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In the midst of an effort to restore the environment, Emmanuel students have been pushed out of the Muddy River, a place some call home.
“It was a safe haven for kids who smoked weed to go and do their thing and not bother anyone on campus,” a friend – who wished to remain anonymous – said. “It’s just sad to see it go because I have such great memories there.”
The Muddy River Restoration Project is a small movement in the greater Emerald Necklace Environmental Improvements Master Plan. Affecting Charlesgate, Back Bay Fens, Riverway, and Olmsted parks, its goal is to reverse erosion and environmental abuse that these parks have been facing for years.
“I don’t think there was any need to cut down old trees that have been part of the Muddy forever,” he said.
In the past 16 years, the Muddy River has flooded three times. This restoration project is aiming to restore the river and prevent future floods.
Two weeks ago, the section of the Muddy River in front of Emmanuel was fenced off, and most of the trees inside were chopped down.
This has left students seeking other spots to light up – and many of them are growing defiant.
“If I don’t have a spot outside, I’m going to smoke in my room,” a neighbor told me. “Emmanuel can’t really blame us for smoking inside.”
Emmanuel should expect to see a lot more residents smoking on campus – and in residence halls – a change which will surely cause tighter security on campus.
And, of course, students will continue to complain as long as their place is prohibited. The restoration is projected to last until at least 2015.
“It was just such an essential place,” my friend said. “It wasn’t really officially Emmanuel’s, but it was definitely ingrained in the Emmanuel community.”
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