scenic. Read more here.

Photo by Public Library of Brookline

FAR friend and Board member killed on bike

Paula was a good friend to many in Cambridge, and a tireless activist on behalf of nature, climate change progress, Alewife Reservation conservation and much more. She involved herself in all aspects of progressive change. Our condolences go out to her husband, Eric Zinman and family. She will be deeply missed.

Governor's 2020 Green Budget: A Very Long Way To Go- FAR from 1%

The Governor released his FY20 budget proposal earlier this month. Each of the four Green Budget priority line-items received an increase, but the total share of the state budget is still only 0.58%, far less than the 1% the governor campaigned on in 2014. We have a long way to go. More details are here.

Photo by Max Pixel

National "Green New Deal" Proposed

A Green New Deal has been proposed that would transform our economy and society at the scale needed to stop the climate crisis. You can read about it, and about the work of a recent climate justice workshop ("The Next Two Years and Beyond"), here.

Photo by Charlie Teague

Climate Change #1 Again in Cambridge at large gathering

Climate issues, as well as trees and parks, were ranked most important by neighborhood groups at a community forum held at the Citywide Senior Center on Saturday, January 12. You can read about the the forum here and read a response by FAR president Ellen Mass.

Photo by Stephanie Liu

Hanging Together Works: Two Little Pond Eagles

Regular visitor Stephanie Liu sent us a heartwarming video compilation of some of her pictures and videos of a pair of eagles at Little Pond to celebrate the new year. You can check it out here.

DCR offers Boston area winter holidays recreation

Winter is here, which means it’s time for adaptive outdoor adventures like cross-country skiing, sit-skiing, snowshoeing, kicksledding and ice skating! Check out the DCR's winter newsletter for more information.

Combined Sewer Overflow in Alewife Brook on Nov 25

A Combined Sewer Overflow (when stormwater runoff and untreated sewage flow into a waterbody) occurred in Alewife Brook on November 25. These events contribute to the high bacterial load and generally poor water quality of Alewife Brook and Little River. You can read more here.

Photo by Stephanie Liu

Eagle Family Observations At Little Pond

Regular visitor Stephanie Liu recently captured some images of a family of bald eagles feeding at Little Pond. You can check out her pictures and read her observations here.

Fall Alewife Wildlife Walk

A Wildlife Walk is scheduled for Alewife Reservation on Saturday, November 10 from 1-3pm. The walk will be led by lifelong naturalist and wildlife tracker David Brown. Meet at the Acorn Park Drive parking lot. More details are in the flyer.

DCR Citizen Forester, November, 2018

The November 2018 issue of The Citizen Forester is here! The Citizen Forester is the monthly newsletter of the Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In this issue:

  • Quickly Assessing Tree Canopy Cover
  • Species Spotlight: Dove TreeDavidia involucrata
  • Growing Greener – in Framingham
  • 2019 Arbor Day Poster Contest
  • Webcasts, Classes, Upcoming Conferences, Events, News, and more!

Photo by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects

Natural Systems: Major mitigator of climate change

Natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, peatlands and oceans sequester billions of tons of carbon. Harming such ecosystems releases that stored carbon into the atmosphere. You can learn more about how these ecosystems help us, and how we can help them, here.

To view previous news, click here .

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winter wildlife walk Presentation Spotlighting Alewife Reservation
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Regional, National and International Climate Change
Aggregated by David Landskov of Sustainable Arlington and FAR board member.
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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

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)
Phone: 617-453-8364
Email: alewife@greencambridge.org
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