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You Never Know…

20 Jul

You never know what you’re going to find at the park. Last night I stopped by to see Mass Audubon’s 6-8pm drop-in nature programs, including kayaking on the river, pond study and making boats from natural bits.

On the way, I happened upon the Charles River Conservancy’s Mathtalk installation on the pedestrian footbridge to the park (at the foot of Magazine Street). Come for the Launch Party this Saturday, July 24, 10am-12noon, for refreshments, fun and games for children and families!

And then there were dancers–a band of little girls in flowing dresses and young women practicing a choreographed routine, with band, on the Powder Magazine patio, drummers on the terrace, and even a tight-rope walker.

Take a walk at the park. You never know what you’ll find–and there are bunnies everywhere!

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.

The Pool is OPEN!

26 Jun

Update: YOGA IS CANCELLED FOR TONIGHT, 7.6. We can’t have you out in the thunderstorms! See you next Tuesday.

It’s free and will be open daily through late August, 11:15am-6:45pm.

And the spraydeck is open each day 8am-8pm.

And, remember, Stories & Song led by our amazing librarians at the Central Square branch, starts this Monday, June 28th at 10am. It will continue on Mondays through August 2, except for July 5.

And FREE Yoga with Abbie Cohen on Tuesdays at 6pm starts on Tuesday and will continue through August 9.

For both programs, meet beside the picnic tables in the grove not far from the pedestrian footbridge (at the foot of Magazine Street). Both programs will be cancelled in case of rain….


See rules of the pool below. Re swimming lessons, ask the lifeguards. DCR hopes to offer them, but they need to hire a water safety instructor first. Looking for a summer job? DCR is still recruiting lifeguards.

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. 

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: 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…