Autumn cleaning along the Spot Pond shoreline

51 volunteers joined us on Saturday, September 27 to support the Fells on National Public Lands Day.  These volunteers scoured 5 miles of trails along the shores of Spot Pond and Quarter-Mile Pond in Medford and Stoneham, documenting all of the trash they picked up for COASTSWEEP, an annual statewide cleanup and citizen science project along Massachusetts coastlines and waterways.  COASTSWEEP is part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Volunteers from all over the world collect marine debris—trash, fishing line, and any other human-made items—and record what they find. This information is then analyzed and used to identify sources of marine debris and develop education and policy initiatives to help reduce it.

Among the rubbish collected that day, our volunteers recorded and bagged:

  • 426 Cigarette Butts
  • 147 Beverage Cans
  • 138 Glass Bottles (and 122 bottle caps)
  • 86 Plastic Bottles
  • 110 Plastic Bags
  • 108 Cups and Plates including 25 Dunkin Donuts cups
  • 239 yards of fishing line, along with 30 lures or bobbers and ~15 bait containers
  • 10 bags of dog poop

Volunteers included two shifts (morning and afternoon) from Malden Scout Pack #609, one Webelows den from Winchester, and several local families.  A special thanks goes out to four Friends of the Fells Event Captains who came out to provide supplies, support and leadership for these groups on Saturday: Linda Schwetz, Pete Costello, Ginna Day and Sherry Lyons.  The support of these dedicated volunteer leaders allowed us to really multiply the effects of the volunteers who showed up on Saturday, to cover a much wider area than would otherwise have been possible, and to ensure a positive experience for everyone who came out to help.  Thank you, Linda, Pete, Ginna and Sherry!

In addition to all the great work that was done, a great time really was had by all (look at all those smiling faces!).  It was a beautiful fall day in the Fells, and all of the participants enjoyed the opportunity to spend the time outdoors, doing good, with like-minded people.  We also enjoyed some surprising finds, including a ceramic idol and the concrete dragon pictured below.

If you, your family, or a group with which you are affiliated are interested in volunteering in the Fells please contact us at or by completing the Volunteer Interest Form at

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