Acting Director, Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration
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.
The View from Massachusetts posted on Sep 17
While Massachusetts can claim significant success in urban river revitalization, dam removal, cranberry bog naturalization and stream flow restoration, globally there are daunting challenges to restore highly impacted or vanishing ecosystems that will test the acumen of ecologists, engineers and politicians for years to come.
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September posted on Sep 12
September’s photo contest winner was Gary Kamen, who photographed Mount Warner Vineyard in Hadley. Mount Warner Vineyards is a farm-winery located in Hadley, a small town in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. Operated by Gary and Bobbie Kamen, their philosophy is to recognize the unique characteristics of …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September
Calling All Shuckers! posted on Sep 3
Do you know where the oysters you ate at the raw bar last night were grown? Do you know how oysters are grown? Oysters naturally inhabited the eastern coast dating back to the 1700s, but due to over-harvesting, disease, and habitat loss, wild oysters have …Continue Reading Calling All Shuckers!