Trash Talk: Removing Litter from the Mystic River

All too often, litter on the street ends up the Mystic River. In partnership with the EPA, the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) is developing a long-term plan to target the high-trash areas in our watershed and prevent this trash from entering the river in the first place. This April we’re launching a two-phase study of litter in the watershed, and we’re inviting you to participate in this impactful project.

In phase one of this study--done at your leisure from April 1-April 20––you can help us get a big picture of the overall trash problem in our watershed by performing a visual assessment of litter in priority areas. This quick and indispensable measurement helps us determine the most polluted areas for further study. We’ll send you the location and the protocol. It's easy, and we'll explain it all! Sites will take approximately one hour to cover and are located in Medford, Somerville, Everett and Malden. 

On Earth Day, Saturday, April 21st, MyRWA is hosting a cleanup event at Torbert MacDonald Park in Medford, where we will begin categorizing and removing litter from the park. You can help us categorize and remove trash from around both the park and at various locations in the watershed. This helps determine what type of trash is most prevalent and where the major litter sources are located. The data you collect will then inform priority decisions on how to keep the Mystic trash-free! 

We're also committed to helping you reduce plastic consumption, too– the first 100 people to register will be gifted a reusable water bottle, courtesy of Wegman's! We invite all volunteers to join us for a picnic lunch after the cleanup.

All volunteers should meet at Torbert MacDonald State Park parking lot off of Mystic Valley Parkway/Route 16 in Medford, which is accessible by public transportation (Wellington Station on the Orange Line) and has complimentary parking available. Survey volunteers will meet at Torbert MacDonald Park to go over protocol and then drive separately to survey locations.