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!

A Cambridge Tradition

5 Jul


July 4th at Magazine Beach


Sitting under big old shade trees

Feeling the cool river breeze

The pool! The Spray deck!

Grilled burgers, hot dogs and chicken

Comfort, joy and delight.


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Spend July 4 at the Park

3 Jul

IMG_2386The pool will be open from 11:15am-6:45pm, and the spray deck from 9:30am-7pm. Please picnic in the areas that are not fenced off. DCR has reseeded the area where the broken wading pool was and it isn’t yet established. It will be ready for you in just a few more weeks.

Parking will be a little tricky. You can’t park at the park, but you can drop off stuff at the parking crescent (across from Magazine Beach Shell) and park in the neighborhood, even without a residential permit, OR in the Morse School parking lot.

Happy picnicking and Happy July 4th!


Return THIS SATURDAY, July 7, for the 200th Birthday Party and Ribbon Cutting for the Powder Magazine. At long last, its renovation is almost complete. Thank you DCR, Cambridge and the community for making this happen!

We’ll celebrate with salsa dancing, children’s games, kite flying, music, a Powder Magazine open house and tour, and, of course, birthday cake! For more info, click here.

Vanessa Trien & the Jumping Monkeys TUESDAY AND Powder Magazine Birthday Party SATURDAY!

2 Jul

Vanessa Trien

Come hear Vanessa Trien & the Jumping Monkeys tomorrow, Tuesday, July 3 @ 10am (rain location: Morse School). A New York City native, Trien has been performing music for kids and families for more than a decade with her lively band the Jumping Monkeys. Her music for kids and families has won a NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Association) Award, an Academics’ Choice Award, and four Silver Parents’ Choice award. Co-presented by Cambridge Arts Summer in the City.

AND THEN on Saturday, July 7 (rain date: July 8), 4-7pm we’ll celebrate the Powder Magazine’s 200th Birthday with a party & the Magazine’s renovation with a ribbon cutting. Bring a picnic, bring the kids, bring your swim suits, and enjoy a fun evening at the park. For further information, click here. Co-sponsors are Knucklebones, Blue Hill Observatory and the Dance Complex! Birthday cake at 5:30pm.

LOW RES RBG Powder Mag Poster-01

Christmas in June!

30 Jun


Friday, 120 teens from the Mormon Church from the Cambridge and New London areas volunteered at the park trimming hedges, digging up phragmites, and planting hundreds of wetland plants in their place in the eastern swale. Thank you to the volunteers, to the Charles River Watershed Association and the Charles River Conservancy for assisting them, and to the City of Cambridge for the plants! Thanks also to Home Depot for the heavy duty garbage bags to dispose of the rhizomes.


And as if engaging 120 volunteers, and receiving hundreds of native plants wasn’t enough, DCR came and installed 5 new temporary interpretative signs about wetlands at the park. These signs are courtesy of a National Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant that the CRWA secured, working in partnership with Magazine Beach Partners, the CRC, DCR, Mass Audubon and the City.  They cover the themes: Cleaning Up the Charles, Wetlands at Work, Caring for Our Water, Make Way for a Healthier Wetland and Keeping the Charles River Clean. Check them out!

Also as part of this grant, we just published the final, summer issue of Nature Notes @ Magazine Beach: PDF MB Summer Newsletter.  To see the full set of seasonal newsletters, click here. Thank you Jeanne Strahan for her observations, research and writing and to Callum Griffith for his beautiful design! And many thanks to Brian Conway for the design of the gorgeous interpretative markers.


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The Pool is Open! Groundbreaking! Make Music Boston @ MB!

24 Jun


The pool is open daily now, 11:15am-6:45pm through August 23.

Thursday, New England Emmy-award winning Devin Ferreira brought Make Music Boston to Magazine Beach–featuring teens from the Mattapan Teen Center, the Cambridge Community Center and the Dance Complex. The program featured tremendous talent, community, creativity and love. We couldn’t have had a better debut to our 2018 season. Thank you Make Music Boston, Converge Arts and Kadence Arts, and all performers for this gift. For more about the  event, click here.


Friday morning DCR’s Comm. Roy returned to Magazine Beach  for the ground breaking for the canoe/kayak launch and outlook–due to open later this summer. (He was just here for the ribbon cutting of the spray deck!) Where we now have bushes, we will soon ave an ADA-accessible 30′-wide launch. The goal: to increase access to the river. Thank you funders: DCR, Cambridge, the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, Solomon Foundation, Judy Record Fund (Mass Audubon), Kimco, BioMed Realty, and Magazine Beach Partners–that’s you, the community! Working together, it’s happening! For more about the event, click here.


Summer is here. See you at the park! For the complete list of FREE events, click here. Many thanks to Bimal Nepal for his photographs!

Summer Programs Launch Thursday, Ground Breaking is Friday…

15 Jun

This event is ON for TONIGHT, Thursday, June 21. Celebrate Summer at MB!


We’ve got a HUGE week ahead. Make Music Boston @ Magazine Beach, featuring local youth, is Thursday, June 21, 5-8pm (rain date: Friday, June 22). Activities will be in front of the Powder Magazine. And then, the morning of Friday, June 22 at 9am, DCR’s Comm. Leo Roy will lead us in a Canoe/Kayak Launch & Outlook Ground Breaking on the eastern end of the park, beside the Cottage Farm Plant (near the BU Bridge). What a fabulous way to start the summer. The spray deck is ON. The swimming pool opens Saturday, June 23. Come relax at the park!

The Spray Deck Is OPEN

11 Jun


Friday was momentous. It was hot. It was sunny. And DCR’s Comm. Roy led the ribbon cutting of the NEW spray deck. The kids were ecstatic and it was delightful as we splashed while grooving to the great tunes of  DJ Professor TEA–aka Cport’s own Tom Malone.  The spray deck will be open every day now through Sept. 3 from 9:30am to 7pm. The swimming pool opens Saturday, June 23 at 11:15am.

Thank you DCR, the City of Cambridge and Magazine Beach Partners (you, the community!) for their/your/our continued investment in the park. This is just the first improvement we’ll celebrate this summer. Later this month we’ll have a groundbreaking for the canoe/kayak launch and outlook (date TBD), and July 7, we’ll celebrate the completion of Powder Magazine renovations AND the 200th anniversary of that old granite-block building!

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Thank you to neighbor Bimal Nepal for these photos! To download your own high res photos, click here.