View Our Highlights from 2019

January 2, 2020

As we look forward to an exciting year ahead, it’s also worth taking a moment to reflect on the achievements of 2019, made possible by the generous support of members and volunteers like you!

Education & Outreach

  • Presented water conservation and stormwater programs to over 2,500 fifth graders and high school students in Foxborough, Sharon, Stoughton, Canton, Westwood, Dedham, and Milton, plus the City of Quincy, and several charter schools in Boston.
  • Worked with 50 students from Suffolk University, Boston University, UMass/Boston, and the X-cel Education Corp., to develop citizen science protocols, conservation priorities, analyze water data, monitor E.coli and learn about rain gardens.
  • Produced the Neponset RiverFest event in July, despite it being the hottest day of the summer, with 97-degree temps and a heat index value of 105 degrees. (It was hot!)

Water Quality

  • Gathered 480 water quality samples from 41 sites from May-October, thanks to 52 amazing citizen volunteers who participated in our Citizen Water Monitoring Network (CWMN).
  • Engaged over 500 volunteers at various cleanups and remove more than 30 tons of trash from the river in Quincy, Dorchester, Milton, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Canton.
  • Worked with the Town of Canton to construct rain gardens at the Luce School and Devoll Field, which will reduce pollution flowing into Pequid Brook, Beaver Meadow Brook, and Bolivar Pond.
  • Secured grants to build a rain garden in Stoughton to protect Beaver Meadow Brook and to evaluate stormwater retrofit opportunities in the City of Quincy, beginning in 2020.
  • Added Randolph to the Neponset Stormwater Partnership, which now makes 11 towns in the partnership.

Habitat Restoration

  • Removed over 1,400 golf balls from Ponkapoag Brook in Canton.
  • Inspected over 100 road crossing culverts for environmental impacts in 7 towns.
  • Removed several acres of phragmites and mile-a-minute in the Blue Hills.
  • Secured $350,000 in grant funds to address concerns about the Willett Pond Dam.
  • Developed plans for the removal of the Mill Pond Dam in Norwood and the Canton Ave Dam in Milton.
  • Secured $30,000 to develop restoration plans for each of the Neponset’s native brook trout streams in partnership with our friends at Great Boston Trout Unlimited.
  • Started working with Sharon and Walpole to address problem culverts on Traphole Brook.


  • Successfully advocated to preserve one of the last undeveloped parcels of land along the Neponset River in Norwood, and for environmentally sensitive revisions to proposed development in Walpole along Traphole Brook, a cold-water fishery.
  • Bringing our largest delegation of volunteers ever to “lobby for rivers day” at the State House in support of the successful campaign by the Mass Rivers Alliance to restore state funding for the Mass Dept. of Environmental Protection by $7 million per year (thank you to all our legislators!).
  • Advocated for key climate change adaptation projects during Municipal Preparedness Workshops in Dedham, Westwood and Quincy, which will help protect the communities and the Neponset River from flooding, drought, and pollution.
  • Re-established public access to Willett Pond in Walpole for the first time in 50 years.

And if that wasn’t enough, we also spent more than 6 months researching and writing a new 5-year strategic plan to help guide us into a new decade and better protect the Neponset Watershed from the adverse effects of climate change.

Looking forward, we aim to improve recreational access to parks and waterways, expand our school education program, engage more volunteers, increase collaboration with our municipal partners, restore herring and trout habitats, monitor and eliminate pollution sources, reduce the impact of future droughts and floods, and advocate for smart policies and investments at the state and local level.

It’s an ambitious agenda, but one we will achieve thanks to the commitment and generosity of members and volunteers like you!

Please feel free to email Ian Cooke or call 781-575-0354 x305 if you’d like more details on any of our projects.

One response to “View Our Highlights from 2019”

  1. Pete Jackson says:

    Congratulations on yet another successful year. It’s amazing to me how a small organization, together with a moderate sized group of volunteers can accomplish so much. Visionary management, effective use of funding, and dedication to a mission are the answer.

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