By Seth Daniel
The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), in partnership with the cities of Everett, Malden, and Medford, announced the completion this week of the Malden River Greenway Vision Plan to reimagine the future of the Malden River.
The announcement came after a lively party-type meeting earlier this month in Everett on the banks of the Malden River in the Village Landing Park.
Underneath a lighted tent along the Malden River, the vision felt within reach. Held on October 4, that final public meeting of three planning meetings held throughout the summer, showcased the final plans, drawings and results from the community outreach process.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Martin Suuberg addressed the crowd, pledging his Department’s support for improvements envisioned for the Malden River.
“The amount of momentum and enthusiasm that this plan is gaining is quite unique,” said Amber Christoffersen, Greenways director at MyRWA. “Several open space and path projects are under construction or are being actively designed and, in just a few months, hundreds of people showed up to share their voice to the planning process. Thanks to broad public support, municipal leadership and active projects, we’re well on our way to seeing the vision realized.”
The vision plan, led by the design consultant, Utile, proposes new waterfront paths, parks, bridges, and boating facilities for the Malden River. These recommendations are a result of a robust community engagement process that began in June that attracted more than 200 people to the public meetings and the completion of nearly 200 surveys.
Some of the key components in the Master Plan for Everett include creating a Parkway-style road system that connects the waterfront, and its new parks, to the Main Street area of Everett.
Right now, one of the main concerns about activating the waterfront of the Malden River in Everett is that it’s fairly difficult to access the area by car. The proposed parkway would be lined with trees and would swoop down near Prescott Street and proceed through the new 7-Acre Park and back behind the heavy industry and Night Shift Brewery. There, it would connect with Santilli Highway and go back north.
Another key component of the Master Plan was to connect Everett residents to the other side of the River, as well as creating a better way to access the Gateway Center park using the waterfront trails.
Several Malden River Greenway projects are currently underway: Wellington Greenway Phase IV, Woods Memorial Bridge Reconstruction, Everett Riverwalk at the Rivergreen site, and the Gateway Park Connector. These projects are being led and supported by a strong coalition of cities, agencies, nonprofits, developers and residents. These stakeholders will guide future implementation, ultimately raising the visibility of and transforming the Malden River.
One can view the presentations and final designs at https://mysticriver.org/maldenrivergreenway .
The Malden River Greenway project is a partnership between MyRWA, cities of Everett, Malden and Medford, Bike to the Sea, Friends of the Malden River, Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation (A Greener and Greater Boston), Preotle, Lane and Associates, and Wynn Boston Harbor.