On Monday, April 12 at 7:00, the Cambridge Conservation Commission will discuss updates to the site wetland boundaries.
Because the site has areas protected under the state’s Wetlands Protection Act, IQHQ had to file state forms before work can begin. The Cambridge Conservation Commission (ConComm) reviewed the first of the required applications at their meeting on February 8. The two applications (available at here) were:
o Definition of Boundaries of Wetlands and Protected Areas (ANRAD)
o Request that selected soil and water testing could be done without a full review (RDA)
IQHQ shared their applications with ASG before the meeting, and ASG requested more testing of Jerry’s Pond in the deeper areas, not just along the border. IQHQ agreed to add 5 sampling locations at the bottom of the pond as shown in the updated map of sampling locations, below.
Before the meeting, there was a visit with the ConComm at the IQHQ site on March 5, which was attended by Conservation Commissioners and members of ASG, Friends of Jerry’s Pond (FOJP) and the Cambridge Plant and Garden Club, plus other concerned neighbors. The site visit was more limited than expected, so ASG and FOJP had people attend the virtual meeting on Feb 8 to show that neighbors care that proper procedures are followed.
The ConComm took the neighbors concerns seriously (stretching a planned half-hour meeting to 2.5 hours) and asked the City to have an independent wetlands scientist do a site visit to check the work of the IQHQ consultant, and made a condition that soil sampling near the wetlands could not be done until the boundaries were confirmed.
ASG asked for and was allowed permission to have a community-hired wetland scientist join the ConComm site visit on March 5. At the request of ASG, Alewife Neighbors, Inc. hired a consultant, who joined the walk and is available for community questions without conflicts of interest. At the site visit, the independent scientists agreed with most of the earlier report by the IQHQ consultant. However, they agreed that the wetland area around Jerry’s Pond should be a somewhat bigger in one area, by about 30 feet, than what was in the original application.
Alewife Neighbors will share a summary of their discussion with their consultant when it is available. One benefit of having a scientist hired by our neighborhood (through Alewife Neighbors at the request of ASG) is that we are able to find out about the habitat areas behind the fences from someone who has seen the area in person.
On Monday, April 12 at 7:00, the ConComm will meet to discuss the updated application. We will post the new documents shortly.