Trees are one of the greatest features of Magazine Beach. Along with the swimming pool, Charles River, and cool river breeze, they are why many people go to the park to gather, relax and picnic. (See the park in its glory with a few of its many mature trees above.)
CSS estimates that there are currently about 211 trees at the park. As part of the proposed park renovation 43 dead or declining trees will be removed and replaced with young trees 2:1. Below are photos of some of these. One has to wonder why they are having such a hard time. Is it the unseasonable back and forth hot then cold weather, the severe winds, the drought, the salt from the salt marshes of long ago, or the salt and carbon from Memorial Drive? Whatever it is, many trees close to the parkway are stressed and some have just, I understand, run their course. They are old trees.
Fourteen healthy trees also will be cut down as we move the parking lots closer to Memorial Drive to create more park. While we are sad to see these go, the park designers, DCR and the Magazine Beach Committee think that this will improve the overall experience at the park and the park, itself.
Park design, like many things, is about tradeoffs. Many people don’t even know that the park exists because parking lots block their views into the park. By moving the parking closer to Memorial Drive there will now be a dramatic view of the river, trees and parkland from the western edge of the park. By minimizing the size of the parking crescent, there will be more room for trees and picnicking.
To learn more about CSS’s plan for the park, click here. To see the tree inventory and plan of existing trees and the proposed plan, click here. The best way to understand what’s being proposed, is to take a walk at the park. Know that we are encouraging DCR to offer a second tree walk of the site as well. If this is scheduled, info about it will be posted here and on the CNA listserv.