Location: Aberdeen Ave. median strip
Short Description: Increase pollinator and bird life in Cambridge by planting native flowers and vegetation along this underused median strip, creating a beautiful habitat corridor linking Fresh Pond and Mt Auburn Cemetery—two major habitats crucial for biodiversity.
Pollinator and bird populations are declining, threatening ecosystems and food production worldwide. According to the nonprofits Pollinator Partnership and BirdLife International, habitat loss is one of the leading causes of falling population levels. Moreover, bird decline directly correlates with the loss of insects, among birds’ main food sources. A 2019 study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that even small, fragmented habitats significantly increase the biodiversity of a given area.
Cambridge can combat pollinator and bird decline by planting native vegetation along underused median strips, turning them into micro-habitat corridors. Aberdeen Ave., a wide, grassy space connecting the larger habitats of Fresh Pond and Mount Auburn Cemetery, offers a good opportunity. Cambridge residents have communicated a desire for this location to be cultivated and for native gardens to be planted throughout the city. Planting pollinator and bird-friendly micro-habitats on underused median strips would make a world of difference for both the wildlife and human populations who call Cambridge home.
Project Updates: Public Works has completed installation of plantings along the divider on Aberdeen Avenue, as well as a divider on Massachusetts Avenue. Funds have also been used for the Brookline/Watson Open Space Project!
Blooming plantings along Aberdeen Avenue!
Massachusetts Avenue median plantings
Schematic for the Brookline/Watson Open Space Project