The Spray Deck is OPEN

16 Jun

IMG_6814News flash: The spray deck is open! And now it sounds like the pool will open this weekend, though in a controlled way to keep bathers safe. More on this soon. We’re still waiting for word from DCR re when the fence will come down. Thankfully, the new grass is growing…

IMG_1417Many are enjoying this spectacular week at the park, gathering in small groups to relax and be together in nature. Remember, if you’re picnicking at the park, to bring a bag for trash. It’s carry in and carry out. Also, no port-o-potties or lawn chairs at the park this summer, due to the virus. So plan ahead…

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Magazine Beach Updates—Just Heard from DCR…

29 May

It sounds like:
*DCR awaits the Governor to make a decision about pool and spraydeck openings statewide—but it seems unlikely.
*The fence will be up for a few more weeks to allow the new grass to grow. Next week DCR may reseed and water.
*Contractors R. Bates & Sons will replant many of the shoreline plants this fall and the old willow trunk will eventually be removed.

Magazine Beach Partners won’t organize programs for the park this summer. As per the Governor, gatherings there should be keep to 10 people or less.  But we encourage you to come to the park where there’s a cool river breeze, old shade trees, wide open spaces and, the river, of course. And don’t forget the boat launch. This is a great time to take your canoe or kayak out on the river.

There are no trash cans east of the playing fields, so be sure to carry in and carry out. More as we hear more from DCR.

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Quiet & Fun Along the River

26 May

IMG_1220Memorial Day was quiet at the park–only small groups. Folks respectfully social distanced. Geese and lots of goslings gathered, too–the little ones are getting bigger each day.

But today there were fort builders, kayakers, picnickers, and other just drawn to twilight on the river. It’s going to be hot this week and the park, with its cool breeze, is a great place to retreat. Take a walk to the river…

Also, step by the water’s edge to watch the herring run–so many fish swimming upriver to spawn! It’s happening NOW.


Shoreline Views

11 May


The newly landscaped shoreline is looking pretty spectacular.

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Sadly, though, the big old willow along the shoreline blew down in early May. DCR removed it this morning. A little willow grows just east of the now stump. Many of you helped to water that willow when Turner Construction planted it for us two years ago.

New trees: thank goodness we’re planting them at the park now. Contractor R. Bates planted eleven last fall as part of Phase II-1, and the City promises to plant more once the coronavirus fades and it’s safe for City staff to do so. Thank you, Cambridge!

Stay tuned for info about when the fence will come down and IF the pool will open this summer.  After a winter and spring of being cooped up inside, everyone really wants and needs to be outside and moving. Take a walk at the park and check out spring and all the changes…

Vast Open Green Space (Right) Here!

5 May


Needing a shot of spring and river, too? Magazine Beach awaits you… Bring your kites, balls, chalk, and bicycles and enjoy the afternoon at the park. It’s easy to social distance with 17 acres of green.

*See the BIG old willow that sadly blew down this past week. DCR will be removing it soon.

*Check out the goslings!!!!!!!

*Gather sticks in piles along pathways, OR, make a fort with them.

*Bring a bag to take trash home with you. DCR has removed receptacles in the picnicking and pool areas.

*Cross over Memorial Drive to the park on the pedestrian footbridge at the foot of Magazine Street.

We are so lucky to have this extraordinary resource RIGHT HERE.




Spring is in the Air!

24 Mar


Look for signs of spring at the park. This next week things will be bursting out. Go explore!

We need your help, though: please pick up trash (using plastic gloves) and gather sticks in piles along pathways.  If you need work gloves or plastic gloves, take some from the white bucket on my front porch at 202 Hamilton St. Since the 4.25 Earth Day Cleanup has been cancelled, we really need your help.

*MIT set up at the park, and then, after students were sent home, removed their dock and equipment.

*Riverside Boat Club has closed temporarily.

The park is a great open space to run around and linger. As per Governor Baker, no groups of 10 or more, please, though, and keep your distance, and, sorry, for now the exercise station is closed.

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THANK YOU, enjoy, exercise, and let nature refresh you!

Coming soon: MIT rowers to Magazine Beach

28 Feb

IMG_9130As you might have noticed up river, MIT is rebuilding their boathouse. This spring, while MIT renovates, their students will row out of the park—just behind the swimming pool.

Both Cambridge and DCR have given MIT necessary permissions and the Riverside Boat Club, good neighbors, will accommodate the new influx of college rowers. MIT will just be at the park through June. See sad, existing conditions above and where MIT rowers will be below. (We really need to get rid of that sunken parking lot!)

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Also, this spring at the park:

*The City will be planting some new trees!!!!!!!!

*3rd grade CPS students will start engaging in a river study using Magazine Beach as base.

*We’ll host the big Earth Day Cleanup Saturday April 25–contact the Charles River Conservancy’s Sasha Vallieres to register at

*Around May 31, DCR will take down the protective fence blocking off the newly renovated shoreline path and Powder Magazine. 

Celebrating 2019

17 Dec

IMG_1088See our 2019 MBP Annual Report here. 

Many thanks to all who contributed to a transformative year at the park.

  • to the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Cambridge for the shoreline and patio work around the Powder Magazine, the boat launch and outlook, and park maintenance
  • to State Rep. Jay Livingstone and Sen. Boncore for advocating for us and for budget earmarks
  • to Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge for their design work and to R. Bates & Sons for their construction
  • to our business sponsors, who contributed to park improvements and programs:  MIT, BioMed Realty, Inc., Biogen, Boston Biomedical, Inc., Alexandria Real Estate, Brookfield Properties, Kimco, Charles River Conservancy, Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge, Barrett Tree Service East, Inc., Cambridge Family YMCA, Good News Garage, Harpoon Brewery, Middle East Restaurant, S & H Construction, Target and Torrey Architecture
  • to our amazing Magazine Beach Partners board:  Marge Amster, Ken Carson, Brian Conway, Decia Goodwin, Richard Garver, Heather Saforrian and Cathie Zusy
  • to our amazing Summer Program Coordinator: Doug Feinburg
  • to our many partners, including the Charles River Conservancy and Riverside Boat Club
  • and, of course, to YOU. Nothing would be happening at the park without your engagement. Your gifts inspire City and State investment. With over a half million acres to tend to, DCR engages at Magazine Beach because the City matches dollars and the community advocates and contributes.

Please make a tax deductible gift TODAY and help us advance Phase II-2. See below. Mail checks made out to “Magazine Beach Partners” to Cathie Zusy, President, 202 Hamilton St., Cambridge, MA 02139 or donate on PayPal (but they take about 3%).Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 11.09.13 AM


Phase II-1 Tours 11.25 & 12.14

26 Nov

Note: Change in date: December park tour will now be Saturday, 12.14 @ 9am, rain or shine. Meet at the Powder Magazine. Also, see our 2019 MBP Annual Report here. 

IMG_9921 copyYesterday neighbors had a chance to walk the newly restored shoreline of the park and to see the expanded patio and terrace. DCR will offer this access Saturday, December 14 at 9am, too. Come and see the new raised and widened path, seating, plantings and hardscape. It looks fabulous.

DCR has extended their contract with R. Bates & Sons to May 31st so that the contractors are responsible for all plantings through the spring. The fence will come down soon thereafter. Thank you, DCR, Cambridge and YOU, park supporters, for for these renovations!

Outside, Exploring Nature

13 Nov


Each week, Paul Kelley of Mass Audubon’s Habitat Education Center, brings Morse Community School (after school) students to run around and engage with nature. Last week, after learning about the history of the park from me (the big idea: the Powder Magazine was once on an island surrounded by marshes), kids looked at leaves, mussels and other objects they found under the microscope. How wonderful to be outside exploring!

Paul and Habitat also get Cambridge teens out on the Charles via their Paddling Program. In July campers from the Frisoli Youth Center ventured out from our canoe/kayak launch as did youth and adults with special needs from Waypoint Adventure.

Thanks also to the Charles River Conservancy and Sophos for raking the leaves off the pedestrian footbridge and gathering sticks and trash last Thursday. It’s been a beautiful fall…


Update: The fencing at the park will now stay up through May 31. This gives R. Bates & Sons more, warmer weather to finish the bluestone patio and extends their responsibility for the new plantings through the spring.