In June of 2003, the City of Everett and Fort Point Associates conducted a study of Everett’s waterfront, and it brought great hope to the many who – at the time – hoped to unlock the long-forgotten waterfront.
The report envisioned the Malden River as a special place with great potential for creating passive recreational opportunities and promoting environmental appreciation.
Since in office, Mayor Carlo DeMaria has created a shared vision for the Malden River corridor. That vision has been to place the Malden River in this bigger picture context and focus on access from the surrounding neighborhoods to the river, along the river and across the river.
The Malden River’s Greenway Plan was part of Mayor DeMaria’s commitment in returning the waterfront to the citizens of Everett. In past State of the City Addresses, Mayor DeMaria has stated, “The Malden River is a hidden gem in the City of Everett. Working with our local and state partners, we are opening up access to the river, creating recreational opportunities and encouraging development along the river. I have envisioned a fully restored and open waterfront, with a canoe launch, a boathouse, walking trails, a fishing pier, and easy access to the beauty of nature for all of our residents.”
After many starts and stops that vision is finally becoming a reality. Over the past year, major improvements to the waterfront have taken place. River Green Park is nearing completion with walking areas along the Malden River, playing fields, a basketball court and a street hockey rink being constructed directly behind the park. A DCR connector pedestrian path is being built from Gateway Park to Encore Boston Harbor, and Encore’s Harbor Walk is complete. This opens up almost two miles of waterfront for the enjoyment of Everett residents.
This past weekend, the DeMaria administration celebrated the kick off of the design of a new canoe and kayak launch along the Malden River at River Green. This new launch will be located at a MWRA easement and will allow boaters to easily access the water. The MWRA has given permission to allow the City to construct the launch on their property and the State provided a $75,000 earmark from Representative Joseph McGonagle, at the request of Mayor DeMaria. The City has hired Weston and Sampson to design and permit the launch.
Representative McGonagle stated, “Thank you to Mayor DeMaria, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, the Mystic River Watershed Association, and everyone who helped get this project off the ground. I’m honored to have advocated for this project and can’t wait to see it come to fruition very soon.”
The City first became aware of the potential boat launch site when the MWRA began reconstructing their water and sewer connection. With the help of the Mystic River Watershed Association, the City spoke with Fred Laskey, Executive Director of the MWRA. Director Laskey sent out a team of engineers to assess the situation and agreed it was feasible to install a launch at the site.
Laskey said the MWRA was only happy to help Everett residents re-connect with the Malden River.
“It’s a very positive development and an example of interagency cooperation,” said Laskey. “I think it’s another indication how vibrant and how much potential there is for the Malden and Mystic Rivers as the clean up there continues. It’s really a common sense thing…I think the Malden River is part of an amazing renaissance.”
Laskey said it’s all the more important because Everett resident have been blocked from that waterfront for years.
“You couldn’t get to the Malden River and you probably didn’t want to be there if you did get there,” he said. “Now it’s rejuvenated and there are access points and now we’ll have this access point too. It’s incredible.”
Patrick Herron, Executive Director of Mystic River Watershed, stated, “On behalf of our organization, I can say that our association is grateful to Mayor DeMaria Representative McGonagle and the MWRA and the Mayor continues to make the Malden River a priority of his. It is clear that he shares the same goals of the Mystic River Watershed Association – to move past a history when the Malden River was reserved for industry – and return it to a resource for the local residents.”
Now is both a critical time for the river and for the City of Everett. The DeMaria administration has continued to work with private property owners, non-profit organizations, state agencies and municipal partners to make this river way an asset for the entire community.
The kayak and canoe launch will now go into design and could be ready for use by the spring of 2020.