Group Meets Its Allston Neighbors

Earthwatch Institute officials listen to residents’ concerns, pledge to aid community

Two leaders of the Earthwatch Institute introduced themselves to the Allston community at an Allston Civic Association meeting last night, following Harvard’s announcement yesterday that the nonprofit environmental advocacy group would move its headquarters to a University-owned property in the neighborhood this April.

While one resident voiced concerns that there would not be sufficient parking space in the neighborhood to accommodate Earthwatch’s 42 employees, Allston Civic Association President Paul Berkeley said he thought the presentation “went well.”

“You get that with every project,” Berkeley said regarding the concerns. “People want to know if it will impact them.”

The Institute’s presentation, delivered by founding chairman Brian A. Rosborough, aimed to familiarize neighborhood residents with the organization’s mission of promoting sustainable environments through scientific field research and education.

Rosborough assured Allston residents that the Earthwatch Institute would be a good neighbor.


“We make the kind of noise you make when you’re thinking, so we won’t be noisy neighbors,” he said.

He also noted that the Institute, which plans to offer three fellowships for Allston/Brighton public school teachers, would give back to the community.

“We raise money through foundations that turn around and give it back to students and teachers in the Allston-Brighton community,” Rosborough said.

Starting April 26, the Institute will occupy 15,000 square feet of currently vacant building space at 114 Western Ave., which formerly housed WGBH’s public media headquarters.

The five-year lease represents Harvard’s first successful letting of its vacant Allston real estate holdings since University President Drew G. Faust announced in December that Harvard would be aggressively pursuing tenants for its properties in light of its slowing development in the neighborhood.

—Xi Yu contributed to the reporting of this article.

—Staff writer Sofia E. Groopman can be reached at