LETTER: Invasive Plant Spreading in Watertown, Poisonous to to Some Animals

The blooms of the black swallow-wort. The plant is poisonous to butterflies and other animals. By Nicole Gardner and Douglas Hood

Black swallow-wort is a non-native, highly invasive plant that is poisonous to butterfly populations and other animals, and which toxifies the soil to benefit itself and harm other plants. We need to act right now to stop its spread and protect the Monarchs, other animals, and other plants. Black swallow-wort can be found all around Watertown, sprouting up through and even strangling lush well-established perennials and shrubs, along chain-link fences, in empty patches of dirt, or coming up between pavement cracks.

Learn About Pollinators and Native Plants at the May Watertown Citizens Meeting

The following announcement was provided by Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice & the Environment:

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment’s May Monthly Meeting will be about Mystic Charles Pollinator Pathways

The meeting will be held May 19, 2021 7:00 PM on Zoom. Learn why our pollinators need native plants at our Monthly Meeting. Our May monthly meeting will feature Jean Devine and Brucie Moulton of Mystic Charles Pollinator Pathways. MCPP is a volunteer coalition of gardeners and native plant enthusiasts that have come together to promote and create more pollinator habitats in our region – the Mystic & Metrowest Charles River Watersheds in Massachusetts. They will talk about the importance of native plants and putting your garden on the pollinator map.

Tree Planted for Arbor Day First of 100 Planned Around Watertown in 2021

Trees for WatertownTeam members from Hartley Greymont tree service company and Watertown Department of Public
Works help to install the new Dawn Redwood tree planted at the Lowell School on Arbor Day, 2021. The following piece was written and submitted by James Briand of Trees for Watertown Watertown:

Tree Warden Gregory Mosman celebrated Arbor Day last week with the planting of a magnificent Dawn Redwood at the Lowell School, assisted by Steven Kendall representative of tree service provider Hartney Greymont and former Deputy Tree Warden for the City of Boston. Joining Mosman and Kendall were volunteers Marbin Sanchez and Jon Quinn, and David Andrad of the Watertown Department of Public Works. The tree planting was recorded by Trees for Watertown board member Jessica Grimsby, who is preparing a short how-to video to encourage residents to plant trees on their own property. Next year Arbor Day will turn 150 years old.

Watertown Teens Take to Streets on Earth Day to Call Attention to Climate Change

Sunrise WatertownSunrise Watertown marched on the streets of Watertown on Earth Day to bring attention to climate change. The following piece was provided by Sunrise Watertown:

Fifteen months ago, Sunrise Watertown convened with the intention of hosting a 2020 Earth Day event for the community. Little did we, or anyone, expect, our plans would come to a screaming halt at the hands of the pandemic. Nevertheless, we reworked our ideas by hosting a virtual Earth Day event; We invited community members to make signs to post pictures with, sign our petition to enact a Massachusetts Green New Deal, and watch some of the videos we had created through Zoom. Since then, we have gone on to meet with Massachusetts Senators, town councillors, and a whole host of other people willing to help us fight for a livable future.

Paddle and Run the Charles River Virtually in 2021, Event Hosted by Charles River Watershed Association

Charles River Watershed AssociationThe Run of the Charles paddle race will take place virtually in 2021, with participants paddling live but on their own schedule. A run will also be held. The following announcement was provided by the Charles River Watershed Association:

We are excited for you to join us for this year’s Annual Run of the Charles with a virtual twist! While we had high hopes to do our beloved event in person, we have put together a fun and interactive event to get you out on the Charles enjoying the sights and sounds of Spring. We look forward to keeping the competition alive! Run of the Charles: Boston’s Premier Paddling Race, Sunday, April 25 – Sunday, May 23 www.charlesriver.org


For this year’s paddle race, individual paddlers and teams have the option of four different routes, some taking you to areas of the Charles where you may have never paddled before!

Public Can Comment on Proposed Removal of Contaminated Soil from Arsenal on the Charles

The oval with blue stripes is the location of the contaminated soil at the east end of Building 311 in the Arsenal on the Charles. The U.S. Army has come up with a plan to remove contaminated soil from the former military site, which is now the Arsenal on the Charles. The public can submit comment on the proposed plan until April 14, 2021. The area where the contaminated soil is located is by 311 building on the Arsenal on the Charles site. Building 311, the long building along Arsenal Street, is home to Athenahealth, and used to be home to Boston Sports Club.

Resolution to Declare a Climate Emergency to be Examined by 2 Council Subcommittees

The Town Council postponed a vote on a resolution that would declare a climate emergency, instead sending it to a pair of subcommittees to study it more closely and come back with a revised version. At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilors said that they supported taking action against climate change, but members of the Council said they did not believe enough discussion had been allowed on the resolution. Some pointed to the fact that it would change the Town’s deadline for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in Watertown from 2050 to 2035. “This is a difficult decision for me because I believe climate change represents a real and dangerous threat to life on our planet and it is an emergency we must address,” said Council Vice President Vincent Piccirilli. “However, this resolution was placed on agenda for vote with a lack of transparency, and circumventing our commitment for engagement on matters of great importance.