Search results for 'wildlife'

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.

Wildlife at MB Oct.-Dec. 2015

5 Feb

Many thanks to the bird and critter watchers at Magazine Beach who are noting what they see and when on the Powder Magazine whiteboard. Among the creatures spotted between October 15th and the end of December were:

Canada geese, White geese, Seagulls, Sparrows, Cormorants, Downey woodpeckers, Golden crowned kinglets, Mockingbirds, Bluejays, Red-tailed hawks, Robins, Eastern phoebe, Chicadees, Scarlet tanagers, Goldfinches, Black-throated blue warblers, Mallard ducks, Northern shovelers, and a Great-crested flycatcher, Slate-colored junco, Catbird, Wood thrush, Brown thrasher, Grackle, Yellow warbler, Mourning dove and Great-blue heron.

Rabbits, squirrels, voles, crickets mosquitoes and a snake—seen in the water near the kayak landing.

This is the beginning of a seasonal record of wildlife at the park. Check out the nature just down the street!

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!

Announcing Summer Nights

8 Jul

Starting Monday, July 12 and continuing Mondays through August 9, 6-8pm, Mass Audubon will host nature-inspired Summer events at the park. Meet under trees in field in front of Powder Magazine.

Connect to nature with Mass Audubon naturalists and drop-in activities featuring live wildlife (owls, hawks and more!), nature exploration, art -making with natural materials and local ice cream.

Offered: teen kayaking along the Charles River July 19 and August 9. You’ll need to preregister for this and sign a waiver. Click on the QR code below or email FREE!

Also, many thanks to Meadowscaping for Biodiversity, students from the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program and Carolyn Shipley for planting petunias in the planters at the spraydeck today and last week. All this rain will make them happy. Please encourage your kids to water the flowers with the bucket left there–just for that!

Plants courtesy of Magazine Beach Partners.

Free Yoga Begins Tuesday @ 6pm!

17 Jun

Tonight’s Yoga, 6.22, is cancelled due to rain.

Hurray! We’ve gotten permission to host a few summer programs at the park. All of them are FREE!

Neighbor Abbie Cohen will begin teaching Yoga THIS Tuesday, June 22 @ 6pm. Meet under trees in field in front of Powder Magazine. Bring your own yoga matt. This class will be cancelled if it’s raining. (Check our events page for info re cancellations.)

And then, our wonderful librarians from the Central Square Library will be back to lead Stories & Song on Mondays, at 10am, in the picnic grove, not too far from the pedestrian bridge (at the foot of Magazine Street). This will start the week of June 28 and continue, with the exception of July 5, through August 2. This event will also be cancelled if it’s raining.

Finally, Paul Kelley of Mass Audubon will be lead a Nature Exploration program for teens July 12-August 9, 6-8pm. Participants will kayak on the Charles River, make art and observe wildlife. Look for more information about this soon at (and here, too).

Remember, the spray deck is open 8am-8pm daily. The pool will be open Saturday, June 26-late August from 11:15am-6:45pm each day. 

10 New Trees!

20 May

Today the City planted 6 Ulmus americana ‘Princeton’ (American Elms) and 4 Quercus rubras (northern red oaks) at the park. Start looking for them as you enter the park from the pedestrian footbridge!

The American elm, a medium to large deciduous tree, will grow 60-80 feet tall. It has large leathery foliage and is vigorous and resistant to Elm Leaf Beetle and Dutch elm disease.

The northern red oak may grow 50-70 feet tall and has a rounded to broad-spreading, often irregular crown. Apparently, its leaves are an excellent source of food for wildlife, including squirrels.

We’ve lost so many trees at the park over the past decade. Thanks for the trees, Cambridge! Thanks for the permitting, DCR! And thanks for watering the trees, Charles River Conservancy!

May the trees thrive and provide much needed habitat for wildlife while providing shade and beauty for us humans.

Summer Programs Begin for Little Ones

30 Jun

Mondays and Tuesdays @ 10am we’ll launch some of our longtime favorite programs: Stories & Songs and Nature Detectives. Children ages 3-6, supervised by an adult, please join us. Amanda and Jamie of the Central Square Library are back and we’ll have new teachers–Amy Greene (of Tinkergarten) and Loni Lehnhardt–leading nature classes. Amy writes:

Discover the amazing wildlife at Magazine Beach using your ears, eyes, hands, and minds. We’ll search for birds, bugs, and blooms, as well as other activities and stories.

Special one-time events—Cat Mountain (storytelling with Japanese Masks, July 25), African Drumming (with Jafar Manselle, August 1), Who Came Up With That? (by the Little Red Wagon children’s theater, August 6) and a Fairy Circus (by the Tanglewood Marionettes, August 8) will soon follow. Click here, for more info.

Also, many thanks to Philip, Sue and lots of little ones for their help planting annuals in the spray deck planters on Friday. We’ll put a bucket there this week. Please encourage your kids to water the petunias! And thanks are due to the Media Lab and the Charles River Conservancy for their help weeding the new “meadow” beside the eastern swale and pulling out a lot of invasive bittersweet. THANKS, all!

A Summer of Fun

18 Aug


Almost 1,400 attended our FREE summer programs at the park this summer–savoring the 17-acre open space for nature exploration, stories, magic, clown silliness, yoga, music, children’s games dance and art.

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Many thanks to our sponsors and partners who enabled this fun.

Sponsors: MIT (lead sponsor!), and Kimco, the Charles River Conservancy, Forest City and the Central Square Business Association.

Partners: the Department of Conservation & Recreation, the Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge Arts, Cambridge Community Schools, Blue Hills Observatory, Knucklebones, Mass Audubon, Make Music Boston, Green Cambridge’s Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project, the Druid, Jackie O’Riley’s Dance Studio and MIT’s Media Lab.

The summer isn’t over! Enjoy the pool until August 23 and the spray deck until Sept. 3. To picnicking, swimming and splashing at Magazine Beach!

Music, Dance & Light Painting–ALL, Sunday, July 29

28 Jul

© Bimal Nepal,

Bring a picnic, your instrument, and your dancing shoes to the park for our 2nd Annual Traditional Irish Session, 5:30-7:30pm. Some of Boston’s best traditional players, including Joey Abarta (Uilleann Pipes), Tina Lech (fiddle) and Ted Davis (banjo/guitar) will play and Jackie O’Riley, of O’Riley Irish Dancewill lead free instruction in traditional Irish step! Thank you, the Druid, Jackie O’Riley and Brian O’Donovan, for bringing this amazing event to the park. Meet at the dance floor beside the pedestrian footbridge (at the foot of Magazine Street).

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 10.00.36 PM

Then, from 8-9pm, Laura Perovich of the Media Lab will bring us Light Painting with Art Boats, making light paintings on the Charles.  Meet behind the swimming pool to drive remote controlled boats that will paint the river.

Parking: If the park’s 3 parking lots are full, you can park in the neighborhood where it says residential parking only–it’s Sunday, and parking is easy in Cport. Better yet, though, take the T to Central Square, or bike or walk to the park.

Fly, Buzz & Honk! Festival on Friday Celebrated the Many Creatures With Whom We Share the Park

On Friday, the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project of Green Cambridge brought the Fly, Buzz & Honk! Festival to the park. An all-star cast including Mass Audubon, Ranger Jean of Fresh Pond, Green Cambridge, Meadowscaping for Biodiversity, and, of course, the CWFF,  led beetle, bee sock puppet and nature journal making, pollinator relays, nature exploration, and music, too. Thank you, all!

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Christmas in June!

30 Jun


Friday, 120 teens from the Mormon Church from the Cambridge and New London areas volunteered at the park trimming hedges, digging up phragmites, and planting hundreds of wetland plants in their place in the eastern swale. Thank you to the volunteers, to the Charles River Watershed Association and the Charles River Conservancy for assisting them, and to the City of Cambridge for the plants! Thanks also to Home Depot for the heavy duty garbage bags to dispose of the rhizomes.


And as if engaging 120 volunteers, and receiving hundreds of native plants wasn’t enough, DCR came and installed 5 new temporary interpretative signs about wetlands at the park. These signs are courtesy of a National Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant that the CRWA secured, working in partnership with Magazine Beach Partners, the CRC, DCR, Mass Audubon and the City.  They cover the themes: Cleaning Up the Charles, Wetlands at Work, Caring for Our Water, Make Way for a Healthier Wetland and Keeping the Charles River Clean. Check them out!

Also as part of this grant, we just published the final, summer issue of Nature Notes @ Magazine Beach: PDF MB Summer Newsletter.  To see the full set of seasonal newsletters, click here. Thank you Jeanne Strahan for her observations, research and writing and to Callum Griffith for his beautiful design! And many thanks to Brian Conway for the design of the gorgeous interpretative markers.


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