Sponsored by the Blue Hills Climate Action Coalition

How will climate change alter the Blue Hills over your lifetime… and beyond?  How has the park – and the climate – already changed and what can we do to address it?

Join us for a bi-weekly speaker series with local organizations to learn more about how climate change will affect the Blue Hills and surrounding ecology.  Speakers will highlight the latest research on climate change, recorded from the top of Great Blue, the effect of climate on the Blue Hills habitats, and the animals and birds that depend on them, as well as how climate will affect the organic farm located in the park and how that will affect local food sources.

The Blue Hills Climate Action Coalition is comprised of organizations from the communities surrounding the Blue Hills committed to working together to address the challenges of climate change in our communities, including: Bike Milton, Blue Hill Observatory and Science  Center, Brookwood Community Farm, Canton Residents for a Sustainable, Equitable Future, Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, First Parish in Milton U.U., Friends of the Blue Hills, Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum, Mass Audubon, Milton Public Library, Milton For Peace, Milton Change Makers. Neponset River Greenway Council, Neponset River Watershed  Association, Quincy Climate Action Network, Sustainable Milton, Sustainable Canton, and the Trustees of the Reservations.

A Local Farm’s Approach to Climate Change
Thursday, March 4, 6:30 pm

How most food is grown and transported has significant impacts on the climate and global warming.  Approximately 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions is directly related to food production. Learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint by eating locally and choosing food from local and sustainable farms.  Brookwood Community Farm’s farm manager Sara Rostampour will discuss Brookwood’s commitment to sustainable practices and how you can become a member of its “community-supported agriculture” program.

Birds and Climate Change
Thursday, March 18

Although the rise of sea levels due to climate change have fairly direct impacts on coastal bird populations, changes in temperature and precipitation patterns also raise less obvious challenges for breeding birds in the Blue Hills and Massachusetts as a whole. This presentation, by Dr Jon Atwood, Director of Bird Conservation for Mass Audubon, will give an overview of the impacts that changing climate conditions will likely have in bird populations in the Blue Hills, and suggest steps to address these problems.

Climate impacts on Trees and Woodlands.
Thursday, April 1

The Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum is a 25 acre property that lies within the much larger Blue Hills and Neponset River ecosystem.  The arboretum’s plant collection includes a very broad range of both native and non native species. This allows a unique opportunity to study the impacts of a changing climate on a variety of species. Arboretum Director Debbie Merriam will highlight some of the observations of the cascading impacts of a changing climate on plant species and its management strategy to adapt to these changes.

At the Foot of the Hills: Water and Watersheds in a Warming World
Thursday, April 15

Climate change is here, and waterways like the Neponset River and the neighborhoods around them are already seeing real impacts. Ian Cooke and Kerry Snyder of the Neponset River Watershed Association will discuss the major “water changes” communities face, the risks they pose, and potential local solutions to protect the environment, and public health and safety.

Wetlands and Vernal Pools of the Blue Hills: Who lives there, what do they do, and how will climate change affect these species? 
Thursday, April 29

Permanent and temporary freshwater wetlands are critically important communities in Southern New England.  They are home to some of the most unusual and unique plant and animal species in our area.  These wetlands also provide vital ecosystem services upon which we depend.   In this informal talk, Rick Kesseli, Umass Biologist and Friends of the Blue Hills’ Board member, will look at some of the unique creatures in these systems, discuss what they do and why they are important, and peek into the future at how human activities and climate change might impact these communities.

Photo credit: Lisa Tringali (Plainville) 

Recording Blue Hills Weather: What do the Climate Trends Tell Us?
Watch the recording

The Blue Hill Observatory is the longest continually operating weather observatory in the entire country. This makes it an excellent climate study resource.  Don McCasland, Program Director at Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center, will discuss the long-term homogeneous methods the center uses to collect climate data.  The data, dating back to the mid-19th century, reveals important trends of warming temperature, shorter winters, greater extremes, and how it relates to climate data from other sites.