Where the Wild Things Are
Boston boasts 39 city-owned natural areas, or “urban wilds,” totaling 250 acres. These urban wilds host hundreds of species of birds, animals, insects, and plants. Oak forests, open meadows and cattail marshes can also be found in these wild places, but as you might imagine, they have long been plagued by a range of urban problems – vandalism, illegal dumping, fires – in addition to larger regional issues, such as invasive plant and animal species, insect infestations and soil erosion.
Back of the Hill Urban Wild, Mission Hill
EarthWorks, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to creating a healthier and more sustainable Boston, is working to restore the city’s urban wilds and, in the process, provide city residents the opportunity to experience nature close to home. Through several major programs, including its Urban Orchards Program, Outdoor Classroom Program and Urban Wilds Restoration Program, EarthWorks is actively engaging Boston neighborhoods in its effort to reclaim neglected urban space, and providing hands-on environmental education to city residents of all ages.
On Wednesday, October 1, EarthWorks will help host the first of Timberland’s Dig It events, as we descend on the site of the Boston Nature Center – the last remaining “green oasis” in the neighborhood of Mattapan. What was once over 200 acres of open space has diminished over time to a mere 67 acres; our challenge for the day is to mitigate the impacts of invasive plant species by planting over 300 trees , which will also increase the area’s tree canopy and ensure the sustainability of its habitat for years to come.
To learn more about EarthWorks’ commitment to strengthening local communities through environmental service, be sure to visit their website. And if you live in the greater Boston area, please consider joining your fellow Earthkeepers at next Wednesday’s Dig It event (more details and sign-up information can be found here). We’d love to meet you.