Throughout southeastern Massachusetts, working cranberry bogs are being abandoned or retired as cranberries are being grown more cost-effectively elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world. As cranberry farms were developed within former wetlands and along stream channels, they have been described as one of the leading factors in the loss of wetland function within the state. Retiring cranberry farms provides an opportunity to reclaim these wetlands and rescue these lands after hundreds of years of post-colonial impacts. These restored wetlands provide increased aquatic and terrestrial habitat, improved ecosystem functions, improved water quality, improved fish passage, and climate resiliency. This method of restoration also provides a model or restoration of other farmland in former inland or coastal wetlands. We will discuss the restoration opportunities and design elements, the linkages and working relationships with landscape architecture and site experience, and potentially view active construction activities on a former cranberry bog in southeastern Massachusetts.
At the end of course participants will be able to:
Describe how the cranberry bogs developed into the form they are today when actively being farmed.
Define the impacts and stressors that this agriculture has on the streams, wetlands, and ecosystems.
Identify and describe multiple restoration techniques and the linkages between the restored ecology and the viewer experience.