On August 15, NepRWA staff members, Andres and Declan, guided a small group of NepRWA members through the beautiful Rice Islands in Mattapan.
We unloaded our canoes at the Central Ave canoe launch and then parked our cars on Central Ave and Maple Street in Milton, which is roughly a five-minute walk back to the canoe launch from there. Although the canoe launch is easy to access and has stairs that take you right to the river’s edge, it was sad to see how much trash has accumulated there from littering and dumping.
After discussing the section of the river we would be paddling through and what we might see, we put our canoes in the water and paddled upstream towards Mattapan Square.
The cloudy and cool weather kept us comfortable throughout the event. Since we have been in a drought, the water levels in this section of the river were very low, causing a few boats to have to drag themselves over some of the rocky areas.
The low water levels also made it easier to see all of the car tires that are still in the river between Central Ave and Ryan Playground, as well as roughly 12 shopping carts under Central Ave! We saw lots of Racoon and Deer tracks along the banks, and saw many ducks and great blue herons flying around us!
After paddling upstream a few hundred yards past the Harvest River Bridge, we went back downstream, past the Central Ave canoe launch, to the Baker Dam before turning back around to pull our canoes out.
The paddlers were surprised by how many tires there are in the river and were also amazed at how beautiful and natural this section of the river is between Mattapan and Milton.
This was our second of three scheduled paddling events in the river this summer, and so far we have received great reviews from the paddlers and look forward to doing more of these events in the future!