Major Progress in Alewife Reservation Stormwater Wetland Construction
Constructed wetland will naturally process and improve stormwater entering the Alewife Brook and Little River
Over the past several months, the City of Cambridge has taken large steps forward in the construction of a 3.4-acre stormwater management wetland just west of the MBTA’s Alewife Station that will store and treat stormwater runoff before it enters the Little River, and will provide an urban wild for the community to enjoy.
Scheduled for completion in spring 2013, the wetland is designed to store and gradually release collected stormwater from the area around Huron and Concord Avenues. The wetland basin and new native wetland and upland plantings will reduce the stormwater flow, allow sediment to settle, and remove nutrients and pollutants from the water. Several types of habitats, ranging from deep marsh to riparian forest, will be created to enrich and enhance the biodiversity that already exists in the Alewife Reservation.
In addition to improving water quality, the project will provide the public with a space to enjoy passive recreation and environmental education, and includes an amphitheater, interpretive signage, overlooks and boardwalks. The project will also link the MassDOT bicycle and pedestrian path on both sides of the project.
The stormwater wetland is part of a larger project funded by Cambridge and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority to reduce overflows into the waterway from old sewer lines that combine storm runoff with domestic sewage, and is associated with the cleanup of Boston Harbor and streams flowing into it, including Alewife Brook, the Mystic and Charles Rivers.
Please visit the City’s website to learn more about this innovative stormwater management project and new urban wild at www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/cityprojects.aspx (select Cambridge Park Drive Area Drainage Improvements and Stormwater Wetland Project).
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Robert W. Healy
Richard C. Rossi
Deputy City Manager