IMPT Meetings re Magazine Beach-THIS WEEK

17 Oct


Please join us Thursday, October 20 at 6:30pm at the Morse School Auditorium for DCR and CSS’s presentation about the design for Magazine Beach Park. (Draft design pictured above.) It’s critical that we have a good crowd there to demonstrate support for the project and to make last refinements. The goal is to have shovel-ready plans by the end of 2016. Then, all we need to do is find the $4 million to fund it.

The plan will:

*Create greater engagement with the river by widening the boat launch and adding two overlooks and a dock.

*Remove the broken wading pool to enhance the old grove of trees and picnic area.

*Include natural play features and a spray deck.

*Create a grassy lawn (where there now is pavement) between the swimming pool and the river.

*Rejuvenate the tree canopy by removing declining trees and planting new ones.

*Move parking closer to Memorial Drive, creating more park while retaining the number of parking places.

*Define park entrances and, with new pathway system, draw visitors into the park and along the river.

*Expand and open the Powder Magazine terrace so that the structure can better serve as a venue for events and sunset watching. (Note: The PM will have 2 public bathrooms.)

*Include resiliency features, including rain gardens and wetlands.

*Include a 10’-wide multi-use path along Memorial Drive for safer and more enjoyable walking, jogging, and cycling experiences.

The presentation WILL BE posted  here following the meeting.

Also, there will be a Cambridge Conservation Commission Site Walk of the Park Wednesday, October 19 at 4pmMeet at the Riverside Boat Club parking lot. If you’re concerned about tree loss, you should take this walk. You will learn, among other things, which trees are slated to be cut and why. Most of those trees are declining: they are partly dead and have been dropping major branches. Others slated for cutting are closer to Memorial Drive where we hope to move the parking lots, to create more park and a clearer western park entrance. Many trees will be planted to replenish the tree canopy.

Park design is all about trade offs. While no one wants to see trees cut–including us– we, the Magazine Beach Comm. of the CNA, believe that CSS’s proposed plan is a great improvement over what we currently have and that it will provide great overall benefit to Cambridge and beyond.

Come see for yourself: Wednesday (site walk) and Thursday (meeting)!


MB Makeover by Ernest & Young

3 Oct


60 accountants and business consultants focused their attention on Magazine Beach Friday and what a different they made: painting over graffiti (hurray!), repainting benches and picnic tables, raking leaves, picking up sticks, pulling out bittersweet, planting mums and mulching the bathhouse garden, and picking up trash.

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Thank you E&Y and thanks to Sasha Vallieres of the Charles River Conservancy for coordinating the event.

DCR Introduces Landscape Plan to the Cambridge Conservation Commission Monday Night

22 Sep


On Monday, Sept. 26, DCR and landscape architects Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge will introduce the Magazine Beach Park Project to the Cambridge Conservation Commission. Above is the latest design for the park.

The primary goals of this revitalization effort are to restore and improve connectivity and access to the Charles River while providing improvements to the site around the renovated Powder Magazine, which is the Park’s focal point.  Park enhancements include improvements to the existing kayak launch area, the installation of two overlook platforms and a dock, river vista pruning, vegetation management, and wetland restoration/replication. Additional improvements include enlarging an existing stone patio and retaining wall at the Powder Magazine, installing a splash pad near the swimming pool, improving existing footpaths, adding new footpaths, and removing a paved parking area from the riverfront area.

DCR will also submit a Vegetation Management Plan (“VMP”), which addresses the trimming and pruning of vegetation along the riverfront. Its goal is to control invasive species, to establish a healthy riparian edge; and to maintain vistas along the river’s edge. It will achieve this with invasive and non-native species control, vista pruning, and tree removals/plantings.

The project proposes the following shoreline treatments:

Along Shore near Swimming Pool: Remove invasives and replace with native wetland perennials and grasses. Regrading of the shore will increase shore planting area.

Along Shore near Powder Magazine: Remove invasives and replace with native wetland perennials and grasses, native shrubs and naturally spaced boulders.

Between the Weeping Willow and the Boat Launch: Remove invasives throughout, prune shrub Willows along the edge of the path and at select “hedged” areas that open views to the river.

The CCC meeting is Monday, Sept. 26 at 7pm at the City Hall Annex at 344 Broadway–4th floor conference room.

UPDATE: CCC will do a site walk of the park Oct. 19 at 4pm. Meet at the Riverside Boat Club parking lot. The next hearing will be Monday, Oct. 24 @ 7pm at 344 Broadway–4th floor. DCR & CSS  will also present park plans to the public Oct. 20, 6:30-8pm at the Morse School (40 Granite St.)

More $ for Magazine Beach!

20 Sep

Huzzah! Last night the City Council approved CPA Committee recommendations to invest another $100,000 into interior renovations of the 1818 Powder Magazine/1899 Bathhouse and $16,600 for interpretative signage at Magazine Beach Park. DCR has just stabilized the exterior of the magazine. The installation of bathrooms and lighting to the inside will enable DCR to find a stronger, more community-oriented tenant for the structure, which is the focal point for the park. We’ll be applying for matching funds from DCR for both of these projects.

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And, on Saturday night, we raised another $9,000 for the park at our 3rd Annual Benefit at the Riverside Boat Club. Fabulous party. Great energy, food, drink & music. Perfect weather. A strong sense of community. A celebration of partnerships and our progress to date working together. A chance to mingle with State and local politicians, DCR project staff and park designers about our hopes and dreams for the park. And what a magical venue!

Thanks to the many who came and the many who made it happen! We’re well aware  that we have a lot more money to raise for park renovations, but donations from over 100 private citizens is a good start. If you haven’t given yet, please do!

Magazine Beach Committee:  Marge Amster, Ken Carson, Brian Conway, Olivia Fiske, Richard Garver, Decia Goodwin, Peter Klinefelter, David Torrey & Cathie Zusy

CNA Board: Colleen Clark, Oliva Fiske, Leslie Greis, Catherine Hoffman, Elechi Kadete, Jay Shetterly, Carolyn Shipley & Cathie Zusy

MC & Speakers: Brian O’Donovan, Rep. Jay Livingstone, Sen. Joe Bocore, DCR’s Nicholas Connors, Cambridge’s Iram Farooq & Michelle Greene

Volunteers: Preston Fiske, Callum Griffith, Deirdre Keane, Sam Kendall, Carissa Lavery, Tarik Mubassir, Sophie Pelletier, Michael Schaffer, Jeanne Sprain, Chris Ward & Silas Weiner

Food & door prize donors: Harpoon Brewery, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Massage Envy, Micro Center, Starbucks, Nomad and Petsi Pies

Summer program sponsors: Sanofi Foundation of North America, MIT & the Charles River Conservancy

Photographs by Michael Schaffer.




Why Come to our 9.17 Benefit Party?

15 Sep

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Because we need this green open space along the river and it’s only going to become nicer because of YOU.

*Raise money for much needed park improvements–new picnic tables and benches, water and play features, a dock, lookouts and more!

*Demonstrate support for park revitalization.

*Have fun with fellow Cantabrigians and others, too.

*Savor the historic Riverside Boat Club with its views of the Charles.

*Meet the people who are making things happen. DCR’s project directors and CSS’s landscape designers will be there with their latest plans.

Purchase tickets at the door by check and credit card. See you at Riverside TONIGHT, 9.17, 6-8pm! 


Also, imagine watching the sunset from here, the balcony of the Riverside Boat Club. Almost a full moon Saturday night!

Parking info for non-Cambridge residents: If you can’t find parking at the park, you can park in the neighborhood near Memorial Drive. We’ve been given a parking consideration from the Cambridge Police Department.



10 Sep

35 volunteers participated in a statewide coastal cleanup this morning–of course, at Magazine Beach. The idea was to both cleanup and record our finds. Here’s what we discovered:

*The bulk of our trash was empty liquor bottles and cans.

*There were countless bits of little trash: cigarette butts, bottle caps, straw wrappers, straws & coffee stirrers; really little tiny trash: foam, glass and plastic pieces; and many food wrappers.

*Our strangest finds: one Nike running shoe, an air conditioner, an office chair and a recycling bin.

Many thanks to the Harvard Kennedy School students and all others who pitched in. The park looks much better for it! Thanks also to the Charles River Conservancy, who coordinated our event.


If you haven’t already, remember to sign up for our BENEFIT PARTY for Magazine Beach. It’s this coming Sat., Sept. 17, 6-8pm, at the Riverside Boat Club.Click here for details. The park isn’t going to become nicer, without you! Donations are tax deductible. Since we’re all volunteers, our overhead is low. Almost every dollar will go to much needed physical park improvements.



Powder Magazine is Almost Complete

9 Sep

The windows and doors are in and electricity is being installed. DCR hopes to have the interior designed by June 2017 and to have it completed in FY2018. If all goes as planned (pending funding), the Powder Magazine will be ready for a tenant just as park renovations are complete. 

Purchase tickets now for our 9.17 fundraiser and help to move the project forward. We need this green open space along the river. And what a gorgeous structure with its 4′ wide granite walls!

Also, remember:

Sat., Sept. 10,  9am-12noon. COASTAL SWEEP at Magazine Beach. We’ll be picking up trash and recording what we find. Meet us at the parking crescent beside the pedestrian bridge at the foot of Magazine Street.

Sat., Sept. 17, 6-8pm. BENEFIT PARTY for Magazine Beach. Click here for details.

Fri., Sept. 30, 1-4pm. INVASIVE REMOVAL, round #1, at the park. Let’s get rid of the phragmites! Click here to sign up.

Benefit Party-Sat., Sept. 17!

25 Aug

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Please join us! You can buy your tickets now at Eventbrite OR send a check to Olivia Fiske. See above. For more info, click here.  DCR, the City and the community, together, are funding park improvements. Each of us needs to do our part. To a spray feature, play features, new benches and picnic tables and more!

Take a walk at the park and check out the freshly painted Powder Magazine! It’s looking fabulous….

CRWA Awarded Prestigious Fish & Wildlife Grant for Magazine Beach

10 Aug

As part of this grant, we’ll be removing the phragmites that now fill the swale between the soccer fields at the park. Our goal is to return wildflowers to the site, restoring this habitat for birds and insects.

We’ve just heard the good news that the Charles River Watershed Association just received a highly competitive Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Program grant to improve the Charles River watershed at Magazine Beach and to engage the community in the process. The CNA is a partner in this grant providing community outreach and assisting with the development of educational and interpretative materials (working with Mass Audubon and the CRWA) relating to watersheds, water management and urban habitat.

With this grant we will restore wetlands, add and maintain rain gardens, and remove invasive vegetation—including common reed (phragmites), false indigo, Japanese knotweed and purple loosestrife. Work will begin in the next months and continue over the next two years. The idea is to incorporate these sustainable watershed features and best management practices as we renovate the park. Other partners include: DCR, the Cambridge Public Schools and Afterschools, the Charles River Conservancy, the Riverside Boat Club and the City of Cambridge. For more information, click here. Want to help out? Click here.

Rolie Polie Guacamole–Wed. @ 10am!

26 Jul

Jul-27-2016 Rolie Polie Guacamole

Parents’ Choice Award winning band, Rolie Polie Guacamole, will join us Wednesday, July 27 at 10am at Magazine Beach. FREE! The band started out in Brooklyn, NY seven years ago and has become a must see band across the east coast and mid-west, with top picks by, Time Out Kids NY, and Time Out Kids Chicago.  Their high energy, interactive shows are a mix of funk, rock and folk music mashed into original tunes about natural living, eating healthy and staying active.

Meet in the grove of shade trees just across the pedestrian footbridge–at the foot of Magazine Street.

Presented by Cambridge Arts Summer in the City, in partnership with the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, Inc.