Emerald Necklace Conservancy Highlights Three Things to do this ‘Earth Week’

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy will be presenting three different events this Earth Week (April 19-24) with Earth Day being honored on April 22. The first event is a series of Muddy River Cleanups, the second is a virtual talk with the Massachusetts historical Society about clean water, green space, and social equity, and the third is a walk to learn about useful plants. 

Muddy River Cleanup

Together with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the Muddy River Cleanup is a part of the Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup; this event takes place throughout the Charles River Watershed and builds on a national effort as part of American Rivers’ National River Cleanup which, to date, has removed over 25 million pounds of trash from America’s waterways.

The Charles River Cleanup brings together over 3,000 volunteers each year to pick up litter, remove invasive species and assist with park maintenance along all 80 miles of the Charles River. Residents are drawn to the popular Charles River Cleanup from a desire to give back to their community while enjoying the beauty and wildlife along the river. Volunteers hold onto the connections they establish during this day of stewardship by returning to the Charles to exer-cise, play and enjoy nature throughout the year. Let’s #talkMuddy!

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Muddy River Cleanup organizers have adjusted the traditionally one-day event to span a week – from April 19 to April 24 – in order to promote social distancing among volunteers. All cleanups are from 10am-12pm, and dates and loca-tions are as follows:

• Monday, April 19: Back Bay Fens, Olmsted Park

• Tuesday, April 20: Charlesgate, Jamaica Pond

• Wednesday, April 21: Justine Mee Liff Park, Olmsted Park

• Thursday April 22: Riverway, Franklin Park (Shattuck Picnic Grove)

• Friday, April 23: Charlesgate, Justine Mee Liff Park

• Saturday, April 24: Back Bay Fens, Franklin Park (Valley Gates)

All volunteers will be required to wear a face covering and practice social distancing during the event.

For more information, visit https://www.emeraldnecklace.org/volunteer/muddy-river-cleanup-2021. The event is free but must register to sign up: https://www.emeraldnecklace.org/event/mrc2021/

Virtual talk – Massachusetts Historical Society presents “Clean Water, Green Space, and Social Equity”

Hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society, Karen Mauney-Brodek, President of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Representative Nika Elugardo, and Chris Reed, from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, will come together virtually for a conversation moderated by author Sarah Glazer on the subject of clean water, green space and social equity.

The chain of green spaces and waterways that comprise the Emerald Necklace park system is an invaluable urban oasis. Described as “the lungs of the city” this parkland and its rivers and ponds clean the city air, provide habitats for birds and other wildlife, and greatly improve quality of life for Boston residents. This panel will explore the past, present, and future of this urban wild, beginning with Olmsted’s vision, through the lens of social equity and environmental justice.

The event will take place on Thursday, April 22 from 5:30-6:30pm. The event is free but must register to sign up at https://www.masshist.org/calendar/event?event=3461

Walk – “Useful Plants Among Us”

There are helpful and even edible plants all around us, especially in springtime. Learn how to identify and use helpful plants that grow in the wild on a leisurely stroll along the Emerald Necklace with Pam Kristan, author and wild food practitioner. Find out what is growing, where, when, which parts are edible or useful for other purposes, and preparation techniques.

Note: This tour is educational. No plants will be harvested or eaten. Plants in Public Parks are not for harvesting. All participants will be required to wear a face covering and practice social distancing during the walk. The walk will take place on Saturday, April 24 from 10:00-11:30am.  The event is free but must register to sign up at https://www.emeraldnecklace.org/event/walk-useful-plants-among-us-3/.

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