Eco-Tourism Staycations in Boston

Explore Boston and Massachusetts in an eco-friendly way through eco-tourism activitiesAs the warm weather approaches, programs and organizations around the Greater Boston area begin to offer many activities that get you and your family out of the house and into the fresh air to enjoy Boston’s sustainable efforts. For those seriously interested in agriculture there are farm tours, while a more active urbanite can enjoy the bike tour.

Allandale Farm – Brookline, Mass.
Aptly named “Boston’s last working farm”, Allandale Farm is the only farm accessible by public transportation in Boston (take the #38 or #51 bus). Support this locally supported organic farm by dropping by its garden center or store for delicious, sustainably grown produce. Allandale Farms also hosts various events and demonstrations throughout the year, all of which are open to the public. And if you take the bus here, you’ve made your trip super sustainable by contributing less CO2 than by driving!

Sustainability / Tour de Farms Biking Tours – Boston, Mass.
Urban AdvenTours, a bicycling organization in Boston, hosts various biking tours through the greater Boston area. The Green Building and Sustainability group tour highlights numerous buildings in the city that were constructed with sustainable measures. All tours include bike and helmet rentals.

For those planning ahead, Urban AdvenTours also sponsors the Tour de Farms to be held August 20. This special tour aims to highlight sustainable agriculture in the Boston region, visiting community supported farms and farmer’s markets. Bikers will get to sample food and learn about supporting local agriculture efforts.

Boston's Urban AdvenTours offers bike ride tours around the city

Smolak Farms Educational Tours – North Andover, Mass.
Specifically tailored for family and school outings, Smolak Farms’ education tours take visitors on a tractor-drawn hayride through the farm to learn about both the history of the land the current crops grown. Participants get to try some of Smolak Farms’ original food products, such as the apple cider donuts, and the cost per person is only $7.

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project – Lowell, Mass.
The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project is run in part by Tufts University. Open to the public, NESFP hosts a few workshops a month that teach participants various skills related to farming and small-scale agriculture such as greenhouse management, food safety, and composting.

The NESFP has also started some really innovative programs such as the World PEAS (People Enhancing Agricultural Sustainability) program, a cooperative farming project that gives land to immigrants so they can make a living themselves through community supported agriculture.

-Kelisha Menon

Photo Credit: Flickr/Deborah Fitchett, Allyson Koerner