Friends of the Blue Hills 2017-12-16T11:39:38Z http://friendsofthebluehills.org/feed/atom/ WordPress Friends of the Blue Hills http://www.friendsofthebluehills.org <![CDATA[Blue Hills Reservation 27th Annual First Day Hikes]]> http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=9228 2017-12-15T09:22:05Z 2017-12-15T09:21:52Z First Day Hikes Blue Hills Wildlife: noon – 1 pm Hot cocoa & snacks for sale Three DCR Ranger-led Hikes at 1 pm Houghton’s Pond main parking lot, 840 Hillside St, Milton, MA

Join the “Granddaddy of First Day Hikes” and celebrate New Year’s Day in the Blue Hills. From noon to 1 pm, visit with live wildlife from the Trailside Museum, purchase a cup of hot cocoa or a snack from the Venture Scouts, share some holiday cheer by the warming fire, and then stretch your legs on one of three easy to moderate guided hikes which all depart [...]]]>

First Day Hikes
Blue Hills Wildlife: noon – 1 pm
Hot cocoa & snacks for sale
Three DCR Ranger-led Hikes at 1 pm
Houghton’s Pond main parking lot, 840 Hillside St, Milton, MA

Join the “Granddaddy of First Day Hikes” and celebrate New Year’s Day in the Blue Hills. From noon to 1 pm, visit with live wildlife from the Trailside Museum, purchase a cup of hot cocoa or a snack from the Venture Scouts, share some holiday cheer by the warming fire, and then stretch your legs on one of three easy to moderate guided hikes which all depart at 1 pm. For more info, call 617-698-1802.

Meet at the Houghton’s Pond main parking lot at 840 Hillside Street in Milton. Arrive early for this popular event. Parking is limited.

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Friends of the Blue Hills http://www.friendsofthebluehills.org <![CDATA[Job Posting: Part-time Social Media Assistant]]> http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=9202 2017-12-16T11:39:38Z 2017-12-15T08:30:57Z Friends of the Blue Hills Social Media Assistant

The Friends of the Blue Hills is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the Blue Hills Reservation in its natural state and serves as a watchdog of activities that might adversely affect it.  To accomplish this we: 1) Advocate for actions that will enhance the Reservation; 2) Encourage involvement in the protection and preservation of the Reservation by all users; 3) Guide enthusiasts in exploring the nearby remoteness of the BHR through educational, historical, and nature hikes; and 4) Work with the Massachusetts DCR to maintain the quality of the [...]]]>

Friends of the Blue Hills
Social Media Assistant

The Friends of the Blue Hills is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the Blue Hills Reservation in its natural state and serves as a watchdog of activities that might adversely affect it.  To accomplish this we: 1) Advocate for actions that will enhance the Reservation; 2) Encourage involvement in the protection and preservation of the Reservation by all users; 3) Guide enthusiasts in exploring the nearby remoteness of the BHR through educational, historical, and nature hikes; and 4) Work with the Massachusetts DCR to maintain the quality of the Reservation and provide public input for its management.

We are excited to develop content to be shared on social media that aims to deepen people’s knowledge and connection to the Blue Hills.  We are looking for an individual to help serve our members and other park visitors by helping to provide insights into the Blue Hills.  Because FBH does not have a central office, the Assistant will work from home.  Position is for one year with the possibility of continuing.

Responsibilities: The Social Media Assistant will be responsible for administrative tasks associated with social media communications, including:

  • Provide administrative support for on-going video series
  • Communicate with experts and manage the logistics of interview guests
  • Track social media analytics and other data
  • Monitor and schedule posts to social media platforms, as needed
  • Post to social media at special events
  • Update website, including events and blog posts
  • Attend events and board meetings as needed

Qualifications:

  • Detail oriented.
  • Active on social media
  • Self-motivated
  • Ability to follow instruction without close supervision
  • Access to own transportation
  • Interest in the Blue Hills or land protection desired

 Hours: Approximately 5 – 10 hours/week, flexible hours, but must be available Thursday afternoons.  Position for one year with possibility of continuing.

Rate: $13/hour

To Reply: Send cover letter and resume to: judy@FriendsoftheBlueHills.org, with the subject line “FBH Social Media Assistant Application.”

The Friends of the Blue Hills is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, race, national origin, ethnic background, disability or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Friends of the Blue Hills http://www.friendsofthebluehills.org <![CDATA[Transcript: Blue Hills A-Live interview with Les Tyrala]]> http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=9225 2017-12-12T07:07:21Z 2017-12-07T12:27:35Z Watch the video.

Judy Jacobs: Have you ever walked up Great Blue Hill from the Trailside Museum on the Red Dot trail? Have you ever thought about how unique it is? How Great Blue is the highest point around, and the rocks that you scramble up to get to the summit are pretty unique to southern New England?

Today you might get a different perspective on a place that might be very familiar to you.

I’m Judy Lehrer Jacobs, the executive director of the Friends of the Blue Hills, and I’m with [...]]]>

Blue Hills A-Live interview with Les Tyrala

Watch the video.

Judy Jacobs: Have you ever walked up Great Blue Hill from the Trailside Museum on the Red Dot trail? Have you ever thought about how unique it is? How Great Blue is the highest point around, and the rocks that you scramble up to get to the summit are pretty unique to southern New England?

Today you might get a different perspective on a place that might be very familiar to you.

I’m Judy Lehrer Jacobs, the executive director of the Friends of the Blue Hills, and I’m with Les Tyrala who is a registered geologist. We’ll be talking to you about some surprising history of Great Blue Hill.  But before we get going, if you could just put in the comments whether you have ever gone up Great Blue that would be great (if you have ever visited). That would be wonderful.

This is the first of four Facebook live shows that we are calling Blue Hills A-Live. We’re going to be having them Tuesdays at 1 pm, so we hope you check in next Tuesday as well. If you have any questions, please just put questions in the comments below. That would be great.

Even if you’re watching the replay, Les would be happy to answer your questions in the next couple days. So as I said, we will be speaking with a geologist about a story of the origins of the Blue Hills that few people know. Les, thank you so much for joining us today. Can you start out by just giving us a sense of why you became interested in geology and why you’re so passionate about this.

Les Tyrala: Sure, Judy. Thanks for asking me here. Well, like many kids I was fascinated by bright shiny minerals, and fortunately or unfortunately that stayed with me into adulthood. Then I discovered I could actually have a career in geology and got a bachelor’s degree from the College Alliance in Arizona, did my graduate studies in Texas, and have worked at this as a job just for my whole career.

Watch the video.

Judy: Oh, that’s great! Well I’m glad you’re here today. You have so much information about the Great Blue Hill that I’m sure people would be really interested in hearing. What is the one thing that you think people might not know about Great Blue Hill?

Les: Well based on my experience of having spent a lot of time here in the Blue Hills, few people realize that we’re walking across a large igneous body. In this case, it really is an extinct volcano is the way to think about it. It goes back several hundred million.

Judy: So why don’t you give us a sense of why—why this would be different, why the Blue Hills would be different, why a volcano would be here as opposed to like Salem or Plymouth?

Les: Yes. It’s perplexed geologists not only for the Blue Hills volcano but other volcanos that seem to be isolated (as this feature is) and it’s still debated. With the understanding of plate tectonics, this provides a mechanism for fracturing, moving, banging together continental masses. In this case, the North American plate and the European plate—and also the African plate. With this kind of dynamic aspect of the Earth, it allows for deep-seated movement of molten rock, and since the molten rock is of a lesser density than the overlying called bedrock (whatever it is), these molten bodies will move upward.

Judy: So can you give us a sense of how old the Blue Hill volcano is?

Les: Studies have been done to age-date it. Principally the most recent time, Professor Emeritus Jim Skehan of Boston College and Professor Emerita Meg Thompson of Wellesley College have had grant money to understand volcanism here right in our backyard. Their efforts have indicated that this particular feature is about 410 million years old. The age-dating is based on certain minerals that contain isotopes, particularly a mineral called zircon. It has a radioactive isotope in it called U 238. With geologic time, that degrades into lead. The half-life of zircon (this U 238 to lead) is almost 2.5 billion years. So with that kind of extreme half-life, we can accurately date the volcano and in fact go right back to the genesis of the Earth.

Watch the video.

Judy: What was here before the volcano?

Les: Good question. It would have been, it’s been interpreted as, a level area. There were previous volcanic eruptions here, and it’s been named the Mattapan volcanic sequence. Where it is exposed in Mattapan, Quincy, and Milton, it’s basically flat-lying so it hasn’t been disturbed too much. There may have been some topography here where it was flowing downward and outward, but for the most part it appears to have been flowing out gently on a level surface. The conduit was probably fractures in the Earth rather than a true classic shield-type volcano.

Judy: Lava is not something we think about when we think of the Blue Hills. Can you give us a sense of what it is and why it would be different in the Blue Hills from other locations?

Les: Yes. There are four broad categories of magma, and it has to do with the geochemical makeup of it. We have rhyolite, which is here. It’s a very silica-rich lava, and then it grates compositionally into an andesite then a dacite and ultimately a floor rock referred to as basalt. Hingham has exposures of basalt, and the North Shore has exposures above andesite and dacite and we have rhyolite.

Judy: That’s great. If someone wanted to find lava in the Blue Hills, where would they go?

Les: Well, fortunately, we have lots of good exposure, and we can thank the glacial activity for having done that. Any trail going up to the meteorological observatory will be crossing the lava flows, which as I mentioned a moment ago, is called a rhyolite or in the older literature it’s referred to as a quartz-porphyry. If you’re doing some homework, you’ll see those two terms. It’s very well exposed on Red Dot path, and also at the very summit there are nice exposures there and also of the older Mattapan of volcanics, which are dated back in excess of 500 million years.

Judy: That’s great. Can you say where’s the top of the volcano?

Les: That’s a frequently asked question. The depth of erosion is so deep here—because we’re talking about in excess of 400 million years—that summit (wherever it was) was completely eroded away. So it’s a process of both natural erosion and glacial activity literally bulldozing and conveying away the rocks. So we don’t know that.

Judy: Great. And it looks like Kathie Edmunds Bendix, who gave us the name of this show Blue Hills A-Live, says she loved being in the area as a child in the 1950s (wow!) and the 60s. It’s so great to hear some of the great memories of the Blue Hills.

Is there anything else you want to share with us about the geologic history of Great Blue Hill?

Les: If you have gone walking on many of the other trails we have here, you have seen what is called the “giant conglomerate,” which is nicely exposed on Route 128. That conglomerate, which is sedimentary rock, is actually made up of weathered rock from the Blue Hills volcano. Through the process of deposition and turning that loose material into bedrock, we now have the giant conglomerate. It’s an impressive feature that tells us at one point there was a lot of kinetic energy here, meaning something like the Front Range of Colorado: lots of flowing water, moving large rocks, and turning them into rounded boulders. Lastly, if you are interested, Professor Jim Skehan of BC in 2001 put out a book Roadside Geology of Massachusetts. It’s meant for the nontechnical person. It’s a very good read, lots of figures, really well done, and I would suggest getting that at your library.

Judy: Well, thank you so much, Les. And thanks to all of you for watching our first Facebook live show. If you want to check in next Tuesday at 1 pm, we will be interviewing someone who has a lot of experience in long-distance running.

If you want more information about the Blue Hills, I encourage you to download a free guide to the Blue Hills at friendsofthebluehills.org/guide. And I hope that you go to visit Great Blue Hill and go with a new sense of all the amazing geological history that is in the Blue Hills.

Thanks so much for watching.

 

 

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Friends of the Blue Hills http://www.friendsofthebluehills.org <![CDATA[Re-buliding History at Brookwood Farm]]> http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=9221 2017-12-06T14:56:31Z 2017-12-06T14:50:00Z Steven O’Shaughnessy, an expert in preservation carpentry from North Bennet Street School, describes some of the rich history of Brookwood Farm.

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Steven O’Shaughnessy, an expert in preservation carpentry from North Bennet Street School, describes some of the rich history of Brookwood Farm.

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Friends of the Blue Hills http://www.friendsofthebluehills.org <![CDATA[Toy Collection Ride]]> http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=9219 2017-12-07T11:24:37Z 2017-12-06T13:55:04Z

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Friends of the Blue Hills http://www.friendsofthebluehills.org <![CDATA[Blue Hills A-Live Sign Up!]]> http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=9214 2017-12-05T10:28:27Z 2017-12-05T10:27:54Z ]]> 2 Friends of the Blue Hills http://www.friendsofthebluehills.org <![CDATA[Action Alert: Protect Parkland]]> http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=9205 2017-12-04T20:30:10Z 2017-12-02T10:47:06Z As we know from our experiences with losing land in the Blue Hills, it is far too easy to lose parkland to private interests.

The Public Lands Preservation Act would help protect the Blue Hills and all public open space from the caprices of legislators and developers.   The Environment Committee recently issued a favorable report for PLPA, and it is now before the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, chaired by Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland).

Please help prevent the destruction of future parkland by contacting your state senator and asking him or her to urge the chair of the Senate [...]]]>

As we know from our experiences with losing land in the Blue Hills, it is far too easy to lose parkland to private interests.

The Public Lands Preservation Act would help protect the Blue Hills and all public open space from the caprices of legislators and developers.   The Environment Committee recently issued a favorable report for PLPA, and it is now before the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, chaired by Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland).

Please help prevent the destruction of future parkland by contacting your state senator and asking him or her to urge the chair of the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), to report out favorably S.2181.

S2181 is called An Act protecting the natural resources of the Commonwealth and is also known as the Public Lands Preservation Act.

This bill would help to further the long-standing goal of preventing the loss of constitutionally protected public lands, like state parks and conservation land.  The bill would require:

  • Any land take be replaced by land of comparable acreage, location, and natural resource value, (which would help protect the total acreage of parkland)
  • Evidence that a feasible alternative to destroying park land is not available.

Learn more: fact sheet (from the Environmental League of Massachusetts)

Sample Letter (Or see below.)

See a copy of the bill: S2181

Find your state senator here.

Photo credit: Jame Condon (Waltham)


SAMPLE LETTER 

Senator …………
State House
Boston, MA 02133

firstname.lastname@masenate.gov

Re: Public Lands Preservation Act (PLPA, S. 2181)

Dear Senator………….:

I am writing to communicate my support for the Public Lands Preservation Act (PLPA, S. 2181), a bill which would provide needed protection for our public parks, playgrounds, forests, and other natural resource land.

Please ask Chairwoman Karen Spilka of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means to issue a favorable report on the PLPA as soon as possible.

The PLPA would stem the continual loss of public parks, conservation land, watersheds, and other natural resource lands as state agencies, cities, and towns divert the land to other uses, mostly for building projects.  The bill would add transparency to land dispositions involving Article 97 land and would clarify the disposition process, providing efficiency and potential cost savings for municipalities.  The bill would ensure that the integrity of Article 97 is upheld.

This legislation is important to me because…

TELL THEM THE REASONS THE PLPA IS IMPORTANT TO YOU.  LEGISLATORS, LIKE MOST OF US, RESPOND MORE TO SPECIFICS THAN GENERALITIES.  Sample reasons:

  • Let them know if you are a member of the Friends of the Blue Hills.
  • Tell them why you care about the Blue Hills Reservation and/or how often you visit.
  • Let them know that the current Article 97 disposition process is unclear and can be inefficient.  The PLPA would make the process more efficient, saving towns money.
  • Let them know you are concerned about water supplies; the Blue Hills and a lot of public natural resource land help protect the watershed.

Please ask Chairwoman Spilka to report out the PLPA favorably and as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

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Friends of the Blue Hills http://www.friendsofthebluehills.org <![CDATA[Sound Map of the Blue Hills]]> http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=9197 2017-11-30T11:46:31Z 2017-11-28T07:58:47Z Last fall, dozens of Friends’ volunteers recorded noise levels in the Blue Hills.  Volunteers emailed the noise data to Boston University researchers who created a noise map of a portion of the Blue Hills.  (See below.)

The Boston University research team was led by Professor Richard Primack and doctoral student Lucy Zipf.

According to recent studies, scientists have found increasing evidence that noise pollution is harmful to the health of both humans and wildlife.

Volunteers used new cutting-edge technology that makes sound monitoring more affordable and easier to use.  In the past, recording sound in such a large area would have been cost prohibitive [...]]]>

Last fall, dozens of Friends’ volunteers recorded noise levels in the Blue Hills.  Volunteers emailed the noise data to Boston University researchers who created a noise map of a portion of the Blue Hills.  (See below.)

The Boston University research team was led by Professor Richard Primack and doctoral student Lucy Zipf.

According to recent studies, scientists have found increasing evidence that noise pollution is harmful to the health of both humans and wildlife.

Volunteers used new cutting-edge technology that makes sound monitoring more affordable and easier to use.  In the past, recording sound in such a large area would have been cost prohibitive for most researchers.

Many thanks to the volunteers for collecting valuable data that can help evaluate the quality of habitat in the Blue Hills.

Sound map of the Blue Hills Reservation created on September 16, 2017. Mapped area is approximately 3.9 by 3.2 km. Larger, orange circles indicate higher L50 values (more noise), smaller green and blue circles indicate lower L50 values (less noise).

 

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Friends of the Blue Hills http://www.friendsofthebluehills.org <![CDATA[Traffic Advisory Related to Controlled Deer Hunt]]> http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=9171 2017-11-27T11:17:25Z 2017-11-27T11:12:14Z DCR Traffic Advisory: Blue Hills State Reservation in Milton

 WHAT:          On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, Thursday, November 30, 2017, Tuesday, December 5, 2017, and Thursday, December 7, 2017, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will institute road closures within the Blue Hills State Reservation in the Town of Milton to accommodate a controlled deer hunt. Chickatawbut Road, between Route 28 and Route 37, and Wampatuck Road, between Chickatawbut Road and Route 37, will be closed to all vehicle traffic between the hours of 12:00AM and 6:00PM. Traffic patterns and detours will be clearly marked.

 WHERE:       Chickatawbut Road between Route [...]]]>

DCR Traffic Advisory: Blue Hills State Reservation in Milton

 WHAT:          On Tuesday, November 28, 2017Thursday, November 30, 2017Tuesday, December 5, 2017, and Thursday, December 7, 2017, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will institute road closures within the Blue Hills State Reservation in the Town of Milton to accommodate a controlled deer hunt. Chickatawbut Road, between Route 28 and Route 37, and Wampatuck Road, between Chickatawbut Road and Route 37, will be closed to all vehicle traffic between the hours of 12:00AM and 6:00PM. Traffic patterns and detours will be clearly marked.

 WHERE:       Chickatawbut Road between Route 28 and Route 37

Wampatuck Road between Chickatawbut Road and Route 37

 WHEN:          Tuesday, November 28, 2017Thursday, November 30, 2017Tuesday, December 5, 2017, and Thursday, December 7, 2017, 12:00AM – 6:00PM

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Friends of the Blue Hills http://www.friendsofthebluehills.org <![CDATA[Help Clean Up the Skyline]]> http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=9182 2017-11-15T13:32:06Z 2017-11-14T12:22:49Z Help Clean Up the Skyline Saturday, December 9, 10 am

Want to walk, talk and help the Blue Hills?  Join volunteers from the Friends of the Blue Hills and the Appalachian Mountain Club to pick up trash along the Skyline Trail!

Email info@FriendsoftheBlueHills.org for meeting location and time.

 

Photo credit: Mark Lotterhand

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Help Clean Up the Skyline
Saturday, December 9, 10 am

Want to walk, talk and help the Blue Hills?  Join volunteers from the Friends of the Blue Hills and the Appalachian Mountain Club to pick up trash along the Skyline Trail!

Email info@FriendsoftheBlueHills.org for meeting location and time.

 

Photo credit: Mark Lotterhand

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