New Meetup: Explore Spectacle & Thompson Island wildlife and plant-life

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 3:57 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Explore Spectacle & Thompson Island wildlife and plant-life

When: June 28,[masked]:45 AM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Meetup Description: Let's catch the 10:00 am ferry to Spectacle Island, a 20 minute ride, and catch this walking tour which starts at 11:00 am. I need to check where exactly it starts -- I assume the Visitor Center on Spectacle Island -- if there is a lunchbreak, and if there is a fee attached for the tour, besides the price of the $14.00 round-trip ferry ride to Spectacle Island. The walking tour ends at 2:00 pm, prolly on Thompson Island, so I can't picture us back on the mainland until 3:00 pm. Having trouble raising anybody to answer questions I have about this.

Name of Event: Celebrate Urban Birds
Location: Spectacle Island, Thompson Island
Time: 11:00AM - 2:00PM
Cost: Not sure, none listed
http://www.bostonislands.com/events_results_detail.asp?ID=793&curric=false

"Volunteer bird expert Polly Stevens will guide two walking tours over two islands, and help visitors learn to identify local birds and plants. From this experience, participants will learn how to listen, as well as look closely to their own local landscapes. Spectacle Island is an eco-friendly island, once a former landfill that was dramatically transformed into one of the city's jewels. It now has five miles of accessible trails, a pier and two life-guarded beaches. Thompson Island has diverse habitats to explore. The island's 157 acres include a drumlin, a moraine and esker, open meadows, wooded areas, rocky and sandy beaches, a 50 acre salt marsh and thickets".

On the weekends the Ferry to Spectacle Island costs $14.00 and leaves Long Wharf North at Christopher Columbus Park on the top of the hour from 9:00 pm to 6:00 pm, a 20 minute trip. The Spectacle Island Ferry returns on the half hour from 9:30 pm to 6:30 pm. It's a twenty minute trip.

There is a free Spectacle Island / Thompson Island shuttle (LINK: http://www.bostonislands.org/trip_3d_edic.html ) "Interisland (Thompson/Spectacle): Depart Thompson for Spectacle at 9:00 AM, 12:30PM and 3:00PM; Depart Spectacle for Thompson at 9:15AM, 12:45PM, and 3:15PM".

Where to Meet:
T.J. Maher will be waiting at the Starbucks at the Long Wharf Marriott starting at 9:30 am inside. T.J. is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag. We can get in line to buy tickets for the 10:00 am ferry at 9:40 am. I was thinking of getting some Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts we can bring with us while we wait on Spectacle Island for the Walking Tour to start prolly near the Visitor Center.

About Spectacle Island:
http://www.bostonislands.org/isle_spectacle.asp

"Spectacle Island (105 acres) features a marina, visitor center, cafe, a life-guarded swimming beach, and five miles of walking trails that lead to the crest of a 157 foot-high hill, offering panoramic views of the harbor and the city. Supervised swimming is offered daily from June 23 to Labor Day"... there is a small cafe that serves chowder, soda, burgers, sandwiches from 11:00 am to 3:00 am. And according to Wikipedia "With a height above sea level of 157 feet (48 m), Spectacle Island is now one of the highest points on Boston Harbor".

... Basically, Spectacle Island was a polluted trash dump. Recently, Boston had the marvelous idea of using fill from the Big Dig to cap off the island, reconstructing it. It opened back up to the public in June 2006. I explored the island with family last year, scouting it out for a potential Nerd Fun trip, but we ran out of good weekends last August.


About Thompson Island:

"The island is home to Thompson Island Outward Bound, a non-profit educational organization that puts people in fun but challenging situations in order to help them develop teamwork, compassion and self-confidence. Activities include sailing, climbing, leadership training and environmental exploration.

" The island?s natural features include a drumlin and a moraine; oak, tamarack, maple, and birch trees; open fields, wild flowers, and berry bushes; a pond; and 50 acres of salt marsh. It is home to many animals, including killdeer, herons, and hermit crabs".

Feel free to print these maps out!

Map of Spectacle Island, 105 acres (PDF Format): http://www.nps.gov/archive/boha/parkmaps/spectacle.pdf

Map of Thompson Island, 169 acres (PDF Format): http://www.nps.gov/archive/boha/parkmaps/thompson.pdf

Boston Harbor Islands brochure: http://www.bostonislands.org/2009%20Islands%20Calendar%20FINAL.pdf

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/NerdFunBoston/calendar/10557861/

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