Delighting in Open Space

8 Dec


Big, green open spaces encourage us to run, play, relax, and commune. A toast: to our 17 acres at Magazine Beach and the refreshment and possibilities they invite.

2018 Annual Meeting for Magazine Beach Partners—Tuesday, Oct. 30

28 Oct


Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 2.08.55 PM

Please join us at this Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7pm, at LBJ Apartments (150 Erie St.) for our first-ever annual meeting of Magazine Beach Partners. Learn more about our plans, progress, programs and finances. We’ll be introducing Phase II-1–coming soon! Refreshments will follow.

Speakers will include:

  • DCR’s Director of External Affairs & Partnerships Jennifer Norwood & Sr. Planner (and Magazine Beach Project Director) Rick Corsi;
  • Cambridge’s Taha Jennings, Asst. to the City Manager; &
  • Magazine Beach Partners board members.

Here is our annual report: MB Partners Annual Report 2018.


Hear, Hear DCR & the CRC

15 Oct

DCR, thanks for fixing the 9 broken benches, mulching around the trees, and adding ADA curb ramps at the corners of the parking crescent and across Memorial Drive at the foot of Magazine St. This will make it safer for cyclists, too.IMG_5050Last Friday, the Charles River Conservancy led 60 Ernst & Young volunteers in sanding and painting the benches, cutting ragweed and phragmite seed heads and planting bulbs in front of the bathhouse. And Saturday, another 60 volunteers from MIT (Phi Beta Epsilon) and BU (Delta Sigma Pi) came out in the rain and cut more seed heads and picked up trash. Head of the Charles volunteers were also on site, cutting down the blue indigo along the shoreline so that HOC rowers can have access to the river—THIS COMING WEEKEND!  Thank you, all!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.




Hear, Hear Lead Donors: MIT and Longleaf Lumber

10 Oct

Our summer programs have delighted children and adults alike year after year. Here magician Bonaparte connects with a fan. MIT was lead sponsor in 2018.

MIT has been a contributor to summer programs since 2015, and this past year was both lead sponsor for summer programs and a lead sponsor for our Sept. 16 Benefit Party. In addition to contributing money—always nice—they’ve put their students to work for us. In 2013, MIT students in City to City, drafted our initial strategic plan, created an exhibit for us, and set up our Facebook page. Thanks, MIT, for believing in us and in the importance of this 17-acre riverside park.


The new rafter tails, with old longleaf heart pine donated by Longleaf Lumber in 2014.

Longleaf Lumber bailed us out in 2014, when the new pressure-treated pine rafter tails ordered for the Powder Magazine arrived cracked and twisted. In their place, Longleaf donated some old growth rough-sawn longleaf heart pine that was perfect and true. (These were repurposed posts from the old Crocker Paper Mill in Holyoke, MA.) Now, for the shoreline renovation of the park, they have donated some old live oak timbers to use as seating. (The logs were salvaged from the Charlestown Navy Yard. A few are currently being used as seating at Walden Pond, Fresh Pond, and on the Cambridge Common.) Look for these logs along the newly improved path next year.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 6.16.19 PM

Young readers enjoy an old log Longleaf Lumber salvaged from the Charlestown Navy Yard–now a bench at Walden Pond.

The revitalization of Magazine Beach is happening because of State, City, individual, business and foundation investment in this public space—through private-public partnership. MIT and Longleaf Lumber have lead the way and we applaud and appreciate their engagement.

More Money for Shoreline Work & Biogen & CRLS Volunteers Make a Difference

20 Sep

Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 3.52.52 PM

City Council Votes Another $155k of CPA Funds for Park & DCR will Match This

Thrilling news: Monday night City Council voted to accept the CPA Committee’s recommendations to invest another $155k+ into shoreline improvements and DCR will match this! After the canoe/kayak launch is completed this fall, look for activity from the launch (at the east end of the park) to the Powder Magazine (at its center): an improved river path, invasive plant removal, and new native plants, views, and seating.

Biogen and Charles River Cleanup Project Volunteers Pitch In

Last Friday 40 Biogen volunteers dug out phragmites and cut off ragweed seed heads in the eastern swale, weeded around the Powder Magazine, and picked up trash and branches. This was part of Biogen Cares Deeply Day, when over 800 Biogen employees engaged in service around the Boston area. Thanks for making Magazine Beach a more inviting destination, Biogen!

And this Sunday, Cambridge Rindge & Latin high school students helped us prepare the Powder Magazine and park for the Benefit. They set up the canopies, lights, tables, chairs, balloons and decorations, and weeded, picked up trash, and moved mulch. Thanks for making the Powder Magazine magical! The Charles River Cleanup Project engages in cleanups along the river; they are stewards of the watershed.



Magazine Beach Benefit Celebrates Restored Powder Magazine

18 Sep

CLSunday was gorgeous–a last taste of summer before the fall–and over 150 gathered at the newly renovated 1818 Powder Magazine to celebrate both it and all the great things happening at the park. Over the past year, DCR has completed the work on the Magazine, installed a spray deck, removed the broken wading pool and reseeded the lawn. They are now building a canoe/kayak launch and outlook. This summer, over 13,000 people used the pool, while countless others splashed at the spray deck and picnicked under the shade trees.

There’s more! Magazine Beach Partners held over 25 summer events, drawing almost 1,400 participants.  We mounted temporary interpretative markers about the watershed and published spring and summer editions of Nature Notes @ Magazine Beach. And  in collaboration with the Charles River Conservancy, Charles River Watershed Association and Riverside Boat Club, we helped organize over a dozen invasive removals and cleanups.

All of this is happening because of partnerships, and that—a celebration of partnership—was the  theme of Sunday’s event. It is with the State, City and community working together, with the help of local businesses and foundations, that we’re moving ahead. See photos of an enchanted evening below. We raised nearly $28,000 at the event!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Benefit Party for the Park—Sun., Sept. 16

31 Aug

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 7.45.01 PMCome join us for dinner, drinks and live music Sunday, Sept. 16, 6-8pm—at the restored Powder Magazine! (Rain location also magical: Riverside Boat Club.) Celebrate progress at the park and toast the future. Music by Best Ever Chicken and great speakers and MC, too.

Pause to celebrate recent improvements at the park:

  • A new spray deck
  • A restored Powder Magazine—the oldest structure on the river!
  • A new picnicking lawn (where there once was a broken wading pool)
  • A canoe/kayak launch and outlook—in the works…
    None of this would have happened without your support.

Buy your tickets NOW!
Tickets are $75/pp or $125 for 2 and tax deductible.
Make checks out toMagazine Beach Partners, Inc.
Mail them to: Marge Amster, MBPs Treasurer, 10 McTernan St., Cambridge, MA 02139 or pay on Paypal at

Logo slug.2

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.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.