Earthwise Aware (EwA)
Earthwise Aware (EwA)’s mission is to facilitate learning about natural systems, practice ecological ethics and sound science, and inspire environmental leadership.
EwA documents scientifically the ecological health of its habitats, and involves communities through its biodiversity and climate participatory science programs in the Fells. Plants, insects, amphibians, habitat fragmentation documentation, there’s something for everyone. EwA works with Fells community members to collect important data that will help inform decisions surrounding the Fells’ sustainability, conservation, and management.
Interested in volunteering with Earthwise Aware to help us collect data while enjoying the beautiful Fells environment? We are looking for volunteers to help us gather data on recreation impact, rogue trails, invasive and native plant species, insects, and more.
Check out the initiatives below to learn how you can get involved:
Reporting trail conditions
As a Trail Adopter, individuals record the usage and issues of urban natural green spaces, parks, and reservations to help improve their ecological health—record recreation activities, as well as dog waste, litter, trail hazards, and the like.
Interested in becoming a Trail Adopter? Complete the application here.
Documenting invasive flora
Get trained to identify invasive flora in your area, including at the Fells, and contribute data to help us monitor the occurrence, abundance, coverage, and seasonal timing of problem species. The collected data aggregated with EwA’s biodiversity projects data feed conservation studies and help ecological assessment and management of sensitive areas in the Greater Boston Area. This data helps inform Friends of the Fells and the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s invasive plant management projects in the Fells. Learn more here.
Monitoring biodiversity and climate indicators
EwA’s projects span a wide range of environmental initiatives, including monitoring the timing of plant events, assessing habitats and plant communities, conducting surveys on pollinators and insects, monitoring and mapping biodiversity, counting birds, and documenting vernal pools for certification. The collected data plays a crucial role in deepening our understanding of the shifts in species abundance and interactions within the Fells ecosystem due to the combined impacts of human activities and climate change. Learn more here.
Check out EwA’s webpage here that details more ways you can help and get involved.
Fells Reports & Digests
Curious to learn more about the great work EwA has done in the Fells so far? The Fells is a major study site for them. The EwA folks spend about 60% of their studies and conduct every type of study there, compared to all the other locations they study.
The EwA Reports summarize their work and reveal the ongoing natural history of observed places, deepening our understanding of the environment.
These reports compile fieldwork results, documenting methods, data access, and operational processes for participatory scientists, volunteers, data partners, site partners, collaborators, cities hosting our programs, and various organizations. These initiatives encourage scientific contribution and experiential learning, emphasizing system-based understanding of species, habitats, and functions in urban locations.
The EwA Interactive Fells Habitat Fragmentation Map is a great interactive summary of a lot of the studies that EwA conducts in the Fells. Take a look at its tutorial to learn how to navigate the map.
EwA Nature Guides to the Fells
- EwA Guide to the Plants of the Fells
- EwA Guide to the Birds of the Fells
- EwA Guide to the Mammals of the Fells
- EwA Guide to the Insects & Spiders of the Fells
- EwA Guide to the Reptiles & Amphibians of the Fells
- EwA Guide to the Fungi and Lichens of the Fells
- EwA Guide to the Invasive Species in Middlesex County
- EwA Guide to the Endangered Species of the Fells