Better Know an Island is a Curbed Boston Outdoors Week 2014 special feature detailing the many islands accessible from our mainland. First up, Deer Island, which isn't an island at all (it's a peninsula, thanks to erosion).
Deer Island includes 60 acres of parkland as well as 2.6 miles of shoreline and two miles of pathways. It's accessible by car through Winthrop and lies just across Boston Harbor from Southie.
One of the biggest selling points for Deer Island is its wastewater treatment plant, which services 43 communities in the region. It's no joke: Learn the nuts and bolts and god knows what else of dealing with your detritus (actually pretty cool if you're into urban planning and such). Below is a how-it's-done diagram from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, which manages the island.
If you find this disgusting, Deer Island has a much nastier history: It was an internment camp for Native Americans and then, several decades later, a holding pen for Irish immigrants. That's all history, of course. Now, it's all about wastewater as well as jogging, biking, hiking, rollerblading, dog walking (leash, please), picnicking and fishing.
· Website: Deer Island [Harbor Islands Partnership]
· Our Outdoors Week 2014 archive [Curbed Boston]