The Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects at the Boston Architectural College sponsored a canoe trip to DiMaura Island on May 1, 2011. This four-acre island, located in the Charles River between Dedham and Boston, was given to the BAC in Fall of 2010. More than 20 students from the Landscape Architecture and Architecture programs attended the trip. Kevin Benham, Interim Head of Landscape Architecture, joined them.
Students met at the BAC early Sunday and carpooled to a northern part of the Charles River. From there they canoed downstream to the island to sketch, photograph and enjoy the weather. The island was a gift from philanthropic real estate developer Paul DiMaura that was arranged over a year-long period by BAC Overseer Richard Snyder, Esq.
DiMaura island shows great promise in providing significant contributions to landscape education and research, supporting the study of urban wilds and wetland ecology and enabling students and faculty to undertake projects on virgin land.
"The island provided a wonderful educational opportunity for our students to understand the ecologies of both limnal and upland plant species as well as the fauna associated with those ecologies," said Kevin. "The flora ranged from mature river birch at the water's edge to wonderful examples of paper birch in the upland. Low bush blueberries were in bloom with their delicate bell-shaped flowers, and high-bush blueberries were in bud. We discovered evidence of deer on the island, a raptor nest in one of the mature trees, and that a beaver had freshly cut a few trees at the water's edge."