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

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: April posted on May 14

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: April

A lamb at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton. Photo by David Cawston April’s contest winner was David Cawston who photographed a spring lamb at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton. The Cummings School of   …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: April

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March

Girard’s Sugarhouse in Heath, MA.  The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually.  Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Heath. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he   …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February

  February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton.  This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission   …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February