Hundreds of volunteers dawning rain coats, work gloves and trash bags gathered in the steady, cold rain in Somerville, Malden, Cambridge and Medford to do their part to clean-up their local green space on Saturday, April 26th. These events were part of Mystic Community Earth Day – a coordinated effort by many community groups and organizations in the Mystic River Watershed to plan events for Earth Day (April 22nd). In 2014 – the fifth consecutive year of this initiative – twenty-one organizations coordinated nine Earth Day events in the Mystic communities of Winchester, Medford, Somerville, Cambridge, Malden, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop. Thanks to the many hundreds of volunteers who participated – together, we collectively removed well over 400 bags of trash, tires and debris! Below is a brief summary of the events.
Cambridge: Results of Alewife Earth Day Cleanup and DCR Park Serve Day could not have been better. Despite the lousy weather for a cleanup program, Friends of Alewife Reservation (FAR) was delighted to receive local residents and students from BU, MIT and UMass Boston. Sara Barbuto from the Mystic River Watershed Association assisted Ellen Mass of Friends of Alewife Reservation at the Alewife T stop where cleanup teams filled up on supplies and carbs to venture deep into the Reservation's 130-acre urban wild and newly constructed storm water wetlands. The goal was to clear the remaining abandoned encampment along the south Little River trail which had been left since the Fall.
Chelsea: On May 3rd seventy-five community members gathered at City Hall to take action in making Chelsea a cleaner environment. We collected over 100 bags of trash and recyclables along with 17 tires we took out of the marina. We also planted a tree on Bellingham Street to kick-off our tree project of planting 700 trees throughout Chelsea.
Medford: Friends of the Mystic River hosted its 19th annual Mystic River Spring Clean-Up, attracting 30 volunteers to cleanup Mystic Riverbend Park , Condon Band Shell park and in the Auburn Street/Boston Avenue/Route 16 area near Whole Foods Market. Among the more unusual items collected were a toaster and an ironing board.
Malden: Tri-City Community Action Program, Inc. (Tri-CAP) partnered with Groundwork Somerville and their sponsor, Comcast Cares that provided breakfast foods, gloves, and bags; Bike to the Sea; Friends of the Malden River; and Cambridge Health Alliance/Malden. This was Tri-CAP’s fifth annual Earth Day clean-up, which focuses on the Malden River. This year, due to the earlier good work of Malden’s Department of Public Works, there was less trash to pick up than previously. Cambridge Health Alliance’s groundskeepers have also been maintaining the river bank at their Canal Street site. As a result of these efforts, the 20 committed volunteers did the clean-up along the Bike to the Sea path from Medford Street, near the CHA site, to the Madeline English School in Everett. Approximately 10 large trash bags and 5 recyclable bags were filled.
Somerville: Mystic River Watershed Association, the City of Somerville, Groundwork Somerville, Gentle Giant Rowing Club and KEEN Footwear hosted a river clean-up at the Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville. The event was also part of Comcast Cares Day and BU's Global Day of Service. The more than 100 volunteers collected over 200 bags of trash along I-93 and the river, as well as planted and mulched the garden beds at the boathouse.