Save Cambridge's Silver Maple Forest
  • Petitioned Rick Sullivan

This petition was delivered to:

Secretary of Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Rick Sullivan
Massachusetts Governor

Save Cambridge's Silver Maple Forest

    1. Petition by


Cambridge and Belmont's silver maple forest is one-of-a-kind forest ecosystem, nearly a century old, that is  bordered by the Department of Conservation and Recreation  (DCR) 115 acre Alewife Reservation,  metro-Boston's largest contiguous open urban wild space. The woodland, located between Cambridge, Belmont and Arlington, spans the region's Native American, agricultural and industrial history. The 15 acre forest, which includes wetland and marsh areas, is targeted for deforestation by developers in order to create a large apartment complex.  The adjacent Reservation is home to coyote, otter, fox, deer, and over 90 bird species that  require the forest's diverse habitat for their survival. Development displaces natural absorption by the maples, sending millions of gallons of stormwater runoff with each rainfall into an already taxed Little River/Alewife Brook waterways system. These high flows and pollutants from the building and  parking lots increase the risk of contamination and flooding for downstream communities, as stormwater moves towards the Mystic River and Boston Harbor.

Deforestation means a rare wildlife refuge gem, easily accessible for education and recreation via the Alewife T, will be permanently eliminated. The towns of Belmont, Arlington and city of Cambridge have the option to buy the property, but need support from the Governor and State Agencies to halt permits until the neighbors have their day in Superior Court soon.

Tell Deval Patrick and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs:

Save the Silver Maple Forest!



Recent signatures


    1. Massachusetts Forest Goes On the Chopping Block

      Even as record flooding threatens much of the South, Cambridge and nearby Belmont in Massachusetts have chosen to build an apartment complex on what is now a wetland. Another name for the area is the Alewife Reservation, home to a silver maple forest...

    2. Reached 1 signatures
    3. Massachusetts Silver Maple Forest Goes to High Court

      In an historic building in Woburn, MA on Wednesday the plaintiffs defending the Alewife Reservation's silver maple forest will have a chance to save a rare urban resource.
      The leaves of these maples shine pale gray on one side, and their root systems...

    4. Reached 750 signatures
    5. Snow Saves Massachusetts Silver Maple Forest from the Axe

      Right now outside Cambridge, Massachusetts the snows of winter are all that stand in the way of a developer who is trying to eradicate a treasured silver maple forest.
      Located in the Alewife Reservation, the forest has been the subject of a...

    6. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Frederick Young CAMBRIDGE, MA
      • over 3 years ago

      Stop the Deforestation of the Silver Maple Forest

      Dear Govenor Patrick and Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs,

      We, the undersigned, urge you to protect Belmont and Cambridge's Silver Maple Forest.

      As development pressures continue to mount in the Boston area, it is unwise to remove life protecting natural resources such as wetlands surrounding healthy rivers and streams, and wild places like the silver maple forest between Arlington, Belmont and Cambridge. The Reservation surrounding the forest functions as a learning center for classes and visitors coming from the adjacent Red Line T stop. Small river floodplain forests are rare or nonexistent, especially in our dense Metropolitan urban setting. For this reason, and for global climate change adaptation needs, the woodlands need our protection, for the wildlife that forages and reproduces there, and for flood and pollution protection that Cambridge's largest wetland offers to the bordering communities.

      Please keep developers out of the silver maple forest. Support the purchase of this important open space location by halting permits and completing a regional environmental impact study, which includes flooding, traffic, and other environmental issues that allow for acceptable living standards in Boston's western corridor.

      Frederick Young

    • Sarmonica Jones CAMBRIDGE, MA
      • over 3 years ago

      In support of Environmental Preservation...

    • Jeremy Marin ARLINGTON, MA
      • over 3 years ago

      Developing on a flood plane is a bad idea, especially when neighboring areas already get flooded each year - a costly municipal and state expense. Add to that the decrease in open spaces available and this becomes a terrible idea.

      Protect the Silver Maple Forest as a safety, health and quality of living issue.

      Thank you.

    • Risa Edelstein ARLINGTON, MA
      • over 3 years ago

      As a resident of Arlington, MA, an adjacent town to this project, we need to be OUTRAGED and we need to take action NOW!! Every homeowner, birder, parent, child, native plant lover, biker, boater, commuter and local citizen needs to understand what we are losing. Do we want our cities to continue to become urban jungles of asphalt and invasive plants? Where will it stop?

      Just the wildlife in this urban sanctuary is worth saving. Not to mention that this forest, while small, is part of a much larger wildlife corridor, connected to Habitat and Mount Auburn, and is critical for migratory birds as they make their way across the city. Just this one building has the ability to wreak havoc among a much greater ecosystem. We also have to question where will all of this wildlife end up once displaced? Dead or displaced.

      This forest sits in a flood plain which is essentially how nature manages water for us. Further disturbance to this natural system will mean more flooding in our homes. Won't our insurance costs continue to rise as a result not to mention the damage more flooding will incur? With increased precipitation expected as a result of climate change, can we afford to continue to degrade nature's FREE ecosystem services that manages flood events and helps us with our resiliency to these future changes?

      This special place is the outdoor classroom for thousand of school children where they can learn about nature, see native plants in natural settings and understand the beauty of New England flora and fauna. It helps them understand our special sense of place. It is exactly this type of place that school yards across the country and trying to create. We have it for free right here. This classroom ensures that these young minds learn about nature at an early age and becomes stewards of our land in the future.

      Eliminating this area will displace animals and birds and bats that are essentially our cities natural pest control. With the increase in lyme disease and west nile virus, we need nature's help...whatever we have keep everything in check. Can we afford to overlook an ecosystem that is helping us keep some of these diseases at bay?

      This development will increase traffic to an area that is already so congested in the morning. How much earlier will commuters need to get up to avoid this?

      We need to demand that our town governments lead the way in terms of sustainability and smart growth. Building a 300-person building on a flood plain is the farthest thing from this.

      Raise your voice before it is too late. Take action.

      1) Join us on Facebook (save the Silver Maple)

      2) Donate Money

      3) Email your local town government and let them know what you think.

      4) Get everyone you know involved in some way. Every comment, email, fan on Facebook, etc. helps the cause.

      5) Volunteer your time. We need your help to spread the word.

      We can all make a difference together.

    • Debra Dennis SWAMPSCOTT, MA
      • over 3 years ago

      Although I am not a resident of the area. This decision will make a presidence for the rest of the state. I hope that consideration will be to the ongoing overall health of the population (human and non-human) and impact to the environment.


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