Post Content

Tim Purinton

Tim Purinton

Acting Director, Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration

View Tim's Bio

While the Big Bad Bruins are the talk of the town and rightfully so – the New England Patriots have bragging rights in Massachusetts for sustainable design and in particular integrating ecological restoration into its operations. Gillette Stadium – fondly known as The Razor – and Patriot Place are located at the headwaters of the Neponset River and the stadium (formally a racetrack) used to literally sit on top of the river. The Neponset River Watershed Association held their annual meeting at the Razor this month, which I attended. Just before the official meeting took place, a tour of the restored river took place.

Prior to 2000, almost a mile of the river was sequestered in a culvert, hidden from the tailgaters that drank cans of Schaefer above it and the many revelers that filed in-and-out of then-Foxboro Stadium. In an effort to improve the stadium site, the river was shifted away from the stadium and daylighted (i.e., uncovered to the light of day) to re-create a natural stream corridor. http://www.neponset.org/AnnualMtg2011.htm

On one of my first days of work as a river restoration planner, I toured this restored reach. At the time, the riparian plantings (which are unique to river habitats) were relatively stunted and sparse and there was little diversity of habitat. This return trip, six years later, was revelatory. The river teamed with aquatic insects, tree swallows darted along the river corridor, and a dense canopy of green shaded the stream.

A key to any good restoration project is to see how well it blends into the surroundings, if done well, there should be little evidence of human intervention. While it’s difficult to completely block out Patriot Place, and, on game day, the roar of the fans, if you turn your back to the stadium and stand on bank of the Neponset River the tranquility of the river seeps in.

Written By:

Recent Posts

A Whale of a License Plate posted on Jul 28

A Whale of a License Plate

Wish your license plate was more identifiable? Want to save whales? Well, there is a way to achieve both of these at once. Perhaps the old saying about hitting two birds with one stone should be “do two cool things with one easy payment to the   …Continue Reading A Whale of a License Plate

Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster posted on Jul 23

Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster

Everything that you have been told about lobsters is a lie. Okay, maybe not everything. But despite the popularity of the lobster industry (and it’s a very popular industry—bringing in over $53 million dollars in Massachusetts alone), many popular beliefs about the lobster’s existence are   …Continue Reading Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster

Braille Trail Coming Soon to Watertown posted on Jul 21

Braille Trail Coming Soon to Watertown

The town of Watertown, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be opening a Braille Trail and a Sensory Garden, one of the few parks of its kind. Breaking ground on July 21st, this project hopes to be completed by late   …Continue Reading Braille Trail Coming Soon to Watertown