The Head of the Charles is Back!

22 Oct

Single and double sculls of visiting rowers will once again launch from Magazine Beach Park. The HOC is the world’s largest two-day rowing event—this year, because of COVID, the 56th HOC Regatta will happen over 3 days and it will feature many rowers who participated in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. It began this morning. It continues tomorrow, Saturday, 8am-3:41pm and Sunday, 7:45am-3:59pm. The start line is at Boston University’s DeWolfe Boathouse, and rowers finish the 3-mile upstream course at Herter Park along Soldiers Field Road.


There is great viewing of the start from the BU Bridge and of the “powerhouse stretch” from Magazine Beach and River Street Bridge. For more information, see this Boston Globe article or the HOC website. 

Over 150 athletes from Magazine Beach’s Riverside Boat Club will compete this year! Founded in 1869 by printers from the Riverside Press, many of them Irish immigrants, the boat club has been at the park since 1912. It is the last “working man’s” boat club on the river and today boasts over 300 male and female rowers of all levels,  including members who have represented the United States in recent international competition and many Head of the Charles event winners.

Mass Audubon Will Be the Tenant at the Powder Magazine!

19 Oct

Hurray! It’s official! Mass Audubon will be the tenant at the Powder Magazine. It will be an urban nature center, but with music, the arts, community engagement and some sort of food vendor, too. Stay tuned for further information and a BIG celebration to welcome them. In the meantime, enjoy their FREE top quality drop-in programs: Wildlife in the Park TODAY, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2:30-5:30pm.

They will also do another wildlife program Tuesday, November 9, 2:30-5:30pm and Halloween in the Park, Saturday, October 30, 11am-2pm. Programs are for all ages.

Staff from the Charles River Conservancy will also be at the pedestrian footbridge from 3 to 4pm today to guide you on their MathTalk Trail. Join in the fun.

Mass Audubon Hosts Fall Nature Programs

4 Oct

Join Mass Audubon naturalists for FREE drop-in programs for ALL AGES THIS month and next:

10/5- Science in the Park 3-6pm

10/10- Art in the Park 1-4pm

10/19- Wildlife in the Park 2:30-5:30pm

10/30- Halloween in the Park 11am-2pm

11/9- Wildlife in the Park- 2:30-5:30pm

Programs will happen in drizzle, but not heavy rain.

Cambridge Commits Another $150k to Magazine Beach!

21 Sep

Thank you, Cambridge, for another $150k for park improvements—this time, to turn the sunken parking lot between the pool and the river into a useable grassy beach.

Over the past decade the City has inspired the State to invest at the park again and again and that is why we now have a restored Powder Magazine (built in 1818, the oldest building on the Charles River Basin), a canoe/kayak launch, and, most recently, the improved shoreline path and expanded patio and terraces around the Magazine.

We still have more to raise, but this pledge builds on $150k of CPA funds from last year, a $50k State earmark that Rep. Livingstone negotiated, and some community contributions, too. We are hoping that the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) will fix up this area behind the pool—reactivating this area—when they redo the pool and its decks next fall.

We are so lucky to have this 17-acre urban oasis!

CRC BioBlitz at Magazine Beach & Floating Wetland 9.14

8 Sep

Join the Charles River Conservancy and Mass Audubon for BioBlitz next Tuesday, 9.14, 3-5pm, as they survey the park for species using the iNaturalist app. (Rain Date: 9.15) All are welcome to participate.

Register by emailing your name and contact information to Taylor Leonard at tleonard@thecharles.org by Thursday, September 9th! Registered participants will receive event updates and travel information prior to the Blitz.

MB Pool Closes for the Season at 6:45pm TODAY!

21 Aug

Sorry, all, Hurricane Henri is forcing DCR to close its pools for the season a day early…. Take a dip at the pool TODAY, Saturday, August 21. It will be open until 6:45pm. The spraydeck will remain open through September 6. Stay safe and enjoy the park!

A Place to Gather

17 Aug

Update: Because of Hurricane Henri, the Magazine Beach Park pool will close TODAY, Saturday, August, 21 @ 6:45pm for the season. The spraydeck will be open through September 6.

On Saturday the Perez and Garcia families hosted a reunion at the park—with family from Florida, Maryland, Connecticut, North Carolina and Virginia all gathering there. Magazine Beach has been their go to place for years!

Also, there, was a big birthday party in the grove and dance party on the terrace.

How we need this place to gather.

If you are organizing a larger event at the park, be sure to apply for a DCR permit. That way you can be sure that other events don’t conflict with your own.

While the spraydeck will remain open for a bit, the pool and bathhouse (with bathrooms) close this Sunday, August 22. Update: DCR will keep the port-o-potties at the park until the end of September. Thank you, DCR!

Enjoy these last glorious days of summer.

Sunday Evening at the Park

8 Aug

Magazine Beach is a place to gather, especially on weekends. This evening the Waldon Square Apartments had their biennial reunion, Family Fun Day there. They’ve gathered as brothers and sisters for 20 years, and the past five times at Magazine Beach. I missed the School of Honk’s spontaneous gathering/performance, but there were musicians here and there and so many others enjoying an afternoon at the park.

The pool is open until August 22, 11:15am-6:45pm daily. Take the pedestrian footbridge over Memorial Drive and experience Mathtalk, a math trail art installation for children. How many elephant steps does it take to cross over to the park?

Thanks to Meadowscaping for Biodiversity and the CRC for Removing Invasives

30 Jul

Yesterday Sasha Vallieres of the Charles River Conservancy led teens from the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program in invasive removal at the park. After learning about the creation of the park (once an island surrounded by marshes), the students identified the native and invasive plants there and removed purple nightshade, bindweed and oriental bittersweet from the lawn and swale areas.  And then, they removed black swallow wort—it’s everywhere and must be removed before the seedpods burst open—from the fence along Memorial Drive.  Thank you MS4B and the CRC!

Mathtalk Opens & Mass Audubon Delights

27 Jul
Measure Everything math walk at Magazine Beach overpass near Morse School, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Cambridge, Mass. © Copyright 2021 Veasey Conway, All Rights Reserved

Saturday Mathtalk opened on the pedestrian footbridge (at the foot of Magazine St.) to Magazine Beach Park, courtesy of the Charles River Conservancy and MathTalk. Come check out this playful a math trail art installation that teaches young kids about measurement.

And then on Monday night, Mass Audubon returned with Summer Nights, with live animals: a corn snake, Eastern screech owl and turtle and related art activities for all ages. They’ll be back next Monday at 6pm, with a hawk and more fun. And August 9th, they’ll be taking more kids out on the river kayaking. Click here to register to kayak! It’s FREE.

So enjoy the adventure of crossing the pedestrian footbridge as you enter the park and then our programs, your picnics, the spraydeck, swimming pool, soccer fields, boat launch, the sunset,  and so many bunnies. Magazine Beach is just a math trail art installation away!

Update: Great news! Rep. Jay Livingstone and Sen. Joe Boncore got us another $50k earmark for the park. This will be for Phase II-2 improvements to the park—turning the sunken parking lot into a grassy beach. Thank you Jay and Joe!