Environment & Nature Gallery

Distal photo of Gore Street pin oak in front of house, eclipsing it in height.
Jul 23, 2018 A gentle giant Gore Street pin oak, estimated to be 100 years old, is no longer. This tree lived just one block from my house here in East Cambridge. I passed by her every day, so she was a familiar to me. So please allow me to give this tree a name: Centuris. Centuris towered above the nearby houses until, on June 19th, when an Eversource crew made mighty mis-cuts into Centuris’s roots,... more
Jun 26, 2018 June 21 is the Summer Solstice; the longest day of the year. And what better way to celebrate than strolling through some green space here in our fair city? I took a long, slow walk around one of the places in my neighborhood of North Cambridge to enjoy the abundance of ponds, trees, flowers, and tall grasses. Even though a steady stream of bike, car, and pedestrian traffic passed by, I was lost... more
Jun 20, 2018 Do you aspire to create landscapes with genuine ecological value for a wide array of avian species— from songbirds, to raptors, owls, woodpeckers, and more? Claudia will lead an in-depth exploration of the principles and practices for achieving this objective, based on understanding the essential habitat requirements for bird survival. Our examination starts, of course, with the importance of... more
Jun 20, 2018 Invasive plants pose a major threat to our ecosystems, and the challenge of tackling them can often seem formidable. Restoration ecologist Chris Polatin will teach us how to confidently confront invasive plants with effective management and monitoring techniques. There are many possible manual and chemical control methods— Chris will describe how to choose the most effective measures given the... more
Jun 11, 2018 Your safari begins just outside the Alewife T station, a stark concrete structure covered in graffiti, next to a noisy highway. You wouldn't believe that another world awaits you on the other side of the station. Bunnies play tag. Mommy duck takes care of her babies. A graceful swan dances a ballet. These are just a few of the 50 species you'll find at the wildlife sanctuary. This place is a... more
Photo: Small bird in flight outdoor with greeb foliage background.
Jun 6, 2018 This can happen anywhere there are houses and birds. This story is about what to do when a bird flies into your house or apartment in Cambridge. Which can happen to anyone. Here, in Cambridge, measuring just about seven square miles, with so much wildlife, so many birds, especially at this time of year. There are also so many bird nests (where many birds live), you probably live within fifteen... more
Mar 13, 2018 Our sale is now in its fourth fantastic year! We will have more than 2,000 plants for sale, all indigenous to Massachusetts or New England, with a few species from the broader eastern United States. We source our plants from ten different wholesale suppliers across New England to bring you an unmatched selection of over 120 species, including: • Perennials for sun, shade, part shade, and all... more
Jan 4, 2018 The High Line in Manhattan was born of a city that is constantly reinventing itself. Built on a mile-and-a-half long elevated railroad, this dynamic landscape was inspired by the tenacity of plants in its industrial setting, and it uses a matrix of perennial and woody plants to evoke a natural landscape. Wildly successful and overwhelmingly popular, caring for this garden in the sky poses unique... more
Jan 4, 2018 Seasonal New England is rich in its unique and dynamic ecological patterns. Join us, as Matthew explores how his observations of these natural systems have influenced his firm’s creation of contextual and native plant-centric projects that grasp the rhythms of everyday life. He will show us a variety of residential landscapes, large and small, that embrace our regional flora, utilize ecologically... more
Jan 4, 2018 Ecologically attuned designers are increasingly looking to nature for inspiration in the design of managed landscapes. But connecting field botany to horticulture is complex, and insights gained from observations in the wild don’t always translate directly into a cultivated garden. Uli will use the recently expanded native flora garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a cultivated pine barrens and... more
Jan 4, 2018 Native plants have evolved a broad array of adaptations in the wild, yielding not only the ornamental features embraced in horticulture but many fascinating mechanisms for survival. Dan will take us beyond 'pretty' plant features to explore the origins of these adaptive traits, and the critical importance of regional variation. This insight helps us to select plants that are genuinely suited to... more
Dec 31, 2017 Judy Nathans, a former member of the Cambridge Recycling Advisory Committee, sits down with Quinton Zondervan, president of Green Cambridge, and Carol Oldham, executive director of Massachusetts Climate Action Network, in this 11th episode of Cambridge Uncovered to talk about some of the sustainability efforts occurring within the city of Cambridge. Record date: Nov. 12, 2015 | Premiere date: Nov... more
Jul 25, 2017 The central purpose for this workshop is summed up by the landscape designer Darrel Morrison, who wrote, “The naturally evolved associations of native plants within a particular range can provide both information and inspiration for the design of gardens and landscapes that are ecologically sound and aesthetically satisfying.” Quite simply, a solid understanding of plant communities is... more
Jul 25, 2017 Soil is the vital but often overlooked foundation of any landscape. It dictates the drainage in the area, affects which plants will grow well there, and can even impact a site’s susceptibility to certain invasive species. Soil scientist John Swallow will guide us through the background a designer needs to know to make a landscape plan that is well suited to their site, and to develop a system of... more
Jul 25, 2017 Have you ever opened a nursery catalogue and been overwhelmed by the vast selection of species? Or been frustrated that ‘part-sun, well-drained’ explains so little about where a plant might like to grow? One of the many advantages to working with a native plant palette is that we are surrounded by opportunities to get to know these plants in context, where they grow in “remnant” ecosystems all... more
Jul 25, 2017 Did you know that the brilliant red color of a Northern Cardinal comes from the fruits that the cardinal eats? Birds depend heavily on native plants for food, shelter, and even the color of their feathers. Avian populations are greatly impacted by changes in local plant communities, and because of this response, scientists use birds as an important indicator of biodiversity and habitat quality.... more
Jun 29, 2017 Cynthia Mead from Zoo New England joins us to talk about the Brew at the Zoo happening at the Franklin Park Zoo in August. The Cambridge Calendar television program pulls together details on all the events in Cambridge - so that you don't have to! We aggregate community calendars from the city government, local non-profits, universities, and community groups and present it all in a condensed 15... more
Jun 29, 2017 Jane Pickering joined us this month to talk about all the programs at the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture. We covered their Summer Science Weeks offerings for school children, as well as the collections in the museums, and even got a handful of dinosaur poo to boot. The Cambridge Calendar television program pulls together details on all the events in Cambridge - so that you don't have to... more
May 8, 2017 Fresh Pond Reservation is truly Cambridge's green gem - an urban wild that protects Fresh Pond, Cambridge's in-city drinking water reservoir. Fresh Pond Day is the Cambridge Water Department's annual tribute to this unique Reservation that is a vital natural resource, an invaluable sanctuary for wildlife, and a beloved recreational escape in the City. So...let's give Fresh Pond the celebration,... more
Mar 16, 2017 Our third annual Native Plant Sale! Adding native plants to your garden is the best way to support biodiversity in your neighborhood— including bees, butterflies, birds, and much more. We will be selling a wide variety of native plants, including: Perennials · Ferns · Grasses · Shrubs · Trees We source our plants from more than eight nurseries around New England, to bring together a range of... more
Jan 6, 2017 The New York Botanical Garden’s new Native Plant Garden opened in 2013. Designed by Oehme van Sweden, it includes a diversity of microclimates on 3.5 acres of varied terrain with a planting plan of almost 100,000 native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns, and grasses. Curator Michael Hagen will explain how this garden is successfully maintained, and their criteria for what constitutes “native” in... more