Alewife Reservation Constructed Wetland Opens
Pictured left to right: Federal District Court Judge Richard Stearns, Cambridge City
Manager Richard C. Rossi, Owen O'Riordan, Acting Commissioner, Cambridge Dept.
of Public Works, Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis, MWRA Executive Director Frederick
Laskey, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard Sullivan, MWRA Board
Member Joel Barrera and DCR Commissioner Jack Murray. Photo by Catherine Woodbury.
After a long and collaborative effort between the City of Cambridge’s Department of Public Works, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the three agencies celebrated the grand opening of the Alewife Constructed Wetland just west of Alewife T Station along the Alewife Greenway Extension on Oct. 15.
The 3.4-acre wetland is designed to store and treat stormwater runoff before it enters the Little River. The new wetland will slow down the flow of stormwater through contact with a series of marsh systems, allowing sediment to settle, and removing nutrients and pollutants from the water. Several types of habitats, ranging from emergent marsh to riparian woodland have been created to enrich and enhance the biodiversity that already exists in the Alewife Reservation. The wetland also provides recreational amenities, including a boardwalk and scenic overlooks, environmental education opportunities, an amphitheater designed with seating for a class of students, interpretive signage, and links to the Alewife Greenway Extension’s bike and pedestrian paths.
“This newly constructed wetland not only improves water quality in the Little River and Alewife Brook, but also provides a new and unique recreational and educational open space for the community to enjoy,” said Richard C. Rossi, City Manager.
This project is funded by the City of Cambridge, MWRA and the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust through the Clean Water SRF program administered by MassDEP.
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).