Above: Members of the 2015 “turtle land” tire cleanup crew. From left to right: (Unless otherwise noted from NE MA Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District) Barry Noone, Bill Mehaffey, Kelsey Evans, Anne Gagnon (DFG), George Comiskey (Parker River Clean Water Association) and kneeling Ross Mehaffey. Photo credit: Emily Sullivan
Originally posted on the MA Division of Fisheries & Wildlife website (October 2015)
“Turtle Land” Cleanup a Success Thanks to Group Effort
In the town of Groveland, a joint effort to remove and recycle 608 tires and clear miscellaneous debris from sensitive wetland habitat within and around the Upper Parker River Wildlife Management Area, an area which is locally referred to as “Turtle Land,” is complete! The tires from this historical dump site were removed to reduce breeding grounds for mosquitoes that can be vectors for disease; the cleanup also restores a unique ecosystem.
This challenging cleanup was completed with the help and support of many partners including the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW), Northeast MA Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District, Parker River Clean Water Association, the Town of Groveland and volunteers from neighboring Georgetown.
Patricia Huckery, DFW’s Northeast District Supervisor said, “The area is one of the top habitats in Massachusetts for turtles and salamanders of conservation concern. Many common wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, waterfowl, beaver, spotted turtles, snapping turtles, and salamanders also inhabit the area. ‘Turtle Land’ is comprised of a suite of essential wetland habitats from vernal pools and beaver flowages to vast scrub-shrub swamps and streams. This local project is a great example of how thoughtful planning and cooperation among multiple agencies can successfully reduce public health risk and promote long-term environmental protection.”
Groveland Selectman Joseph D’Amore added, “Sometimes history in our little town is made very quietly. Because of an amazing collaboration of local, state, and regional authorities, and concerned citizens, an environmental success story was achieved. Without much fanfare and with lots of elbow grease and passion an amazing outdoor resource is now in a beautiful state for the public to enjoy. The woodlands, meadows, streams, wildlife is simply breathtaking!”