This summer, four Malden youth are working with me and a local landscape designer to develop a “stormwater and green infrastructure assessment” of Malden. The youth are hired through the City of Malden Summer Youth Employment program that also funded last summer’s youth who produced a documentary film about the Malden River. Look for blog updates here throughout the summer.
During the first week (July 5-8), the youth learned about stormwater and the Malden River. The youth did some research about these topics at the Cyber Cafe @ Malden Square; compared the City of Malden's current drainage map with historic maps to see how the city's hydrology has changed, and visitied several sites related to the Malden River and stormwater, including Fellsmere Pond, the Salemwood School, and the Malden River along Canal Street. Here is a sampling of their thoughts on the week gone by:
- "The first day, we took a walk down the Malden River and looked at where the river is underground and what the river looked like above ground. As of now, the river doesn’t seem too good looking, but I hope that changes with my help. The walks were fun, and it was nice to get out of the office and walk around[...] The second day, we took a look at the map of Malden which included the catch basins located all around the city. With more knowledge of those and where they end up, we took a walk to the Fellsmere Pond. On the way there, we compared all the houses we passed by in terms of how much of their land is paved and how much is green. This raised my awareness on how much, or how little stormwater is absorbed by each household and even commercial buildings. We also walked past a construction site, where we could tell a lot of the sediment on the ground could be picked up by stormwater runoff, and ultimately end up contaminating the Malden River. My newfound understanding on how easily the river can be affected really opened my eyes...The third day, we took a walk along the old, unused railroad tracks in Malden, where a stream is said to run parallel to it."
- "I did not even know there was a Malden river and it flows right near my house. It also flows underground in many of the Commercial parts of Malden. I didn’t really know the history of this city [in] which I am privileged to be[.]"
- "I also found out that the Salemwood school field is a flooded area, because all the water that falls into the drains up the hill all falls down into the field of [the] Salemwood school."
- "We went out to take a walk to see how the environment looks like and what we can do to be able to make it a better useful place. We walked in the hot sunny day, & it was very hot[...], but, we saw lots of interesting things. I was surprised at the fact that there were a lot of drains located on every road / place we turn to[...]when any water falls down; it flows through the drain and goes to wherever it supposed to go. Maybe it could meet another drain from somewhere & all together they all fall in the Mystic River."
- "This job is really teaching me a lot of helpful information, and I hope to spread the knowledge to anyone and everyone."