The Neponset River

The Neponset River

Corpo D’Água CaracterísticoHabitat ImportanteÁrea ContaminadaLocal para a Prática de Canoagem/CaiaqueLocal de Observação de InsetosLocal de Observação de Pássaros e Outras Formas de Vida Selvagem

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Neponset River
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This is the Neponset River, which starts in Foxboro (near Gillette Stadium) and ends 30 miles later in Dorchester/Quincy (near the National Grid gas tank by I-93). Quincy is in the Neponset River Watershed, which includes roughly 130 square miles of land located southwest of Boston. All of this land drains into the Neponset River, and ultimately into Boston Harbor.

The river, referred to by the Native Americans inhabiting its lands as the Harvest River, played a major role in the development of this country. As a "manageably sized" river located so close to Boston, it attracted the New World's earliest industries to harness its’ water power.

With the requirements of the expanding population, industry thrived along the Neponset, and many textile, paper, and lumber mills sprang up. It was not long before the river gained a justly deserved reputation as highly polluted, with numerous untreated sewage and industrial discharges fouling its waters. Although the water quality problems were recognized in the late 1750's, it was not until the passage of state and federal legislation in the 1960's and 1970's that water quality issues were more seriously addressed.

One organization working hard to protect and restore the Neponset River, its tributaries, and surrounding watershed lands is the Neponset River Watershed Association, also called NepWRA (www.neponset.org). Some of the projects the organization is currently working on include working with volunteers to find and fix remaining sources of water pollution, restoring historic herring runs by removing two obsolete dams, working to conserve water, and working with the Quincy Environmental Network (www.QENet.org) to create a RiverWalk along the Quincy side of the river. NepWRA offers many ways for people to interact with and enjoy the Neponset. If you’d like to help with monitoring water quality or just participate in one of their many family friendly events, give them a call or visit their website (781-575-0354; www.neponset.org).

Although the river may not be fit for swimming yet, it’s great for canoeing or kayaking. Many people enjoy fishing in the river or simply walking along its banks. There’s a wonderful trail, the Neponset Greenway (http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metroboston/lnrt.htm) on the Dorchester side, and one day it may connect with a similar trail on the Quincy side. Many places along the river are great for viewing wildlife, especially birds, so try to remember your binoculars.

If you’ve had the pleasure of canoeing or kayaking along the Neponset, you’ve probably paddled or rowed by Gulliver’s Creek. At the mouth of this creek was Gulliver’s Landing, the last stop on the Granite Railway, the first commercial railroad in the country built to transport Quincy granite to Boston for the construction of the Bunker Hill Monument. Parts of the landing can still be seen today.

There are also many recreational and educational opportunities offered along the banks of the river (Squantum Point Park in Quincy, the Pope John Paul II Park and the Ventura Street Playground in Dorchester, the Mohnihan Playground and the Martini Shell in Hyde Park, and the Ryan Playground in Mattapan).

781-575-0354

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Comments (2)

The Reservation also offers other recreational and educational opportunities at Mohnihan Playground and the Martini Shell in Hyde Park, Ryan Playground in Mattapan and Ventura Street Playground in Dorchester.

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Thank you for your comment. I will add that info to the site.

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Ian Cooke, Executive Director of NepRWA

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The Reservation also offers other recreational and educational opportunities at Mohnihan Playground and the Martini Shell in Hyde Park, Ryan Playground in Mattapan and Ventura Street Playground in Dorchester.

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Thank you for your comment. I will add that info to the site.

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