Search results for 'wildlife'

CRWA Awarded Prestigious Fish & Wildlife Grant for Magazine Beach

10 Aug
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As part of this grant, we’ll be removing the phragmites that now fill the swale between the soccer fields at the park. Our goal is to return wildflowers to the site, restoring this habitat for birds and insects.

We’ve just heard the good news that the Charles River Watershed Association just received a highly competitive Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Program grant to improve the Charles River watershed at Magazine Beach and to engage the community in the process. The CNA is a partner in this grant providing community outreach and assisting with the development of educational and interpretative materials (working with Mass Audubon and the CRWA) relating to watersheds, water management and urban habitat.

With this grant we will restore wetlands, add and maintain rain gardens, and remove invasive vegetation—including common reed (phragmites), false indigo, Japanese knotweed and purple loosestrife. Work will begin in the next months and continue over the next two years. The idea is to incorporate these sustainable watershed features and best management practices as we renovate the park. Other partners include: DCR, the Cambridge Public Schools and Afterschools, the Charles River Conservancy, the Riverside Boat Club and the City of Cambridge. For more information, click here. Want to help out? Click here.

Wildlife at MB Oct.-Dec. 2015

5 Feb

Many thanks to the bird and critter watchers at Magazine Beach who are noting what they see and when on the Powder Magazine whiteboard. Among the creatures spotted between October 15th and the end of December were:

Canada geese, White geese, Seagulls, Sparrows, Cormorants, Downey woodpeckers, Golden crowned kinglets, Mockingbirds, Bluejays, Red-tailed hawks, Robins, Eastern phoebe, Chicadees, Scarlet tanagers, Goldfinches, Black-throated blue warblers, Mallard ducks, Northern shovelers, and a Great-crested flycatcher, Slate-colored junco, Catbird, Wood thrush, Brown thrasher, Grackle, Yellow warbler, Mourning dove and Great-blue heron.

Rabbits, squirrels, voles, crickets mosquitoes and a snake—seen in the water near the kayak landing.

This is the beginning of a seasonal record of wildlife at the park. Check out the nature just down the street!

A Summer of Fun

18 Aug

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Almost 1,400 attended our FREE summer programs at the park this summer–savoring the 17-acre open space for nature exploration, stories, magic, clown silliness, yoga, music, children’s games dance and art.

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Many thanks to our sponsors and partners who enabled this fun.

Sponsors: MIT (lead sponsor!), and Kimco, the Charles River Conservancy, Forest City and the Central Square Business Association.

Partners: the Department of Conservation & Recreation, the Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge Arts, Cambridge Community Schools, Blue Hills Observatory, Knucklebones, Mass Audubon, Make Music Boston, Green Cambridge’s Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project, the Druid, Jackie O’Riley’s Dance Studio and MIT’s Media Lab.

The summer isn’t over! Enjoy the pool until August 23 and the spray deck until Sept. 3. To picnicking, swimming and splashing at Magazine Beach!

Music, Dance & Light Painting–ALL, Sunday, July 29

28 Jul

© Bimal Nepal, BimalPhoto.com

Bring a picnic, your instrument, and your dancing shoes to the park for our 2nd Annual Traditional Irish Session, 5:30-7:30pm. Some of Boston’s best traditional players, including Joey Abarta (Uilleann Pipes), Tina Lech (fiddle) and Ted Davis (banjo/guitar) will play and Jackie O’Riley, of O’Riley Irish Dancewill lead free instruction in traditional Irish step! Thank you, the Druid, Jackie O’Riley and Brian O’Donovan, for bringing this amazing event to the park. Meet at the dance floor beside the pedestrian footbridge (at the foot of Magazine Street).

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Then, from 8-9pm, Laura Perovich of the Media Lab will bring us Light Painting with Art Boats, making light paintings on the Charles.  Meet behind the swimming pool to drive remote controlled boats that will paint the river.

Parking: If the park’s 3 parking lots are full, you can park in the neighborhood where it says residential parking only–it’s Sunday, and parking is easy in Cport. Better yet, though, take the T to Central Square, or bike or walk to the park.

Fly, Buzz & Honk! Festival on Friday Celebrated the Many Creatures With Whom We Share the Park

On Friday, the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project of Green Cambridge brought the Fly, Buzz & Honk! Festival to the park. An all-star cast including Mass Audubon, Ranger Jean of Fresh Pond, Green Cambridge, Meadowscaping for Biodiversity, and, of course, the CWFF,  led beetle, bee sock puppet and nature journal making, pollinator relays, nature exploration, and music, too. Thank you, all!

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Christmas in June!

30 Jun

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Friday, 120 teens from the Mormon Church from the Cambridge and New London areas volunteered at the park trimming hedges, digging up phragmites, and planting hundreds of wetland plants in their place in the eastern swale. Thank you to the volunteers, to the Charles River Watershed Association and the Charles River Conservancy for assisting them, and to the City of Cambridge for the plants! Thanks also to Home Depot for the heavy duty garbage bags to dispose of the rhizomes.

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And as if engaging 120 volunteers, and receiving hundreds of native plants wasn’t enough, DCR came and installed 5 new temporary interpretative signs about wetlands at the park. These signs are courtesy of a National Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant that the CRWA secured, working in partnership with Magazine Beach Partners, the CRC, DCR, Mass Audubon and the City.  They cover the themes: Cleaning Up the Charles, Wetlands at Work, Caring for Our Water, Make Way for a Healthier Wetland and Keeping the Charles River Clean. Check them out!

Also as part of this grant, we just published the final, summer issue of Nature Notes @ Magazine Beach: PDF MB Summer Newsletter.  To see the full set of seasonal newsletters, click here. Thank you Jeanne Strahan for her observations, research and writing and to Callum Griffith for his beautiful design! And many thanks to Brian Conway for the design of the gorgeous interpretative markers.

 

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Earth Day Cleanup & Kids, Bugs, Art

30 Apr

IMG_1365 (1)Saturday was spectacular and 80 volunteers, including Troop 56, Forward Financing, the BU Forensics Group, the Boston Kiwanis Club and Cambridgeport neighbors were there picking up sticks and trash and preparing a flowerbed for a wildflower meadow. Thanks to all volunteers and to the CRWA, CRC and DCR for organizing this annual event.

IMG_1037And then the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project brought Kids, Bugs, Art to the park, where children delighted in making bumble bee puppets, engaging in a nature scavenger hunt and talking with naturalists about the wonders of the park.

It just happened to be the most spectacular day we’ve had this spring and many were out savoring the day. May this be the first of so many more!

 

 

Nature Heroes Discover @ MB

5 Apr

Tuesdays, February-June, Paul Kelley from Mass Audubon brings Morse afterschool students to explore the park as Nature Heroes.

The Nature Heroes program at Magazine Beach was created to provide students from Morse Elementary the opportunity to make connections with a nearby green space. Topics we are going to cover include plants and pollinators, water quality, and predator prey relationships. One of my favorite quotes is; “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” (Baba Dioum, 1968.)  

 Through exploring Magazine Beach, learning about its past history as a powder magazine, and creating fun, new memories, students will develop a sense of place with Magazine Beach, empowering them to conserve its beauty and importance as a habitat for wildlife. My hope is that those who attend this program bring their friends and family out to Magazine Beach, and other green spaces in Cambridge, to spread the knowledge and love of such amazing nature in an urban setting. It’s all right there and all you have to do is look for it!

–Paul Kelley, Habitat, a Mass Audubon Sanctuary

Note: This program is funded by the CRWA’s National Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant. Its goal is to improve watersheds and cultivate stewards of them.

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A hawk appeared out of no where, within 25 feet of our Nature Heroes as they explored the park.

Interested in nature at the Park? See our spring edition of Nature Notes @ Magazine Beach.

Also… HELP! We Need Volunteers to Cut the Hedges at the New Canoe/Kayak Launch at Magazine Beach Park THIS Sunday, April 8, 9am-12noon

We’ve got to cut down the hedges ASAP at the site of the new, expanded ADA-accessible canoe/kayak launch & outlook BEFORE the red-winged blackbirds nest there. (Construction will probably begin in May, but the birds will begin nesting soon.)

PLEASE join us. We’ll have tools, water and some work gloves. Please bring work gloves (if you have them) and a snack. We’ll be meeting at the current boat launch at the end of the Cottage Farm Plant parking lot—the most eastern parking lot at the park.  Questions? Email or call Cathie of Magazine Beach Partners at 617-460-2716 or cathzusy@gmail.com. THANKS in advance.

 

 

 

What a Year–2017!

21 Dec

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We have moved from planning to implementing Phase II improvements. Hallelujah!

Physical Improvements

*In September DCR opened the new spray deck. Now they are removing the broken wading pool.

*Campbell Construction is under contract to make interior improvements to the Powder Magazine—adding 2 public bathrooms. Look for work to begin soon.

*Landscape designers CSS have prepared bid documents for the canoe/kayak launch and outlook. These will go out in January.

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Programming

*Magazine Beach Partners organized almost 40 programs, partnering with 12 groups and drawing almost 1,800 participants.

Additional

*The CRWA led a campaign to remove Phragmites from the eastern swale. While remaining rhizomes will certainly sprout in the spring, the battle has begun and the black tarp that covers the swale will discourage growth.

*MBPs has raised funds from the City, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, DCR and the community for the boat launch, outlook and interpretative signs.

*MBPS published fall and winter editions of Nature Notes @ Magazine Beach and Jeanne Strahan continued the wildlife inventory.

*MBPs spun off from the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association to become a separate 501c3.

Thanks to all who have contributed with money or time. None of this would have happened without you!

Please help support further improvements and programs by donating TODAY! Generous anonymous donors have offered a $10k challenge match, so your gift will double. Make checks out to “Magazine Beach Partners, Inc.” and send them to Marge Amster, Treasurer, MBPs, 10 McTernan St., Cambridge, MA 02139 OR contribute on Paypal. (Note: We’re still setting up our MBPs Paypal account.  You can donate to the CNA here and the money will go to MBPs.)

 

 

 

 

 

What a Year–2017!

20 Dec

IMG_9181 copy

We have moved from planning to implementing Phase II improvements. Hallelujah!

Physical Improvements

*In September DCR opened the new spray deck. Now they are removing the broken wading pool.

*Campbell Construction is under contract to make interior improvements to the Powder Magazine—adding 2 public bathrooms. Look for work to begin soon.

*Landscape designers CSS have prepared bid documents for the canoe/kayak launch and outlook. These will go out in January.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Programming

*Magazine Beach Partners organized almost 40 programs, partnering with 12 groups and drawing almost 1,800 participants.

Additional

*The CRWA led a campaign to remove Phragmites from the eastern swale. While remaining rhizomes will certainly sprout in the spring, the battle has begun and the black tarp that covers the swale will discourage growth.

*MBPs has raised funds from the City, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, DCR and the community for the boat launch, outlook and interpretative signs.

*MBPS published fall and winter editions of Nature Notes @ Magazine Beach and Jeanne Strahan continued the wildlife inventory.

*MBPs spun off from the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association to become a separate 501c3.

Thanks to all who have contributed with money or time. None of this would have happened without you!

Please help support further improvements and programs by donating TODAY! Generous anonymous donors have offered a $10k challenge match, so your gift will double. Make checks out to “Magazine Beach Partners, Inc.” and send them to Marge Amster, Treasurer, MBPs, 10 McTernan St., Cambridge, MA 02139 OR contribute on Paypal.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to the Over 330 Who Have Volunteered

19 Nov

Update: Another 22 volunteers help out today, December 2. Thank you! See photo of what the site looks like NOW way below.

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Forest Tze, a UMass Boston student, has dedicated 15 hours to this project. Thank you, Forest!

It was perfect in the swales this morning: 55˚ F with a light warm rain and mud everywhere—ideal conditions for pulling out phragmite rhizomes. They came out easily.

Removing phragmites is a meditation. There you are outside, in a beautiful spot with a big sky and good company, focused on accomplishing a physical task. While the project itself can seem overwhelming (and even futile), the task itself is satisfying and, especially today in the mud, even fun. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so dirty.

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The rhizomes are thick and extend in a web 3″-6″ deep across the swale.

I have developed extraordinary respect for phragmites. They dominate because they extend a web of 1/2”-¾” thick rhizomes that grow horizontally 3-6” below the surface. They’re strong and jointed like bamboo. They also spread by seed from their beautiful seedheads. A few weeks ago, on a windy day, we watched thousands of these seeds blow across the fields.

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Who knows why phragmites overtook the eastern swale? It wasn’t one of the 20 wildflowers planted there in 2009. Curiously, the “sister” western swale at the park is without them.

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The western swale is full of wildflowers and volunteer trees.

In the next weeks, Elisabeth Cianciola of the Charles River Watershed Association will lead a few more volunteer events to dig out the last rhizomes and then cover the site with black fabric that will stay down for 2 years. Then, wildflowers will be planted, which, we hope, will out compete the phragmites.

The whole goal of this project has been to replace the invasive phragmites with wildflowers again for the sake of biodiversity and to recreate a richer habitat for insects and birds. May we be successful.

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Eastern swale as of 12.2. The CRWA will be covering it with black tarp in the next few days.

Thanks to the over 330 who have already volunteered, to the others who will pitch in in the coming weeks, to the CRWA for leading this effort, to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation for funding it, to the Charles River Conservancy for partnering, and to the City of Cambridge for loaning tools and disposing of the waste. Working together, we’ve got a shot at success. This small project has been HUGE.