The City of Everett and several community partners are celebrating the opening of the first-ever canoe and kayak boat launch on the Malden River at the former GE Site – now a beautiful park with practice fields, playground equipment and tons of walking paths.
Having a boat launch on the Malden River has been an aspiration of Mayor Carlo DeMaria and his administration for several years, and it was made a quick reality this year through a partnership with the MWRA – who owns an easement leading from the park to the River.
Over the past several weeks, the City’s Facilities Management has taken advantage of the slowdown in work orders to dedicate time to building a series of steps and a concrete walkway to the rock covered launch. Mayor DeMaria said the finished product has come in just the nick of time – as boating will be a safe, outdoor activity that can easily be done at a correct physical distance.
“As the coronavirus shutdown continues, more and more people are feeling isolated,” he said. “As the weather warms I encourage our residents to get outdoors while practicing social distancing such as wearing a mask and staying six feet apart. My hope is that by increasing recreational opportunities and open space within the city, we will encourage our residents to not only be safe, but to also embrace a healthy lifestyle long into the future.”
MWRA Director Fred Laskey said he was very proud of the partnership with the City of Everett to give access to the Malden River, helping out by laying down crushed stone for the walkway.
“It’s an amazing transformation of an area that totally abandoned,” he said. “Returning access to the people for those Rivers – the Malden and the Mystic – we’re glad we’re able to help. It was a good thing to do when the City asked us.”
Patrick Herron, director of the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), said he was glad to see more access along the River to enhance the Malden River Greenway plan unveiled in 2019.
“The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) is very appreciative of the work done by Mayor DeMaria, Representative McGonagle, and Fred Laskey at the MWRA to bring this project to fruition. MyRWA shares the same vision that Mayor DeMaria has of a connected, accessible waterfront along the shores of the Malden River that connects to the Mystic Greenways and mass transit,” said Herron. “We are particularly proud of the partnership that has emerged among the three cities, Friends of the Malden River and our organization to create a new Malden River for the people. Don’t rest on the Malden River, there is more change to come.”
The upshot of the new boat launch is that it is somewhat temporary, and could result eventually in two launches on the River. State Rep. Joe McGonagle was able to procure $50,000 in the State Budget last year for design and construction of a permanent ramp.
The new ramp will be in place at least two years until the MWRA does work on the pipes under the easement. After that, that ramp and a new ramp with the State Budget money could both exist simultaneously.
“I want to thank Mayor DeMaria for all his hard work in making the Malden River Vision Plan become a reality,” said McGonagle. “The partnership with the City of Everett, Encore, the MWRA, the Mystic River Watershed, the Friends of the Malden River and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is transforming a once neglected and abandoned waterfront into one of the most spectacular waterways in the country.”
The ramp is currently opened and can be used with the proper social distancing measures. Parking is available at the new park area near the boat ramp.