In learning about UPP and Mashapaug Pond, the concept of the watershed has been really useful for me. US EPA offers this definition of a watershed:
A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place. John Wesley Powell, scientist geographer, put it best when he said that a watershed is “that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”
The concept of the watershed helps us understand how our actions effect each other and our natural systems. It can help us understand our common interests and shared values; we’re ‘inextricably linked’ to the other living creatures and the non-living systems in our watershed. To show why the health of Mashapaug Pond is so important, I attempted to put together a graphic that shows the movement of water from the pond all the way out to Narragansett Bay… yup, I know, Photoshop is not exactly my strong suit. BUT I think you can get the gist.
Phil Edmonds did the work of going around and taking photos of the places where the water travels from water body to water body: it starts in Mashapaug Pond, travels underground to the Roger Williams Park Ponds, joins the Pawtuxet River, and flows into Narragansett Bay. Thus, the water that starts in Mashapaug as the potential to effect the livelihood of those who make their living in the Bay, plus recreation places of all of the people who depend on our coastline to access open space and natural beauty.
The base image came from Google Maps.