Biodiversity, Land, and People
Earthwise Aware (EwA) runs its outreach program in an ecological region (ecoregion) named the Boston Basin. Since the arrival of English settlers in Massachusetts in 1620, the ecoregion has changed drastically and is now a heavily developed area where a number of ponds, lakes, and reservoirs remain. The basin is drained primarily by the Charles, Mystic, Neponset, and Saugus rivers. The forests in this ecoregion are mainly young transition hardwood forests often heavily mixed in with softwoods (oak-white pine forest dominance).
By the mid 18th century, 60 to 80 percent of the land in the basin had been cleared for agriculture and pasture. Logging pressure was so intense across Massachusetts that less than 1 percent of New England’s forests are old-growth forests. Despite having been greatly transformed by humans, the ecoregion still supports natural communities and more than 400 endangered, threatened, and special concern species.
EwA acknowledges that the ecoregion is the life-support system for countless species other than ours. We pay respect to all the kingdoms of life: Flora, Fauna, and Funga. These kingdoms include the trees, wildflowers, birds, mammals, insects, spiders, amphibians, fungi, and so many more life forms with whom we share this land. We acknowledge that we are part of the incredible biological diversity of life, and we promise that we will tread lightly on the paths that we walk, study, and enjoy.
Land and People
EwA recognizes this ecological region as the land that is traditionally and ancestrally cared for by the Massachusett and the Pawtucket, who are its original inhabitants. We pay respect to the people of the Massachusett and Pawtucket Tribes, past and present, and honor the land which remains sacred to the Massachusett and Pawtucket People.
We will listen to and respect the thoughts and needs of our partners, and participants from diverse cultural frameworks. As we plan our inclusive programs, we will invite their input to make our program stronger. We believe that we must contribute to the effort of both decolonizing and democratizing science through participatory science and practices including Traditional and Local Ecological Knowledge.
Please contact us if you have any questions or comments.