Charles River

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Spring Cleaning in the Park This April 20—Sign Up Today!

A map of DCR parks on the Charles. Come lend a helping hand on Park Serve Day, this April 20.
A map of DCR parks on the Charles. Come lend a helping hand on Park Serve Day, this April 20. Image via DCR.

After a long, snowy winter, the first green shoots of spring are starting to pop up. In homes across the Commonwealth, families are shaking off the cobwebs, throwing open their windows, and welcoming the return of sunnier days. And just as families are planning for spring cleaning, so is the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

This April 20 marks the sixth annual Park Serve Day, a chance for people of all ages to pitch in around the Commonwealth’s parks. The DCR maintains more than 440,000 acres of public parkland, and they need your help to plant flowerbeds, trim shrubs, remove downed trees, repair trails, and much, much more. Last year, almost 4,800 people came out to volunteer their time and their sweat, and this year, I know we can do even better.

Sign up to volunteer for the Commonwealth’s sixth annual Park Serve Day here. Each park and beach is different, and each DCR park has different needs; you can find a list of the Park Serve activities for each park here. The majority of Cambridge’s Charles River shoreline is DCR property, so you don’t have to travel far to lend a helping hand. Do the right thing and help make our parks the best they’ve ever been.

Charles River Skatepark Designs Unveiled

Artist's rendering of new Charles River Skatepark
An artist’s rendering of the new Charles River Skatepark. When completed, the park will be the largest in New England. Photo courtesy of ASD/Santec and Charles River Conservancy.

As reported by the Beacon Hill Times, the latest plans for the largest skatepark in New England were recently unveiled. The new, 40,000-square-foot Charles River Skatepark  represents a group effort by the Charles River Conservancy, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Action Sports Design/Santec, a California-based company that specializes in the construction of skateparks.

This project has been a longtime coming, and it’s part of our plan to reclaim and beautify the Charles River and connect the Cambridge waterfront with Charlestown. I’m thrilled that yet another milestone has been passed.

Have you been to the new North Point Park yet? If not, get out and enjoy this amazing fall weather!

A Cleaner Charles River Coming

Efforts to clean up the Charles will be accelerated under a new settlement.
A renewed commitment to cleaning up the Charles River will preserve our community’s natural beauty for generations to come.

The Boston Water and Sewage Commission has reached an important agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Conversvation Law Foundation. As the Boston Globe reported earlier this week, the settlement represents the next step in the ongoing effort to clean up the Charles River and Boston Harbor.

Under the settlement, the Boston Water and Sewer Commission must locate the sources of pollution running into the Charles and clean them up on an aggressive schedule. The settlement also provides for “green makeovers” for three Boston neighborhoods along with a renewed attack on illegal sewer connections, which mix waste water with storm runoff. Some of the illegal connections are decades old and in poor condition, and the Boston Water and Sewage Commission has already identified at least 25 trouble spots to remove and replace.

I am thrilled that the Boston Water and Sewage Commission has renewed its commitment to cleaning up the Charles, and I’m proud of the way community groups such as the Charles River Watershed Association worked with the government to fix this problem in a smart way. A cleaner Charles River means a healthier, more beautiful community for all of us, and I will work with our neighbors and the Boston Water and Sewage Commission to complete this phase of the Charles River cleanup as smoothly and swiftly as possible.