Achievements

At a Glance: Since, 2010, our organization has supported and promoted Magazine Beach Park in all of its dimensions: its physical grounds, its ecology and history, and its community of users and neighbors. Partnering with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the City of Cambridge, and dozens of organizations, we lead the stewardship of this valued public space. For our ongoing efforts, we have received recognition and awards, including the State of Massachusetts’ Unsung Heroine Award (2012 & 2016), the Charles River Conservancy’s Distinguished Service Award (2012) and the Charles River Watershed Association’s Citizen Activist Award (2016). And when the City of Cambridge was honored with the distinguished national 5-STAR rating, our community engagement process was spotlighted as exemplary.

Park Grounds

Catalyzed:

  • The study and critical restoration of the oldest building on the Charles River Basin, the 1818 Powder Magazine
  • The production of landscape plans for the western part of the park
  • The drafting of a park vegetation management plan
  • A series of key physical improvements, including the removal of a broken playground, a broken wading pool, and the installation of a spray deck

Park Ecology and History

  • With partners, initiated regular park cleanups, which include the removal of invasive species
  • Developed educational signage, to be installed in the spring of 2018, about park watersheds, water management, and habitat
  • Conducted wildlife inventory
  • Organized educational walks about park ecology, history, and the water management facility onsite
  • Published a seasonal newsletter, Nature Notes @ Magazine Beach
  • Conducted in-depth history of the site
  • Published History on the Charles: The Story of Captain’s Island and its Powder Magazine (2013)
  • Mounted exhibition, Magazine Beach—A Place Apart, at Cambridge Arts, City Hall and the State House (2014 & 2015)
  • Organized exhibition-related programs at Cambridge Arts and the State House (2014 & 2015)
  • Contributed to Historic Structure Report for the Powder Magazine (2016)

Park Community and Advocacy

  • Designed and distributed surveys and conducted interviews with hundreds of community members and local groups about the park’s needs and how it might provide greater community benefit. Analyzed results and produced report.
  • Performed extensive outreach to diverse constituencies: on site and across the city, in print, and on the web
  • Convened meetings with residents, local non-profits, businesses, universities, and City and State representatives to discuss and report on parkland issues and improvements, and the landscape plan for Magazine Beach
  • Engaged area students, from  3rd graders to graduate researchers in environmental science and urban planning, to solicit ideas and produce products: exhibits, a strategic plan, a study of the site’s topography and an assessment of need
  • Advocated for the park by giving testimony, writing letters, and meeting with local and State leaders
  • Promoted our efforts to broader publics through exhibits, films, articles, a website, and social media
  • Inspired over $2 million of park investment from the State of Massachusetts, the City of Cambridge, and over 350 individuals, foundations, and local businesses

Park Programming: Culture, Recreation, and Health

  • Over 4 years, organized over one hundred programs and events, partnering with dozens of organizations and drawing thousands of participants. Programs have ranged widely: from orienteering and art installations to swimming “Olympics” and performances.
  • Additionally, we have engaged volunteers who have contributed thousands of work hours in numerous areas: invasive removal and cleanups; nature study; visual art, photography, film production and design; research, documentation, writing and editing; project direction and strategic planning; and event planning, program coordinating, and education.

In the works:

  • A canoe/kayak launch and river outlook (opening in spring 2019)
  • Permanent interpretive park signs (projected completion spring 2019)

Here is our first-ever annual report: MB Partners Annual Report 2018.

 

 

 

 

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