Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Progress at the Park

7 Jun

The new outdoor gym is OPEN, the pool, almost complete, and the soccer fields have just been reseeded. Also, it looks like the grass in the grove MIGHT be growing AND there are wildflowers in bloom along the shoreline! And soon, DCR will be installing benches, bike racks and picnic tables next to the new outdoor gym.

So many programs are just ahead: bird watching, dance parties, cyanotype workshops, bachata, mindfulness workshops, yoga, poetry, story hour, Nature in the City festivals and so much more! For the complete list of summer events go here.

This Saturday, June 10, 12-8pm, join us for a Be Free By the Bridge Summer Party, organized by Be Free Radio and Mass Audubon. There will be dance, music, games and a nature scavenger hunt…

The pool opens June 28! Thanks, DCR, the City of Cambridge & Mass Audubon!

This Weekend at Magazine Beach…

1 Jun

Saturday, June 3, 8-10pm: Black Birders Week: Explore with Nature Man Mike 

Celebrate Black Birders Week with us as we explore the park searching for spring migrants including warblers, Baltimore Orioles, flycatchers, sparrows, and more, along with resident birds. Walk with Nature Man Mike, popular local birder and photographer, to learn about the birds found in the city.

Registration required:


Sunday, June 4, 11am-2pm: Open House at Riverside Boat Club/Learn to Row! (See poster above.)

Note: The Open House isn’t intended to be a learn-to-row experience – just a quick intro to the sport. In general, the minimum age for taking up rowing as a sport is more like a minimum size sort of thing in that kids have to be big enough to fit in the boats more or less comfortably. Community Rowing has a youth program that starts at age 12.


Mass Audubon’s Nature Center is open for drop in activities Saturdays & Sundays, 12-7pm. (The bathrooms in the Powder Magazine are open then, too.) There are still a few places left for the Cyanotype Workshops Saturday, June 8 & Thursday, June 27. For more information and to register, go here. The BRAND NEW SWIMMING POOL opens June 28.

Enjoy the weekend! The grass and wildflower seeds will LOVE the rain.

Photos of last Friday’s Nature in the City Festival below.

Festival Friday & the Outdoor Gym is Almost Ready…

24 May

Join us this Friday, May 26, 5-8pm, for Mass Audubon’s second Nature in the City Festival, this one with music by Tempo International Rhythm Section and the Cambridge Youth Steel Orchestra, food by Nada Cart, and lots of art: Animal Paper Cutting and Blue Printing Along the Charles.

Artists Liz Shepherd and Suzanne Moseley will host the first of several free cyanotype workshops at the Powder Magazine. Experience first-hand the magic of an experimental photographic process which is also one of the earliest forms of scientific botanical documentation. For more information, click here

Want to know about other upcoming programs? Click here.

The New Outdoor Gym, Near the BU Bridge, is Almost Completed! Look for it to open in early June. Also, DCR’s contractors are finishing up the pool and reroofing the bathhouse—all in preparation for the June 28-August 15, 2023 summer season. Hurray!

Thanks to the Charles River Conservancy for trying to get rid of the long stretch of knotweed along the shoreline without herbicides. We tried and failed. DCR will treat the knotweed later this summer, in preparation for Phase II-2. We need that very invasive plant gone!

Coming Soon: Cyanotype Art & Workshops

19 May

Magazine Beach Partners is helping to bring a second artist-in-residence project to Magazine Beach Park in partnership with Mass Audubon’s Nature Center.  Learn about the project and meet artists Liz Shepherd and Suzanne Moseley at the Friday, May 26 Nature In the City Festival, 5 to 8 pm.  The artists will unveil a pop-up studio they have created by layering a tent with large cyanotype images inspired by the local ecology and printed on fabric panels.  Cyanotype is a photographic technique with distinctive blue coloring; it was used in the 19th century to scientifically record plant and seaweed specimens from around the globe.  Today contemporary artists are exploring its expressive and experimental potential. 

Find out for yourself how to use this magical process to capture an image of flowers, leaves, feathers – any flat object with an interesting shape – at one of 8 free workshops in June and July.  Each workshop will be proceeded by a 30-minute guided collection walk around the park lead by a Mass Audubon Field Teacher. In the event of rain the workshops will be held the next day.  Click here for a list.

To register, go to:  Organized by Cambridge neighbors Cecily Miller and Michelle Lougee, last year’s artist-in-residence; funded by a grant from the Mass Cultural Council and MBP, plus donations from neighbors.  More information:

Grass in the Grove!

4 May

As you may know, the grass in the grove disappeared mysteriously last summer—reducing its picnic destination appeal. 

This morning, thanks to DCR, the Charles River Conservancy, Zipcar and us, Magazine Beach Partners, we have now sowed “Natural Perfection” grass seed there, the grass specified by the Charles River Vegetation Management Plan. May it grow!

Sasha (of the CRC) and I aspired to do this on Friday—before all the rain—but discovered that the blighted area was far larger than we’d thought. So we ordered more grass seed and enlisted Zipcar volunteers to help us today. 

We’ve roped off the area; let’s let the grass take hold. To verdant picnicking grounds by July…

Thanks also to the Zipcar volunteers for removing the very invasive garlic mustard from the shoreline, near the huge willow stump, and for picking up sticks, stones and trash at the park.

Eager to remember all the great things we accomplished together in 2022? See our 2022 Magazine Beach Partners Annual Report here. (Scroll to the bottom.) Thanks to our many partners and contributors! Working together, we get things done.

New Fitness Area is Coming

23 Apr

Update: Just posted our 2022 Magazine Beach Partners Annual Report here! It’s towards the bottom.

More improvements at the park: DCR is installing a TREKFIT outdoor fitness gym at the eastern end of the park. It will open in June. Thanks, DCR!

At Magazine Beach, spring is in the air with kite flying, baseball, festivals, cleanups and Mass Audubon’s nature center open weekends, 12-7pm, and so many programs. (See list here.)

Thanks to the 70 volunteers who turned out for Earth Day yesterday. The park looks spectacular and with all this rain, who knows, maybe our native plant seeds will, at last, pop up. To wildflowers just ahead!

Spring is Springing At Magazine Beach!

6 Apr

It’s still a little nippy outside, but spring is in the air. Mass Audubon will open their Urban Nature Center at the Powder Magazine for the season next Saturday, April 15, 4-7:30pm! From April 15-June 25, it will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-7pm.

At their first, of seven, Nature in the City Festivals at the park, April 15, there will be animals, nature walks, art activities and a sunset dance party!!!! Come join the fun. See list at

Also, Saturday, April 22, is the date of the Charles River Earth Day Cleanup: 10am-12noon. Following that, from 12:30-2pm, at the Nature Center, Mass Audubon will launch a MB Park-based eco-volunteer group. To learn more about this, click here.

Also, THIS SATURDAY, April 8, neighbor and naturalist Rob Roman will lead a walk of the park from 2:30-4pm. This is for ages 10 and up. It’s free but please register here.

The birds are back and the bunnies have been nibbling on some of the park bushes. Come soak up the sun and explore nature at our local preserve!

Volunteers Work to Remove the Japanese Knotweed

21 Mar

Thank you to the Charles River Conservancy and to volunteers from BU, Northeastern and the community for their work Saturday morning at the park. They worked to get rid of the very invasive Japanese knotweed along the shoreline without using herbicides. As part of Phase II-2 park improvements, the shoreline will be replanted with native grasses. But first, we must get rid of the knotweed! The idea came from here.

Volunteers cut down the knotweed and installed steel mesh to discourage the knotweed’s growth. Here’s the hope: when the knotweed grows its dominant shoot, it will meet the steel mesh, causing the shoot to branch, inhibiting its growth, and, we hope, depleting the rhizome.  It’s worth a try…

2023 Programming at the Park: Upcoming Events & Ideas Solicited

31 Jan

Mass Audubon’s Urban Nature Center at the Powder Magazine won’t reopen until April 15, but Mass Audubon is still offering FREE programs at the park. Learn about them here. A few are listed below.

Also Paul Kelley, Mass Audubon’s Cambridge Community Education Coordinator, is busy planning programs for the coming year. If you have ideas, please email Paul at If you’re interested in organizing a cultural event or movement-based classes like dancing, please submit this form: Mass Audubon Community Partner Collaboration Form. Paul also welcomes your feedback: Mass Audubon Magazine Beach  2022 Feedback and 2023 Snow-based Program Sign-up.

Mass Audubon estimates that they served 5,000-7,000 visitors in 2022, including more than 1,000 at their six Nature in the City Festivals and 735 participants in their Paddle for Empowerment Program.

How nice it is to have them at the park!

Winter Bird Walk: Bird Away the Winter Blues

February 4, 2023 (Saturday) 8:00-9:30am

There is nothing like the beautiful color of songbirds in the snow! We will enjoy our winter resident songbirds and ducks, and… Read more

Winter Nature Photography: Intro to Smartphone Photography

February 11, 2023 (Saturday) 3:00-4:00pm

Learn how to become an expert with your smartphone camera and capture and edit the best of nature on the go with Dx Lanson, Me… Read more

A Refuge Along the River

30 Dec

Who would have thunk 10 years ago that Magazine Beach would be the beautiful park it is today, with walking paths along the river, places to gather under the big old shade trees and, now, the Mass Audubon Nature Center.

Three other features will transform the park in 2023:

  1. the FREE Olympic-sized pool that is being rebuilt now;
  2. the last eyesore, the sunken parking lot between the pool and the river, will become a grassy beach and a new dock and outlook will be added, providing greater water access (Phase II-2);
  3. the current exercise area will be revamped with new equipment and a new surface.

All of this is happening because of DCR’s leadership, Cambridge’s financial investment, and the community’s advocacy, led by us, Magazine Beach Partners (MBP).

How grateful we are for this urban oasis: to DCR; to our partners the Charles River Conservancy, Mass Audubon and the Riverside Boat Club; and to YOU. Working together, we have accomplished so much.

In 2022, MBP:

  • contributed $130k towards Phase II-2;
  • served as the fiscal sponsor for the Plastic Tapestry project and donated $2k towards it;
  • donated 30 Adirondack chairs for park use;
  • sponsored yoga and West African dance classes;
  • supported Mass Audubon as they launched their urban nature center by publicizing their programs and connecting them with the community;
  • led or assisted with leaf raking, branch collection and park cleanups;
  • reported broken limbs, graffiti and trash and yard waste for pick up to DCR many times! They can’t be everywhere and we are the eyes on the park.

We welcome gifts for park improvements. 

Donate by PayPal or send a check made out to “Magazine Beach Partners” to MBP Treasurer Decia Goodwin at 175 Chestnut St., Cambridge, MA 02139. (We are a 501c3.; gifts may be tax deductible.)

Wishing you the happiest of new years!

Cathie Zusy for the Amazing MBP Board: Ken Carson, Brian Conway, Richard Garver, Decia Goodwin, Paul Lyons & Fred Yalouris

Note: While the Nature Center is closed, Mass Audubon is offering programs at the park this winter, including bird walks Jan. 7 and Feb. 4 and a nature photography class Jan. 14. Click here for details.