The increased popularity of the Middlesex Fells these past months has also brought more attention to the park from regional news outlets. Here are some of the recent news articles about the Fells, and the Friends of the Fells.
In August, the Boston Globe opinion page featured a column by Joan Wickersham reflecting on the creation of the Fells– ‘A voyage of discovery about home:’
…We decide to go for a drive. It’s aimless, like so much in this uneasy summer of the pandemic. We drive through Somerville, Medford, Malden.
And suddenly the road stops being suburban and starts looking like something you would find in Maine. Deep woods, lakes, no houses. It goes on for miles. We are in the Middlesex Fells.
Later in the month, the Globe printed a response from our own Jeff Buxbaum and Chris Redfern, titled ‘The vital public good of public lands:’
…As COVID-19 spurs historic visitation at the Middlesex Fells and other nature refuges in the region, we must protect the long-term investments in these nature spaces more than ever, as impacts to trails and fragile ecosystems take a toll.
DigBoston writer Caitlin Faulds writes about the state of Massachusetts parks and how the pandemic has impacted park upkeep and volunteer projects, and features an interview with Friends volunteer coordinator Jesse MacDonald:
BOOTS ON THE GROUND: STATE PARKS STRUGGLE TO KEEP UP WITH PANDEMIC CROWDS
Due to COVID-19 and strict health guidelines, MacDonald said Friends of the Fells have had to cancel all volunteer trail care events, which typically address some of these issues, while DCR itself is struggling to run with a “skeleton crew.”
Last, we are happy to share that the Friends of the Fells has been awarded two grants through the Tufts University Community Relations program:
In May, the Friends was one of the local organizations to be awarded a grant through the Tufts Community Grants program.
Thirty-four local organizations in Tufts’ four host communities have been awarded $28,000 in grants from the Tufts Community Grants (TCG) program. The grants, which are fully funded by donations from Tufts University faculty and staff, are awarded each year to community-based charitable organizations in Boston, Grafton, Medford and Somerville.
These funds have been allocated towards the purchase of graffiti removal equipment and supplies which will be used this fall.
And in August, the Friends of the Fells was a recipient of a $1,000 COVID-19 emergency response grant, awarded to local nonprofits “in an effort to help its neighbors impacted by COVID-19.”
“During these trying times, it’s more important than ever for us to support our neighbors and the non-profits that do such important work in our home communities,” said Rocco DiRico, director of the Office of Government and Community Relations at Tufts. “We always strive to be the best neighbor that we can be, so we’re pleased to be able to provide this essential support to local organizations that are assisting local residents with the challenges they face as a result of the pandemic.”
These funds were utilized by the Friends’ 2020 Fells Forest Camp program to directly defray the expenses for essential purchases of safety and sanitizing equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning services, and other COVID-prevention plans that were necessary to hold this summer’s programming safely.