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A Place of Gatherings

26 Aug

IMG_4290A big 1st birthday party for Rylee, a gathering of the Church of the Nazarene, and a Mass Cali (Calisthenics) meet-up group were enjoying a spectacular afternoon at the park yesterday, along with proud parents out strolling (their daughter will move into her Harvard dorm tomorrow), and others picnicking, reading, dog walking and just hanging out.


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The pool is closed but the spray deck is OPEN until Sept. 3. And the port-o-potties will stay at the park through mid-September. Enjoy these last days of summer at our local urban oasis.

We hope you saw our letter in the last Thursday’s Cambridge Chronicle: Happy birthday, Magazine Beach!

A Summer of Fun

18 Aug


Almost 1,400 attended our FREE summer programs at the park this summer–savoring the 17-acre open space for nature exploration, stories, magic, clown silliness, yoga, music, children’s games dance and art.

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Many thanks to our sponsors and partners who enabled this fun.

Sponsors: MIT (lead sponsor!), and Kimco, the Charles River Conservancy, Forest City and the Central Square Business Association.

Partners: the Department of Conservation & Recreation, the Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge Arts, Cambridge Community Schools, Blue Hills Observatory, Knucklebones, Mass Audubon, Make Music Boston, Green Cambridge’s Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project, the Druid, Jackie O’Riley’s Dance Studio and MIT’s Media Lab.

The summer isn’t over! Enjoy the pool until August 23 and the spray deck until Sept. 3. To picnicking, swimming and splashing at Magazine Beach!

The Park is Looking Fabulous…

15 Aug

The fence is down, the splash deck is spraying, the boat launch is underway and the pool is open until NEXT Thursday, August 23. Thanks to DCR for removing the broken wading pool and reseeding the lawn–which has now taken. Picnickers are welcome there, but please tread softly!


The old broken wading pool is gone and the new lawn is open for picnicking!

The spray deck has been a great hit. DCR is working to resolve drainage issues there. Have patience! (Water has been draining onto the grass behind the pool, making it soggy.)


The spray deck is open until Sept. 3.

R. Bates Construction are hard at work on the canoe/kayak launch and outlook. We’re still hoping that you’ll be able to use these this fall.


The canoe/kayak launch is under construction.

Thanks to the good neighbors who have been picking up trash at the park. It makes a huge difference. Please feel welcome to join in. Also, thanks to the CRC and Adobe volunteers for removing bittersweet, pick up trash and weeding the flower bed in front of the pool house last week.


Adobe volunteers, working with the CRC, weeded the flowerbed.

Enjoy these last days of summer. The pool is open until August 23 and the spray deck until Sept. 3.


The pool is open until August 23.



To Music, Art & Community at the Park

30 Jul

Last night the park was busy with celebration, with birthday parties, family picnics, our 2nd Annual Traditional Irish Session, and ArtBoat.IMG_3645Traditional musicians from the Druid and dancers from O’Riley Irish Dance took the stage, along with some exuberant members of the audience, large and small. Thanks are due to the organizers: Sean Clohessy, Jackie O’Riley, and Brian O’Donovan; and to those who provided essential bits: the Boston Dance Alliance (for the dance floor), Home Depot (for the generator), and the Riverside Boat Club (for the chairs). What a lovely evening!


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Then, Laura Perovich, PhD student in the Object-Based Media group at the MIT Media Lab, brought ArtBoat to the park.  To art and creative expression at Magazine Beach!


ArtBoat as photographed by Jorge Valdez (

If you’d like to be added to the ArtBoat mailing list to learn about future events, see pictures from the event, and provide feedback, go to: or contact Laura Perovich at  Laura asks, “please share your pictures from this event! Post them with the hashtag #ArtBoatCambridge or send them to”

Music, Dance & Light Painting–ALL, Sunday, July 29

28 Jul

© Bimal Nepal,

Bring a picnic, your instrument, and your dancing shoes to the park for our 2nd Annual Traditional Irish Session, 5:30-7:30pm. Some of Boston’s best traditional players, including Joey Abarta (Uilleann Pipes), Tina Lech (fiddle) and Ted Davis (banjo/guitar) will play and Jackie O’Riley, of O’Riley Irish Dancewill lead free instruction in traditional Irish step! Thank you, the Druid, Jackie O’Riley and Brian O’Donovan, for bringing this amazing event to the park. Meet at the dance floor beside the pedestrian footbridge (at the foot of Magazine Street).

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Then, from 8-9pm, Laura Perovich of the Media Lab will bring us Light Painting with Art Boats, making light paintings on the Charles.  Meet behind the swimming pool to drive remote controlled boats that will paint the river.

Parking: If the park’s 3 parking lots are full, you can park in the neighborhood where it says residential parking only–it’s Sunday, and parking is easy in Cport. Better yet, though, take the T to Central Square, or bike or walk to the park.

Fly, Buzz & Honk! Festival on Friday Celebrated the Many Creatures With Whom We Share the Park

On Friday, the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project of Green Cambridge brought the Fly, Buzz & Honk! Festival to the park. An all-star cast including Mass Audubon, Ranger Jean of Fresh Pond, Green Cambridge, Meadowscaping for Biodiversity, and, of course, the CWFF,  led beetle, bee sock puppet and nature journal making, pollinator relays, nature exploration, and music, too. Thank you, all!

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Outside & Exploring Nature

25 Jul

Note: Due to rain, the Fly, Buzz & Honk Festival has been postponed to Friday!


Lisa Kumpf of the Charles River Watershed Association spoke with teens about wetlands.

On Monday, 25 teens from the two Cambridge Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, Team Green Sense and C.C.C. STEAM, toured the park to learn about ecology, watersheds and the history of the park and how humans have changed it over time. (Long ago, it was an island surrounded by marshes.) Partners from Mass Audubon and the CRWA collaborated for a fascinating, if a bit wet, program.

Students in another Mayor’s Program, YEEP, the Youth Environmental Entrepreneurship Program, joined us July 11 to check out the new pollinator garden that Meadowscaping for Biodiversity gave us in May. The plants are thriving and bees and butterflies abound!

On Tuesday, Mass Audubon returned to the park with Nature Detectives (for little ones, Tuesdays at 10am). Mass Audubon will be back again on Friday for the  Fly, Buzz & Honk! Festival, July 27 (the rain date!), from 10am-12:30pm. Come join us! Explore nature, play a pollinator relay game, make puppets and craft your own nature journal. Bring your lunch and then cool off afterwards at the spray deck or swimming pool. Check here in the morning to see if the program is ON or whether is will happen on Friday instead (due to the weather!).

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NOW, NEXT Sunday: Traditional Irish Session & Light Painting

19 Jul

These events have been postponed to NEXT Sunday, July 29. While it’s GORGEOUS out right now, the rain will come early this morning and is predicted to stay with us all day Sunday. See you at the park on the 29th! Please help to spread the word.

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Come one, come all: All Irish instrumentalists, singers, dancers, and listeners are welcome! Head to Magazine Beach NEXT Sunday, July 29 at 5:30pm for our 2nd Traditional Irish Session and then to the Druid afterwards for more great tunes. Many thanks to Brian O’Donovan of WGBH’s Celtic Sojourn for inspiring this event, to Sean Clohessy for organizing the musicians, and to Jackie O’Riley of O’Riley Irish Dance for leading the dancing.

Afterwards, at 8pm, we’ll also have Light Painting with ArtBoats at the park. We will make light paintings on the Charles River. Come meet behind the swimming pool to  drive remote controlled boats, control the color of lights on the boats and on land, or take long exposure photographs to make collaborative light graffiti. Organized by Laura Perovich, MIT Media Lab. FOR EVERYONE!

For more details about both events, click here.

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It’s July & the Park is in Full Swing

15 Jul

Over the last weeks, thousands have been drawn to the park to swim, splash, picnic and engage in our summer programs.


Vanessa Trien & the Jumping Monkeys delighted July 3.

Coming up this week: Stories & Song, Yoga, Nature Detectives, CCD Open House & Bike Maintenance Workshops, African Drumming, a Traditional Irish Session, and Light Painting with ArtBoats. Click here for details.

Note: Due to today’s thunderstorms the CCD’s Open House and Bike Workshops at MB have been cancelled. They will be rescheduled for a date TBD.


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Powder Magazine Celebrated

9 Jul

Magazine Beach Park, Cambridge, MA © Bimal Nepal, BimalPhoto.coHow fitting that the 1818 Powder Magazine be restored on the Bicentennial of its construction. Yesterday, we celebrated this occasion with a ribbon cutting and birthday party. An all-star cast of speakers–DCR’s Comm. Roy, Sen. Boncore, Rep. Livingstone, Mayor McGovern, City Manager DePasquale, Ex. Dir. of the CHC Sullivan (and I, too) spoke of the collaboration that made the renovation possible.

The community advocated. The politicians representing us pushed. The City led. And the State (DCR) dedicated some of their limited resources to the renovation and oversaw it. Working together, we’ve made concrete, constructive change.

Now to find a community-oriented tenant for the building who will activate the space and serve as the guardian for the park. Got ideas? For more about the restoration of the Magazine, click here. Contact

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, Sept. 16 , 6-8pm, we’ll hold our Benefit Party for the park at the Powder Magazine to raise money for additional park improvements. We’re not done yet!

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Many of these photos were by Bimal Nepal. Thanks!





Powder Magazine Birthday Party SATURDAY, 4-7pm

6 Jul

Finally the heat and humidity is breaking. Tomorrow will be a cooler, sunny day—perfect for our Bicentennial Celebration & Ribbon Cutting for the Powder Magazine—a birthday party! See poster below for schedule of events. (Speaking program at 5pm. Cake at 5:30pm. For further info, click here.)

LOW RES RBG Powder Mag Poster-01

Come join in the fun in celebrating this momentous occasion. It’s not every day that the oldest structure on the Charles River Basin turns 200. And it’s not every day that the State (DCR), City (Cambridge) and community pull together to restore a building of such historic significance. In 1818, it stored gunpowder; in 1899, it became a bathhouse for Charles River swimmers; in 1954, it became a MDC garage; in 2018, ????? But we’ve done it—we’ve breathed new life into that old granite block building.

Interested in becoming the Magazine’s 21st-century tenant? Community surveys have suggested that it should become a concession, a meeting space, a performance venue and rental. Email:

Parking July 7: There will be overflow parking at the Morse School after the Farmers Market closes at 2pm. I’ll also be requesting permission from the Cambridge Police Department for out-of-towners to park in lower Cport –in residential permit spots–from 4-7pm today. But better yet, arrive by bike, foot or bus!