Thank Goodness for Magazine Beach!

7 Aug

During this long heat wave, the park has been the place to cool off. The FREE Olympic-sized pool is open daily 11:15am-6:45pm and the spraydeck, 8am-8pm. Take a dip!

And there’s a cool breeze. Many are picnicking today, including the Hoddington and Johnson families, there to celebrate a 40th birthday.


On Thursday, DCR, Magazine Beach Partners, the Charles River Conservancy and Mass Audubon met about the care of the park. As many of you know, Cambridge maintains the eastern half of the park, tending the fields and collecting trash and recycling from the Cottage Farm parking lot (beside the boat launch). DCR maintains the rest of the park with the help of the City, the CRC, Mass Audubon and we, MBP (the community), too. 

Park partners at the Charles River Conservancy and Mass Audubon examine the shoreline plantings.

Now that Cambridge’s Conservation Commission has signed off on DCR’s new vegetation management plan for the Charles River Basin, the CRC and Mass Audubon can begin to do more focused invasive removal at the park. FANTASTIC! This fall DCR will sow more native plant seeds and plant more seedlings along the shoreline. ALSO FANTASTIC! This means, however, that the the shoreline fencing will stay up for now to give the new plantings a chance to survive. A little rain will help, too! Thanks for your patience about the fence… Working together, we’re committed to making Magazine Beach the urban oasis that it’s got the potential to be.

Note: If you see problems at the park (trash cans needing to be emptied, fallen branches, or issues relating to the bathhouse or pool), please email and cc me at Send a photo and note the location, of course!

There are Three Festivals at the Park This Week–on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday! For more info, click here.

This Friday, 7.29: @ 5pm: Cambridge Carnival Jamboree @ MB

28 Jul

Update: Tonight’s FREE YOGA is ON. Bring your mat and meet on the lawn, near the grove of trees, in front of the Powder Magazine. The rain is supposed to come later. Remember, there’s a cool breeze along the river and yoga is in the shade…. This will be this summer’s last yoga class. We hope to resume classes in September! Stay tuned.

Come dance to the rhythms of a variety of African music including Soca, Samba, Compa, Salsa, Merengue, and Reggae at the Powder Magazine! Click here to learn more. This Jamboree precedes Cambridge Carnival, slated for September 11 at University Park. See a video of this event here.

To learn about other upcoming events at the park, click here. Coming up: stories & songs, paddling, drop in nature activities, and two big August festivals!

Pool & Spraydeck Hours Extended for Today & Tomorrow, July 20 & 21

20 Jul

Due to the heat wave, DCR will keep the pool open until 7:45pm tonight, Wednesday, 7.20 and tomorrow, Thursday, 7.21. (It opens at 11:15am.) Stop by the pool or splash in the the spraydeck; the latter open from 8am to 8pm!

Also, starting Monday, July 25, DCR will accept registrations for the third and final session of their free learn to swim program. To sign up, click here.

Also, coming up soon:


Thursday, 7.21 & 28, FREE YOGA @ 5:30pm, on the lawn in front of the Powder Magazine, near the pedestrian footbridge

Fridays, 7.22 & 29, FREE PADDLING, 2 sessions between 4:45 & 7:45pm. Register here.

Sunday, 7.24, CROMWELL CUP REGATTA at the Riverside Boat Club. Watch from the park! 7am-3:45pm

Monday, 7.25, STORIES & SONGS, 10am, under the trees near the pedestrian footbridge

Friday, 7.29, CAMBRIDGE CARNIVAL JAMBOREE, 5-8pm, at the Powder Magazine

Also, Mass Audubon’s Nature Center is open for drop in activities Tuesdays & Thursday, 12noon-4pm and Friday-Sunday, 12 noon-7pm.

Also, more great news: Gov. Baker just signed off on a $50k earmark for the park. Thank you, Gov. Baker and to Rep. Mike Connolly and all others who made this happen!

Plastic Tapestry Revealed

15 Jul

7.20.22 Update: Gov. Baker signed off on the $50k earmark for Magazine Beach! Hurray and thank you Rep. Connolly!

At Mass Audubon’s Full Moon Celebration Wednesday, artist Michelle Lougee and Curator Cecily Miller unveiled their brilliant plastic tapestry—a soaring bird made by the community of single use plastic that will stay with us for the next 20-500 years. (Plastic bottles will last for 450 years!) While beautiful, this artwork reminds us that single use plastics must become part of the past. Invented in the mid-1800s, plastic became ever present in the 1970s.

Come down, take a swim, and check out Mass Audubon’s nature center, where there are drop-in activities daily. The Powder Magazine is open Tuesday and Thursday, 12-6pm and Friday-Sunday, 12-7pm.  For more about the Plastic Tapestry Project, click here.

See images of the Full Moon Celebration below. It was an extraordinary evening. So many good things are happening at the park, and they’re all FREE and welcome to all: swim lessons, stories & song, nature activities, yoga, poetry readings, paddling and more! See:

July 4th

4 Jul

So many families are having such a good time at the park today. The Jackson-Hills, the Green-Dedmons, the Martins and many others who have gathered at the park on July 4ths, and whenever they can, for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 45 and 50 years! It is a perfect day and the pool isn’t crowded… Come on down!

Note: You can’t park at the park, but you can park in the parking lot at the Morse School, on Magazine Street, and in the neighborhood. Remember to bring trash bags!

Cambridge Commits $1.8m to Park Improvements

25 Jun
Rendering of Phase II-2 by landscape architects Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge

The City of Cambridge has committed $1.8m of American Rescue Act (ARPA) funds to remove the last big eyesore at the park—replacing the sunken parking lot between the pool and the river with a grassy beach, and adding a dock and outlook. This $2.2m project (Phase II-2), will happen this winter when the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR), the guardians of the park, redo the pool and its decks. Over two years, DCR is investing $2.7m to update the pool bathhouse and the pool. (The newly restored bathhouse opened for the summer, with the pool, this morning at 11:15am.)

We, Magazine Beach Partners (MBP), the friends group for the park, have been championing Phase II-2 since 2019, and advocating for park improvements since 2010 (until 2017, as the Magazine Beach Committee of the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association; MBP spun off in 2017). 

DCR has shovel ready plans for Phase II-2, partially funded by Cambridge Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds. Additional funds for the project will come from $300k CPA funds, a $50k State earmark, and $80k donated by the community! DCR will oversee the project.

Thank you, Cambridge! Thank you, DCR! Thank you, community! YOU have inspired the park’s revitalization. Below, see photos of the park today. How lucky we are to have this green open space refuge! It’s a cool spot on a hot day.

The Pool Opens Saturday @ 11:15am!

21 Jun

And the newly renovated bathhouse opens then as well. Both will be open daily from June 25-until late August, 11:15am-6:45pm.  Admire the new native plantings on your way in. Among the plants are:  Black Tupelo (3 trees), Sedge, White Wood Aster, Virginia Bluebells, Sensitive Fern, Solomon’s Seal, Switchgrass, Foamflower and Trout Lily.

Programs coming up soon:

Thursday, June 23, 7:30-8:30pmA Synesthete’s Atlas. Real time cartographic improvisations using projected, manipulated digital maps by Eric Theise, accompanied by Ken Field’s ethereal and cinematic improvisations on saxophone with looping electronics. An evening of street grids, rivers, islands, and curiosities from the built environment. Saturated colors. Glitches in crowdsourced data. Orphaned information and free-floating symbology. Register at Mass Audubon website.

Saturday, June 25, 11am-3pmRiver Open House. Four boat clubs open: Riverside Boat Club (at Magazine Beach), Cambridge Boat Club, Community Rowing, & the Union Boat Club. Stop by, experience the deck, and feel what it’s like to row. Tour the workout rooms and the porches. Courtesy of the boat clubs!

Sunday, June 26, 10am-1pmPaddle for Pride. Register at Mass Audubon website.

Summer is Almost Here

15 Jun

Very nice festival last night, Mass Audubon, and what a gorgeous evening…

The park looks spectacular! DCR has mowed the lawn and put trash cans out. Pendants from the Plastic Tapestry Project (PTP) are up, as is our Magazine Beach exhibit. And The Charles River Conservancy has overseen two park cleanups over the past weeks.

Mass Audubon and the PTP have all sorts of fantastic events planned for the coming week:

Sunday, June 19: Birdwatch and add to the plastic tapestry!

Tuesday, June 21: add to the plastic tapestry!

Thursday, June 23: A Synesthetes Atlas: music by neighbor Ken Fields and projected maps/visuals

Sunday June 26: Kayaking

Learn more about these programs here. Some require registration!

The pool and the newly renovated bathhouse open Saturday, June 25 at 11:15am!!!! AND NEW: FREE Thursday Evening Yoga with Carol Faulkner starts June 30-July 28, except for July 7, 5:30-6:30pm. Courtesy of Magazine Beach Partners. 

Nature in the City Festival TONIGHT!

14 Jun
  • Today, June 14 — it’s a full moon! The Plastic Tapestry artists will be at the Powder Magazine 4 to 8 pm, and Mass Audubon’s party is 5-8 pm, with art/nature/science activities and LIVE MUSIC at 7 pm.  Plus maybe some fresh produce from Drumlin Farms…
  • Sunday, June 19, 1 to 4 pm
  • Tuesday, June 21, 4 to 6 pm

BONUS:  Thursday, June 23, 7:30 pm a free experimental concert with layered, looped, improvised saxophone by Ken Field and projected manipulated digital maps by visiting artist Eric Thiese in the Magazine!  We’ll set up a Tapestry Workshop from 4 to 7 pm and then watch the show!

July 13: Celebration

And save the date of Wednesday, July 13 6 to 8 pm for an unveiling celebration for the finished tapestry installed in the Mass Audubon Nature Center in the Powder Magazine, plus live jazz by the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble!  It’s another Mass. Audubon Full Moon celebration, with art/nature/science activities and more!

June Programs—Forage, Learn about Pollinators, Make a Plastic Tapestry & Celebrate the Full Moon

1 Jun

The pool will also open later in the month and we may have yoga!!!!!!

Join Mass Audubon and the Plastic Tapestry Project weekends at the park. Mass Audubon has drop-in programs Sundays from 10am-4pm. There will be broader programming once the pool opens: JUNE 25! Click here for more info. 

Evan Roberts, Paul Kelley and Scott McCue of Mass Audubon in front of the 1818 Powder Magazine

Welcome Evan Roberts!

Evan is the new Mass Audubon Powder Magazine Site Manager. From Stowe, VT, Evan studied political science at Vassar. What excites him about a summer at Magazine Beach is “getting the opportunity to work with and learn from the surrounding community. The park is an amazing pocket of nature, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the conservation efforts and work to fulfill the peoples’ vision for the shared space.” Please stop by the Powder Magazines Sundays, for now, to say hello. Note: Paul Kelley will still be the contact for organizing events at the Powder Magazine. His contact:

1818 Powder Magazine Granted Preservation Award!

Thank you, the Cambridge Historical Commission, for the recognition and for all your help in making this happen. The City contributed historic preservation Community Preservation Act funds to study the structure, and then to fix its roof, exterior and interior. DCR provided matching funds and more and the community chipped in, too. Together, we did it!

Hello, Little Plants!

Thank you, girl scouts, for planting flowers in the spraydeck planters on Monday. It wil be beautiful as the summer progresses. We left two buckets at the splash pad for YOU to water the plants. The flowers are counting on it!

Welcome Back, Greene and Dedmon families!

We know that it’s summer when the Greenes and Dedmons start picnicking at the park. They’ve been enjoying Magazine Beach for generations….