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New Trees, Landscaping, A Shade Structure & RFP Due Friday for the Powder Magazine

16 Jun

So many good things are happening at the park! This very morning, Cambridge was planting new red oaks, replacing ones they’d planted in May that never leafed. And, their consultant, Essex Landscaping, was removing invasives from the bioswales and attending to plantings around the baseball field. Thank you, Cambridge!

And then, DCR’s contractors were installing a shade structure at the spray deck. Apparently, the roof won’t be installed for a month, until the concrete supports set, but shade is on its way. I assume benches will be added under the canopy. Progress.

Finally, DCR’s deadline for Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the Powder Magazine is this Friday. See: See: https://www.commbuys.com/bso/external/bidDetail.sdo?docId=BD-21-1020-DCRCU-DC250-63316&external=true&parentUrl=close. The document notes:

DCR seeks a qualified partner to provide environmental education, community engagement and programming, with a preference given to non-profits. DCR welcomes proposals from partners interested in the activation and care of the Powder Magazine as a way to reinvigorate that area of the park and attract new visitors to the park for environmental education and programming consistent with other Charles River Basin parks including the Esplanade and Artesani/Herter Park, recreation and more in Cambridge.

So exciting! The Magazine MAY have a tenant THIS summer. Thank you, DCR!

A Cool Place on a Hot Day…

9 Jun

The pool will open Saturday, June 26 at 11:15am! In the meantime, the spraydeck is OPEN 8am-8pm, but will be closed Friday, when DCR adds more shade.

So many retreated to the park this evening, our urban oasis along the Charles…

Congregation Eitz Chayim Hosts Tzedakah Sunday School at the Park!

24 May

Update: The spraydeck is OPEN, but will be closed Friday, when DCR adds more shade! The pool will open Saturday, June 26 at 11:15am.

On Sunday, Congregation Eitz Chayim held their end-of-the-year gathering under the big old shade trees at the park. After hearing a short history of the park—learning that the park was once an island surrounded by marshes, that the granite-block building stored gun powder for the local militia and to fight off pirates at sea, and that Magazine Beach was once the most popular river swimming beach on the Charles—the students and their families did a park cleanup and made gifts towards future park improvements: $788 so far!!!  Thank you, Congregation Eitz Chayim, and so happy that you’re enjoying the park.

The students took a quiz about the park history afterwards and got close to 100%. Good listeners… Here are some of their answers to the open-ended question:  “Why are parks important?”

  • Because kids have a lot of fun
  • Because it provides a safe space for humans, animals and more
  • They have a lot of trees
  • To entertain people outside (instead of inside)
  • Because they are useful for people
  • Because it is important to animals and humans
  • They give a place for city kids to enjoy green spaces
  • To support animals and reduce carbon dioxide. They also help create shady areas.

Go, students!

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.

Fairy Bed…

1 May

Not far from the pedestrian footbridge at the bottom of Magazine Street, you’ll find that the fairies have been at work, creating beauty. Thanks to neighbor Andy Farrar for sharing the good news (and photo).

There’s magic everywhere!

(Alas, the fairy bed has disappeared as mysteriously as it came. May the fairies return!)

The Park is Gorgeous!

30 Apr

Thank you, the Charles River Conservancy and the Green Architects, HMFH Architects, Daisy Troop 83002 and the Riverside Boat Club, for your Earth Day/Week cleanups last week.

And BIG NEWS! The City will be planting 10 trees at the park–6 American Elms and 4 red oaks–by mid-May. Hurray! Thanks to DCR for overseeing the permitting, to the City for the trees, and to the CRC for committing to water them.

Finally, DCR’s at work on the pool bathhouse. Look for more renovations to the building this fall and to renovations of the pool and its deck next fall. Progress!

And we’ve put out even more red Adirondack chairs. Take a seat and enjoy the view…

April Showers

21 Apr

Spring has come and the park is bursting with blossoms. Check it out and take a seat on one of the new Adirondack chairs–we’ve added more. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll catch a spontaneous cello concert, or, more likely, bird song.

The Chairs Are Back!

22 Mar

Come for a sit, a picnic, a read, a dog walk, a gathering, a boxing match, upside down or right side up. Spring has come to Magazine Beach Park! Picnickers, remember to bring trash bags. DCR won’t put out trash cans until May or June. So carry in and carry out….

And thank you Troop 56 for Saturday’s cleanup and to DCR and Cambridge for removing all the sticks, leaves and trash collected.

Thank You, Neighbors!

14 Mar
Seeing the need, the Walsh, Finley and De Forest families did a cleanup of Magazine Beach Park.

Last week, inspired by the build up of trash at the park and the springlike weather, three local families did a park cleanup–picking up 8 bags of trash and making the park look so much better. Thank you! So many are out enjoying the park and already even picnicking there! Spring is coming…

Trash cans are not out yet, so remember to bring bags to carry trash out. Also, feel free to add sticks to the stick piles that we’ve started along roads and pathways: near the exercise station at the Cottage Farm parking lot, the pedestrian footbridge, the parking crescent and between the pool and Riverside Boat Club. Windy days bring down sticks and branches!

Other quick park updates:

*RFIs (Requests for Proposals) for the Powder Magazine were due last Tuesday, 3.9. DCR is hoping to have a tenant in it this summer. More on the RFI proposals soon.

*We’ve reported all the broken goose fencing–fencing to keep the geese from eating the newly planted plants–to DCR. We’re hoping that they’ll fix it soon or take the fences down.

Snow Magic

10 Feb

See the best snow forts I’ve ever seen near the exercise area, beside the BU rotary. Lots of snow at the park for cross country skiing and snow angels, and there’s so much beauty. For full disclosure, the snow doesn’t seem great for snowballs or snowmen yet–it’s still a little too powdery–but once it warms up a bit, come on down. Wear your boots. Only the paths along Memorial Drive are cleared. (DCR has also plowed the pedestrian footbridge at the foot of Magazine Street.)