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!