Planned events have been cancelled during the COVID-19 Emergency. To keep us all healthy, respect the rules of SOCIAL DISTANCING:
Stay at least 6 feet from others.
Keep dogs away from others as well.
Wear face masks when near others.
For announcements of future events at Arlington’s Great Meadows, please sign up to the Google group through the Contact page. You will then receive news and updates about our events, including weather-related cancellations and reschedulings. This is a very low volume moderated list, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
- Arlington’s Great Meadows wildlife now on iNaturalist!
There is a new way to explore and contribute to the nature of Arlington’s Great Meadows! Visitors can now learn about plants, insects, and wildlife at AGM through the global crowd-sourced identification site iNaturalist, and can upload their own pictures to share with others.
iNaturalist is a global web-based project that can help you identify the plants and animals around you, connect to a community of enthusiasts and scientists, and contribute to a rich storehouse of data that is being used to understand and protect nature, including treasured local spaces like AGM.
Thanks to the efforts of Andrea Golden, long-time AGM supporter and one of the founders of the Friends of Arlington’s Great Meadows, the iNaturalist site now has a presence for AGM. The site has been populated with pictures that had already been in iNaturalist which matched AGM’s coordinates. So there are now over 1400 observations available. These include trees, plants, insects, and mammals, which you can now explore (<- Click Here).
You can use AGM’s iNaturalist site to learn more about the creatures that inhabit AGM, or to contribute your own pictures and observations and add to the wealth of information about AGM.
To learn from what others have posted, or contribute your own:
- Browse images others have already shared about AGM
- Search for particular species
- Add your own images by creating an account and uploading your own pictures. See the iNaturalist site for guidance on taking photos that lead to the best results.
Andrea, who has established such sites for other open spaces in Massachusetts, says that “these sites add another way for visitors to contribute to their local conservation areas by recording flora and fauna they encounter. The AGM iNaturalist site creates a record of what organisms have been found, when they are most likely to be seen, and if they might be a concern, for example, if invasive plants or animals are present.”
The Friends of AGM are grateful to Andrea for contributing her time and expertise to making a home for AGM on iNaturalist, and we welcome this new way to describe and share and learn about the rich natural world of AGM.
Hope to see you on iNaturalist!
- Report on Invasive Plant Management Work at Arlington’s Great Meadows 11/15/2022
As you travel west on the Minuteman Bike Path, your first glimpse of the Arlington’s Great Meadows is a breathtaking, expansive vista of the great wetland.
That corner, which runs from the end of Brandon Rd in Lexington and along the bike path, has been seeing some active invasive plant management for the last few years. That work significantly stepped-up this past Veteran’s Day weekend.
Along the Bike Path you will see that the Japanese Knotweed is standing a lot lower, allowing the expansive view to the Meadow. It has been consistently cut back for the last 5 years by one volunteer. Last month, a relatively clean strip in that area was planted with about 400 seedlings of native flowering plants attractive to a wide variety of pollinators. If you go by that area, you can see blue flags demarcating the planting area and the white tags marking the plants.
The plants, which will stay under 4’ tall to preserve the vista, were grown from seed at the new Lexington Native Plant Nursery, an initiative of Lexington Conservation aimed at growing native plants from seed for restoration projects.
This past weekend, clearing of the heavily overgrown corner of the AGM was started with the help of Lexington Boy Scout Troop 160 and a dumpster dropped by the Lexington DPW.
You will see lots of brush laying on cardboard which will eventually be loaded into the next dumpster.
Work on the Lexington side of the path at the end of Brandon has been going on for a couple of years. The procedure is to clear the invasive plant material and then lay a thick layer of cardboard and cover it with wood chips, also provided by the Lex DPW.
Some new planting has also been done in that area this fall and seems to be surviving and will hopefully spread next year. These areas are seriously degraded, and bringing them back to an ecologically healthy system, as well as helping them to become beautiful for us to enjoy, is a wonderful challenge.
If anyone is interested in participating in this volunteer project, you can email Holly at ELHEPinfo@gmail.com ELHEP stands for East Lexington Habitat Enrichment Project and is carried out under the guidance of both Lexington and Arlington Conservation Departments. Enjoy the view! –Holly Samuels, Lexington Conservation Steward
- AGM Access Again Available at the Former Nursing Home Site
For many years there was a nursing home at the end of Emerson Gardens Road, and its parking lot was a major access point for AGM. The nursing home (marked on the old maps as the Golden Living Center) closed in 2018 and the land was sold for development. As a consequence, that entrance was closed for about three years. The new project now completed is called Lexington Meadows.
That entrance to AGM was opened again in the Spring of 2022, but the parking lot next to AGM is now gone. Instead, there are some public parking spots available at the intersection of Emerson Gardens and Bryant Road, and a gravel path of about 1/8 of a mile from there to the entrance to AGM.
The following map shows the parking locations just east of the intersection and the path winding next to the Emerson Garden Condos until it reaches AGM. The photo shows the handicap parking spot and the start of the gravel path leading to AGM. — David White
From Google Maps 11/28/22
- Arlington’s Great Meadows
Arlington’s Great Meadows is a 183-acre parcel of land owned by Arlington located in east Lexington adjacent to the Minuteman Bikeway. It is the largest piece of undeveloped land in the Arlington/Lexington area, serving as public open space for the surrounding communities.
View the AGM brochure and Tour Guide, and more about AGM.
Photos by Harvey Cote, Ellen Finnie, David White.
- Boardwalk Repair
Thanks to everyone who helped with the Great Meadows boardwalk repair project. Dozens of people participated – families, individuals and an Arlington scout pack. Over 100 boards were replaced and the boardwalks are now in much better shape than before. We expect, considering that the age of these boardwalks, that these efforts will be repeated in the future as more treads need replacement.
After fifteen years the boardwalks at Arlington’s Great Meadows need some repairs. It’s basically a matter of replacing some rotting boards on the walkway. The Friends group have assembled materials & tools for the repair close to AGM. However, because of COVID-19 we are not able to plan a typical workday where people just show up.
We are going to try a team/pod approach where people put together a team (2+), and we provide what you need. You schedule a time (can be during the week or on a weekend) and come by to get a set of materials & tools and go to the site and do the work. This both gives flexibility as to time and also avoids groups of strangers. We have written and video instructions, and experienced people will be available by phone to provide guidance. This provides an opportunity to get your family out of the house into fresh air.
We are starting this effort on Saturday September 19. If interested, please contact David White (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lorelle Yee (email@example.com) for more information and to schedule a time.
Repair video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zhRo6s9-iK4lQrN8oFRNNVv0hk1dtLZm/view?usp=sharing
Repair Instructions: Boardwalk Repair Instructions.pdf