Where Collaboration Can Lead You…

24 Nov

Excellent energy at the Powder Magazine yesterday as DCR, Magazine Beach Partners and the City welcomed Mass Audubon as the new tenant. 

So many were there, almost all who had contributed in one way or another:

*Robb Johnson, who led Friends of Magazine Beach, which advocated for Phase I at the park—the improved playing fields and exercise equipment+

*Bill August, the CNA prez. who got us started at the Powder Magazine, along with 

*Carol O’Hare & Walter McDonald, who, with Bill, were part of the first CNA 11.14.2010 cleanup

*Charles Sullivan, who helped us get the CPA funding for the historic structure report, restoration and landscape plan, too

*Nina Cohen and Marilyn Wellons who wrote the history of the structure and site

*David Craft, who collected wildflowers for the site for our 2014 exhibit at Cambridge Arts

*Marian Miller who first brought Mass Audubon to the park with her magical Nature Detectives

*Peter Seweryn, who oversaw the restoration of the Magazine/bathhouse

*Carol Copeland, who helped develop the first park survey

*Rep. Jay Livingstone who has been a fierce and effective park advocate 

*Werner Grundl & Julie O’Neil who have documented park events for years (who provided most of these photos and the video, too)

*Richard Garver, Fred Yalouris, Magazine Beach Partner board members, and Peter Klinefelter who served for many years

and so many more.

Mass Audubon’s Senior Regional Director Renata Pomponi and President David O’Neill shared their vision for the Magazine as an urban nature center. DCR’s new acting Commissioner Stephanie Cooper shared DCR’s commitment to the preservation and protection of over 500,000 acres, and to partnerships. Cambridge’s Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and Finance Director David Kale shared the long history of the City’s engagement at the park. I spoke about how the restoration of the park came about. See Werner’s 30-minute video about it here.

We are all excited about Mass Audubon’s breathing new life into the old Powder Magazine. It was built to store gun powder in 1818; became a bathhouse for Charles River swimmers in 1899; and served as a utility garage for the MDC in the 1950ies.

What better use could it have today than to celebrate the wonders and joys of nature, while partnering with the community, embracing the arts and providing a food concession, too?

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