Sunday, November 16, 2008

BU Bridge Staging: Hearing At City Hall Annex at 8:30pm Monday Nov 17

The Department of Conservation and Recreation is appearing before the Cambridge Conservation Commission this coming Monday night, November 17, at 8:30 pm, in the second floor conference room, 344 Broadway, corner of Inman Street.

The DCR is asking for permission to put staging for BU Bridge repairs and a stormwater drainage system in the urban wild abutting the downstream side of the bridge. The work is set to begin in early 2009, take 3 years, and destroy this amazing habitat.

The wild abuts a bridge with 30,000 vehicles a day and thousands more pedestrian and bike trips. It's home to rabbits, hunting grounds for red-tailed and sharp-shinned hawks, a nesting place for migrating songbirds like Orioles and for waterfowl like Mallard ducks and Canada geese as well as the White Geese. Commuters by whatever means know and love this lovely meadow hidden among the traffic.

Despite it's responsibility of stewardship of this wildlife habitat, DCR doesn't seem to share the feelings of area residents and visitors. The staging and stormwater system DCR proposes could go elsewhere: the Reid Overpass can accommodate the staging, and the stormwater system could go on the upstream side of the bridge or connect to the DCR's drainage system at the Overpass rather than drain through the urban wild.

The DCR is also forging ahead with the project without adequate provision for human habitat--the agency has no plan for safe passage for pedestrians and bicyclists during construction. The agency told a meeting in Boston they'll study traffic patterns during the 3 years of work to determine what's best, rather than figure it out beforehand.

It's important for as many of us as possible come to the meeting Monday night to bear witness to the importance of our urban wild. We city dwellers don't have easy access to the habitats of officially rare or endangered species, but we do have this little miracle with its bunny rabbits et al.. Whatever decision the Conservation Commission makes, it will be important that it be a very public one.

It's better to attend in person, but if that's impossible, contact Conservation Commission Director Jennifer Wright with your opinion:

Looking for Volunteers for Blog

Hi Folks. Sorry to be so slow in getting our blog up and running. Marilyn has been bust attending meetings, and typing up notes.

We are looking for volunteers to help with the blog. We have lote of photos, and detailed information, but want to present it in a timely way.

Bloging is fairly easy, there is a simple "template" that you type into, and then click "publish post" and it come out like this!

So, if you have some time, and a desire to try your creative skills on our blog, send us an email to