Earth Day 2023 Clean-up

On Saturday, April 22, 2023, Save the Alewife Brook volunteers met for an Earth Day Clean-up and environmental tour. We collected trash near three of the Alewife’s Combined Sewer Outfalls. 

The event began with a reading of Governor Maura Healey’s message to the volunteers. We distributed t-shirts and Kolsvart Swedish Fish. We then began the clean-up at Cambridge’s CAM401A, which is one of the worst sewage-spewing CSOs in the Alewife. It is located behind the deteriorating MBTA parking garage.

In 2021, the CAM401A CSO discharged over 21 million gallons of untreated sewage pollution into Alewife Brook. We stopped for a moment to reflect on this. Greg Harris from Green Cambridge and Friends of the Alewife Reservation was one of the Earth Day volunteers. He talked about the potential for replacing the deteriorating parking garage with Green Stormwater Infrastructure. There could be a stormwater wetlands there! A stormwater wetlands would clean and slow down stormwater during large storm events. 

We proceeded to clean up trash in the area and on the other side of the path over by MWR003, the MWRA’s Alewife CSO. In 2021, the MWRA discharged over 6 million gallons of untreated sewage pollution from that CSO. Here we met Rene Morin from Department of Conservation & Recreation. Rene was there to make sure we had a great Earth Day / DCR Park Serve Day and dispose of the trash we collected, including any hazardous materials. Sadly we needed his sharps container for the multiple syringes we found in the area. 

Guess what we found on Earth Day!

Volunteers found a discarded bra!

We then walked north along the Alewife Greenway towards Mass Ave, picking up trash along the path in Arlington. BABAM (Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians) marched up the path with us, playing protest songs.


BABAM crossed the brook with us to Cambridge and played, while we picked up trash over by David Stoff’s GHOST FISH art installation.

It was a wonderful event – we made new friends! And Rene Morin from DCR hauled away two big truckloads of trash... and quite a few syringes that he picked up!

Thanks to the Volunteers!

Alex Simmons * Ann McDonald * Annie Thompson * Audrey Bennett  * Beth Melofchik * Betty Widerski * Bob Tosi * Brian McBride * Claire Odom * Clare Nosowitz  * Cody Casanave * Courtney Gurll * Daniel O’shaughnessy * David Stoff * Ed De Moel * Elizabeth Burke * Erin McLaughlin * Gene Benson * Greg Harris * Gwen Speeth * Harvey Fenigsohn * Ian Forsythe * Imanuela Costiner * Jennifer Ingram * Jessica Kinner * Joel Snider * Judy Lyons * Kate Schell * Kristin Anderson * Lida Junghans * Lizzie Linn Casanave * Luchy Roa * Maeve Whitty * Mark Jewell * Mark Paglierani * Marsha Turin * Meredith DiMola & Family * Michael Cerone * Michael Everman * Peter Frumhoff * Rebecca Behizadeh * Robin Johnson * Ruth Loetterle * Samantha Barth * Sara Billingsley * Shaina Blitt * Steve Forrest * Sumita Austen * Suzanne McLeod * Toby Karlsson * Vincent Baudoin & Family * Zach Forrest * Zoe Simmons

Thanks to the band!

BABAM (Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians)

Special Thanks to Department of Conservation & Recreation!

Matthew Perry for helping to set up the Alewife Park Serve Day and to Rene Morin, who removed two DCR truckloads of trash!

Save the Alewife Brook Steering Committee Members:

Gwen Speeth, David Stoff, Gene Benson, Kristin Anderson, David White

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