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185 Enjoy Silly Songs & Delightful Puppets

7 Jul

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Summer Programs are in Gear… Yesterday morning, Cambridge Arts kicked off their Summer in the City with Red Yarn Productions: folksongs and puppetry by Andy and Jessie all the way from Portland, OR. DELIGHTFUL.

Coming up at the park: Morning Yoga (Saturday) and Sketching (Sunday), Stories & Song (Monday), Nature Detectives (Tuesday), Zumba (Tuesday), Navigation Games (Wednesday, only at 11:30am), and the Yellow Bird Chase (fantastic family theater; see photo below) Wednesday. Looking forward to seeing you at these events or at the pool—open daily, 11:15am-6:45pm.


July 1 @ Magazine Beach Park

1 Jul

There’s a cool breeze along the river..

The Pool’s Open EVERY Day

26 Jun

IMG_8268The pool is now open daily, 11:15am-6:45pm, until August 23. And Stories & Song will be on Mondays, Nature Detectives & Zumba on Tuesdays, Navigation Games on Wednesdays, & Yoga on Saturdays! All FREE!

This week, Stories & Song, Zumba and Yoga will kick off.  Zumba with Janice Neiman starts tomorrow, Tuesday, June 27 @ 6pm. Meet on the park side of the pedestrian footbridge, at the foot of Magazine Street. Yoga with Jade Sylvan begins this Saturday, July 1 @ 9am. Both activities are courtesy of the Cambridge YMCA. (Thank you CYMCA!) In case of rain, these programs are cancelled! See Events for all other listings and weather cancellation updates.  

Notes:  1. DCR will be offering FREE swim lessons at the pool. Register at the pool July 3 @ 10am, July 17@ 10am & July 31 @ 10am. Kids should arrive in their suits, ready to take a swim test! Lessons are for ages 3 and up. (But if there is demand for a parent/toddler class they may add one.) Classes are Monday through Friday for two weeks. The 30 minute lessons will be held between 9:30 and 11am.  

2. July 4th picnickers: Please, ONLY bring gas grills, not charcoal grills, to the park. Gas is MUCH CLEANER and there’s no need to dispose of the hot charcoals.  Many of the trees at the part are really suffering, we think in park from coals being dumped at their base. THANK YOU.







Make Music Boston @ Magazine Beach

23 Jun

Over 200 joined us at the park Wednesday night for a gorgeous evening of folk/rock tunes and a cool river breeze. The event ended with two jam sessions – harmonica and ukulele – enjoyed by young and old. This event was part of not only a city-wide celebration, but a world-wide one–over 800 cities participated.


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Heads up! Stories and Song (Mondays @ 10am), Zumba (Tuesdays @ 6pm), and Morning Yoga (Saturdays @ 9am) all begin NEXT WEEK! Head to the park with the little ones, or without them for some enjoyable yet challenging exercise and relaxation under the big old shade trees. AND, the pool opens TOMORROW, Saturday, June 24 @ 11:15am!


Twenty Pull Phragmites From the Swales–Many thanks to all the volunteers who dug up Phragmites at the park this morning. It was tough digging up those so persistent and intensely networked rhizomes. DPW provided tools and Elisabeth Cianciola, Katie Friedman and Lee Mabry from the Charles River Conservancy provided direction. Ten Honor Society students from Cambridge Rindge & Latin High contributed their strength. We’ve got a lot more to do–there will be many more volunteer opportunities to assist–but we did haul out many a bag of root masses. The CRWA staff will cover the area with black tarp now with the goal of killing these invasives without using herbicides. Want to help out another time? Click here. Let’s open up the swales for wildflowers!


Make Music Boston @ MB: Wed., June 21

15 Jun

Update: Both jams are 7-8pm tonight! Screen Shot of MMB poster

Wednesday, June 21, 5-8pm (Rain Date: Friday, June 23) See you at the park TONIGHT. The event is ON.

Make Music Boston returns to Magazine Beach for its second year on June 21, the longest day of the year! Celebrate the summer solstice with Best Ever Chicken (Parts), Carlin Tripp, and Darius Heywood, plus two mass community jam sessions! Bring a picnic. Ice cream truck, but NO foodtrucks (alas). FREE!



5-6pm Best Ever Chicken (Parts), “grassroots” bluegrass

Best Ever Chicken (Parts) delivers a sound rooted in traditional bluegrass, but encompassing all of American folk, blues, country gospel, and Irish fiddle tunes. The Cambridge-based group has been playing for nine years.

6-7pm Carlin Tripp, acoustic rock

Carlin Tripp is an American songwriter drawing from a life spent roaming this great country, seeking out rare experiences and making new friends along the way. His songs reflect on love lost, love found and the trials and joys we all face in our day to day existence.

7-7:30pm Darius Heywood, original rap

Darius Heywood was born and raised in Brockton, MA. A lyricist with vivid imagery, his formal beginnings of making music as an artist started in 2011. Since then, he has released his debut album “Black Diamond,” had his first single “Pay in Gold” featured in Pigeons & Planes “5 On It” (a spotlight for independent artists), and played in venues like the Middle East and Hard Rock Café.  


Bring your harmonica and ukulele and play in mass jams. Don’t have a harmonica? No worries! We’ll provide them.

7-8pm Harmonica Jam–Have a harmonica and want to play with other harmonica players in a mass jam? Don’t have a harmonica, but want to play anyway? Come talent or passion and join us at Magazine Beach- we’ve got you covered either way!

7-8pm Ukulele Jam–Play and sing along with our Ukulele Mass Appeal!

Local tunes, friendly jams & port-o-potties, too. What more could you ask for? Bring a picnic! For more about Make Music Boston, click here.

2017 Summer Programs!!!!!!!

11 Jun

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Programs kick off Wednesday, June 21, 5-8pm, with Make Music Boston–3 bands and ukulele and harmonica jams. And the pool OPENS June 24 at 11:15am! Also exciting: DCR is building a spray deck beside the pool. They hope to open it this year.

Note: Pool hours will be 11:15am to 6:45pm, not 11am-7pm, as noted on some print materials.


The Annual Warbler Migration is Underway

31 May

Note: Jeanne Strahen, who’s conducting the wildlife inventory of the park, will lead a FREE bird walk THIS Saturday, June 3. Meet on the BU Bridge, facing the park, at 7:30am. Bring your binoculars! (Rain date: Sunday, June 4.)

Each spring, warblers wintering in Mexico and Central America catch favorable air currents and begin their migration up through the Midwest, then head east to New England and Canada, where they breed in the summer months. The migration peaks in the first two weeks of May, when groups of warblers arrive at Magazine Beach after traveling as much as 200 miles in the previous evening. They stay a day or two to rest and feed on insects. Depending on the weather, they will be joined or replaced by a new group of warblers every day or two. Each group brings new species, most of whom will head north. I’ve identified sixteen species at Magazine Beach since the beginning of May. Look for them in the tall trees around the Magazine Street entrance.

–Jeanne Strahen

Yesterday’s sightings at the park: 20 black crowned night herons and three great blues with a total of 459 birds!

Warblers sighted at Magazine Beach: black and white warbler, common yellowthroat, American redstart, yellow rumped warbler, Nashville Warbler, blackburnian warbler, blackpoll warbler, magnolia warbler, northern parula, prairie warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, black-throated green warbler, palm warbler, pine warbler and Tennessee warbler.

All in a Day at the Park

24 May

IMG_7981Novartis Cleanup–Today was Novartis’s Community Partnership Day and 60-80 volunteers focused on Magazine Beach where they raked leaves, picked up trash, mulched flower beds and removed Phragmites from the eastern swale. Thank you, Novartis! And thank you, the Charles River Conservancy, Charles River Watershed Association and DCR for overseeing and assisting with these projects. Next step re the Phragmites: to cover the last vestiges of rhizomes (masses of roots) with tarps for 2 growing seasons. In time, we will replant wildflowers in the swale for insects and birds to enjoy.IMG_7958Navigational Games–Morse School kindergarteners ran from designated spot to spot “gathering” nature icons and 5th graders did some real orienteering with maps. How wonderful it was to see children running around the park!

FullSizeRenderAndy’s Pups–Every day at noon you’ll see Andy walking the park with his seven charges.IMG_8015Coming Soon: A Splash Deck!–Part of the swimming pool deck and the area beside it is fenced off. Construction will begin very soon.IMG_7950

Not from today, but from last week, 5.14.17: I am sorry to report another pedestrian got hit by a car as she tried to run across Memorial Drive. She died 5.16. PLEASE, use the pedestrian footbridge to cross over to the park. It is not that long and it is MUCH safer.

4.29 Earth Day Cleanup & Bird Walk THIS Saturday!

30 Apr

Thanks to all who participated in yesterday’s Earth Day Charles River Cleanup, including: Gensler, Reed Hildebrand, the Green Engineer, MIT, Pack 56 Cub Scouts and Cambridgeport neighbors; and to event organizers: the Charles River Watershed Association and Charles River Conservancy.

DCR will pick up the many piles of sticks and branches this week. Volunteers pulled tons of bits of plastic from the river and shoreline. A high school student took bags of it and will craft artwork from the marine debris.

Nature Lovers: We also sighted a muskrat, living along the river’s edge!!!!!! And, last week: a great blue heron. Jeanne Strahen, who’s conducting the wildlife inventory of Magazine Beach, and CRWA bird watcher Matt Marshall will lead a Bird Walk at the park Saturday, May 6. Meet on the BU bridge, facing the park at 7:30am (rain date: Sunday, May 7). Free. Bring your binoculars! UPDATE: Rain is predicted, but it’s not raining. The walk is on! See you there!

Wildlife photos courtesy of Garrett Newton and Coleen O’Connell.

City Council Unanimously Supports Investment at Park

26 Apr


On Monday the City Council unanimously approved the following Council Order, co-sponsored by Mayor Denise Simmons and Vice-Mayor Marc McGovern.

WHEREAS: At 17 acres, Magazine Beach Park is Cambridge’s second largest park and centrally located, beside the BU Bridge and along the Charles River; and

WHEREAS: The park has been a favorite picnicking and swimming destination for Cambridge families for over 100 years; and

WHEREAS: The park is the only stretch on the Cambridge side of the river that has the space to offer recreation, family gatherings and nature, that has the potential of becoming a destination; and

WHEREAS: Both the State and City have designated it as such in their 2001 Master Plan of the Charles River Basin and 2011 Cambridge Riverfront Plan: Reconnecting People to the Water; and

WHEREAS: The park badly needs renovation with its broken picnic tables and benches, a broken wading pool, no play features, sunken pavement, and many dead or dying trees; and

WHEREAS: Landscape architects Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge have almost completed the design for the western part of the park (Phase II); and

WHEREAS: The Massachusetts Department of Recreation and Conservation (DCR), the guardians of this park (that Cambridge created!), lack the capital to make all of the necessary improvements to the park; and

WHEREAS: Over the past few years, working collaboratively, the City, State and community have successfully restored the historic 1818 Powder magazine; and

WHEREAS: The City has already invested $1.5 million into the renovation of the playing fields and exercise area in the eastern part of the park (Phase I); and

WHEREAS: The Magazine Beach Committee of the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association (CNA) is committed to continuing to advocate for the park, to raise funds to renovate it, and to organize summer programs for the enrichment of local children and families; now therefore be it

ORDERED: That the City of Cambridge partner with DCR and the CNA to revitalize Magazine Beach; and be if further

ORDERED: That the City make a substantial investment in Phase II improvements and explore with DCR the possibility of maintaining the park; and be it further

ORDERED: That the City Manager report back to the Council on this matter.

Approved 24 April 2017