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Boats, Birds, a Marathon & another Cleanup

12 May



The CRWA’s Run of the Charles brought a canoe relay to our new boat launch 4.28; Morse kids ran the First Annual Morse Marathon 5.3 building fitness and community; Novartis volunteers, led by the CRC, made the park sparkle 5.9; and Mari Badger leads the first bird walk of the season TOMORROW, Monday, May 13 at 6:30am! See you at the Powder Magazine. Bring your binoculars! (If you can’t come tomorrow, join her Sun., May 19 @ 6:30am. Email Mari at to let her know you’ll be there.)


Thank you for the cleanup, Novartis and the Charles River Conservancy!


Note: The canoe/kayak launch will be completed by May 31. The contractor still needs to  add pebbles over the stones and plantings too.

Intrepid Volunteers Turn Out Despite the Weather

27 Apr

Thanks to the 25+ intrepid volunteers who turned out for the Earth Day Cleanup at the park this morning. It was cold. It was wet. And it was windy and yet they came out to remove the piles of wet leaves on the pedestrian footbridge, pick up trash and gather sticks. Hurray! Many thanks to the CRWA and CRC for organizing and to DCR for taking stuff away.

IMG_6379The park is looking spectacular. Welcome spring.

Earth Day Cleanup April 27, 9am-12noon

26 Apr


Let’s get the park ready for summer. The pool opens June 22nd and our summer programs kick off just the night before.

DCR counts on us to make their parks shine. Many thanks to CRLS’s Charles River Cleanup Project for picking up sticks at the park twice earlier this month. And thanks to Boston College High’s rowing team for cutting back the shoreline’s willow hedges last week. In preparation for shoreline work that’s about to begin along the river, we cut back the willow hedge now, before the red-winged blackbirds nested there.


Coming soon: river views, native plantings, 10 more trees and seating, and a drier shoreline path.

Take in spring at Magazine Beach. It’s greener every day.


City Commits $600k to Phase II-1

26 Feb

Winter at Magazine Beach

Last night the City Council approved the City Manager’s recommendation to appropriate $600k for shoreline and Powder Magazine patio improvements at the park. Huzzah! This is FABULOUS news because it will inspire the State, once again, to invest at Magazine Beach.

As you know, the Mass. Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) is responsible for almost a half million acres and its current funding is at 89% of its 2009 level. To make improvements at the park, DCR needs partners. And the City of Cambridge has been an excellent one.

Look for a ribbon cutting at the canoe/kayak launch late this spring, and soon thereafter, a groundbreaking and construction along the river and around the Magazine.

Below: a rendering of Phase II-1.

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DCR Awards $155,450 for Shoreline Improvements

15 Jan

img_5775DCR celebrated the distribution of $900,000 of Partnership Matching Funds with its park partners yesterday at the State House. Among them were us–Magazine Beach Partners, represented by Decia Goodwin and Cathie Zusy.

With us in the photo above are, L to R, DCR’s Comm. Leo Roy, Senator Joe Boncore, Representative Jay Livingstone and Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton.

Thank you, DCR, and thank you, Cambridge. Cambridge CPA funds will match these dollars. Look for an improved shoreline path, additional seating, open views of the river, and native plantings later this spring and summer.

Donations, Please, for Take Me to the River, Phase II-1!

20 Dec
Powder Magazine Front Aerial 2018_12_18

Rendering of expanded Magazine patio, new terrace & additional wall seating.


  • An improved and more accessible shoreline path, healthy native vegetation, new seating and trees; and
  • An expanded patio and new terrace and seating wall at the Powder Magazine.

These improvements will make the park an even better place to gather, engage with nature, and relax, AND they will help DCR to attract a stronger community-oriented tenant to the Magazine.

And then, Contribute. Help realize the dream.

Make your check out to: “Magazine Beach Partners”

Mail it to: MBP Treasurer Marge Amster, 10 McTernan St., Cambridge, MA 02139

OR make your tax-deductible gift here


As one donor wrote us: As I drive around Boston, the Cape, and other territories I always think about our growing population (225M when I was a boy to 320M today), and how so many waterfronts, both salt and fresh, have been claimed for private exclusive use. I think of how important it is for all of us to have access to water, not just for recreation and the health of our bodies, but for the health of our souls.  Magazine Beach is such a great opportunity and will be the jewel of the Charles. — Bill Donaldson

  • Also, anonymous donors have pledged to match up to $10,000 of gifts donated by December 31, 2018.  
  • And, since we have no staff costs, 100% of your donation will go to the park itself.

We are so grateful for your support! Cathie Zusy for Magazine Beach Partners (Want to see what we’ve been up to? Click here:  MB Partners Annual Report 2018.)

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Delighting in Open Space

8 Dec


Big, green open spaces encourage us to run, play, relax, and commune. A toast: to our 17 acres at Magazine Beach and the refreshment and possibilities they invite.

2018 Annual Meeting for Magazine Beach Partners—Tuesday, Oct. 30

28 Oct


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Please join us at this Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7pm, at LBJ Apartments (150 Erie St.) for our first-ever annual meeting of Magazine Beach Partners. Learn more about our plans, progress, programs and finances. We’ll be introducing Phase II-1–coming soon! Refreshments will follow.

Speakers will include:

  • DCR’s Director of External Affairs & Partnerships Jennifer Norwood & Sr. Planner (and Magazine Beach Project Director) Rick Corsi;
  • Cambridge’s Taha Jennings, Asst. to the City Manager; &
  • Magazine Beach Partners board members.

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


Hear, Hear DCR & the CRC

15 Oct

DCR, thanks for fixing the 9 broken benches, mulching around the trees, and adding ADA curb ramps at the corners of the parking crescent and across Memorial Drive at the foot of Magazine St. This will make it safer for cyclists, too.IMG_5050Last Friday, the Charles River Conservancy led 60 Ernst & Young volunteers in sanding and painting the benches, cutting ragweed and phragmite seed heads and planting bulbs in front of the bathhouse. And Saturday, another 60 volunteers from MIT (Phi Beta Epsilon) and BU (Delta Sigma Pi) came out in the rain and cut more seed heads and picked up trash. Head of the Charles volunteers were also on site, cutting down the blue indigo along the shoreline so that HOC rowers can have access to the river—THIS COMING WEEKEND!  Thank you, all!

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Hear, Hear Lead Donors: MIT and Longleaf Lumber

10 Oct

Our summer programs have delighted children and adults alike year after year. Here magician Bonaparte connects with a fan. MIT was lead sponsor in 2018.

MIT has been a contributor to summer programs since 2015, and this past year was both lead sponsor for summer programs and a lead sponsor for our Sept. 16 Benefit Party. In addition to contributing money—always nice—they’ve put their students to work for us. In 2013, MIT students in City to City, drafted our initial strategic plan, created an exhibit for us, and set up our Facebook page. Thanks, MIT, for believing in us and in the importance of this 17-acre riverside park.


The new rafter tails, with old longleaf heart pine donated by Longleaf Lumber in 2014.

Longleaf Lumber bailed us out in 2014, when the new pressure-treated pine rafter tails ordered for the Powder Magazine arrived cracked and twisted. In their place, Longleaf donated some old growth rough-sawn longleaf heart pine that was perfect and true. (These were repurposed posts from the old Crocker Paper Mill in Holyoke, MA.) Now, for the shoreline renovation of the park, they have donated some old live oak timbers to use as seating. (The logs were salvaged from the Charlestown Navy Yard. A few are currently being used as seating at Walden Pond, Fresh Pond, and on the Cambridge Common.) Look for these logs along the newly improved path next year.

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Young readers enjoy an old log Longleaf Lumber salvaged from the Charlestown Navy Yard–now a bench at Walden Pond.

The revitalization of Magazine Beach is happening because of State, City, individual, business and foundation investment in this public space—through private-public partnership. MIT and Longleaf Lumber have lead the way and we applaud and appreciate their engagement.