• Lush vegetation on the top of Spectacle Island's North drumlin dominates the foreground. Boston's skyline can be seen in the distance.  The park's logo with tag line minutes away, worlds apart empashises the stark contrast between the city and islands.

    Boston Harbor Islands

    National Recreation Area Massachusetts

News from the Superintendent

Boston Harbor Islands logo

October-December 2008

Here are some highlights of what was happening on the Harbor Islands these months. Our accomplishments are due to the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership and the many dedicated people who work in support of the park.

Thanks to all—see you on the islands!
Bruce Jacobson, National Park Service

Visitor Services
HALLOWEEN ON THE HARBOR— This popular event returned to Georges Island in 2008, and was wildly successful. The event was an excellent example of a partnership effort. Staff from Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation hosted the event; Boston Harbor Island Alliance took the lead on event coordination; and NPS assisted with volunteer aspects and provided additional ranger support. DCR also did an amazing job of transforming the fort into a spooky venue with very little time and very few staff. One-hundred thirteen volunteers ferried to Georges Island on October 25 & 26, and gave a total of 1,275 volunteer hours.. The park was prepared for many more than the 700 visitors who came to Georges Island on Saturday and Sunday. Visitors, staff and volunteers had a great time! [see photo album below]

 

Civic Engagement & Volunteers
VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION—A park-wide volunteer appreciation outing was held on October 18. A group of 40 volunteers visited Minuteman National Historical Park and Garden in the Woods. Volunteer opportunities in the park attract people with diverse interests, and the outing was an excellent opportunity for volunteers to get together and share what their park experiences. There was representation from Volunteers and Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and individuals that participated in habitat restoration projects, shore-bird monitoring and Boston Harbor Island Alliance events. [see photo album above]

 
Citizen Scientists at the Bioblitz

Citizen Scientists at 2008 Bioblitz

Resource Stewardship
SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM—More than 80 registrants attended the 2008 Boston Harbor Islands Science Symposium on October 3, on the UMass–Boston Campus. The Boston Harbor Islands Partnership and the Massachusetts Marine Educators Association co-sponsored the symposium, which was hosted by the Urban Harbors Institute. The Symposium featured presentations on the wide range of research in the park, and concluded with a panel discussion, “Addressing Nature Deficit Disorder by Engaging Students in Citizen-Science and Stewardship.” Dr. Jessica Rykken, Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, moderated several presentations of ATBI-related research, including a look at 3-D pictures of insects collected as part of the ATBI program. Other highlights included an update on the cleanup of the Boston Harbor by Dr. David Taylor,Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; small mammal research on Lovells and Bumpkin islands by Dr. Lauren Nolfo-Clements, Suffolk University; and reports on the breeding bird and intertidal biota ‘Vital Signs’ monitoring projects.
 
Students Studying the Intertidal Zone

Students Studying the Intertidal Zone

Education & Youth
SCHOOL PROGRAMS—Education staff from NPS, Thompson Island Outward Bound, and Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) conducted programs reaching almost 1,000 Boston area students. Included in classroom and field expeditions was the second year of an urban/suburban collaboration with 5th graders from the Winthop School in Dorchester and the Broadmeadow School in Needham. The students study their shared watershed and follow it to Boston Harbor with visits to Spectacle and Thompson Islands.

One teacher sent a note to Dawn Tesorero showing her appreciation:

Thank you for another fabulous day on the island—I can't believe I've grown up here and never taken advantage of their beauty. You've made me a fan, and we'll be back as a family, for sure! Your enthusiasm with the kids is appreciated—it's obvious you love what you do.


News Archive
(PDFs)

View "Park Newspaper" for news of interest to seasonal rangers, volunteers, park staff, Advisory Council members, partners, and others in our park community.

Did You Know?

Double-crested Cormorant Rests at Boston Harbor Islands

Shag Rocks in Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area offers roosting sites for cormorants and other seabirds that fish the surrounding waters. Better known in Britain as “shags,” cormorants gave this rocky outcropping its name. More...