Page 10 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, October 4, 2019 T New resilient waterfront parks and greenways span several Mystic River communities as inclusive, welcoming public he Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) applauds the extraordinary progress being made to revitalize and connect public greenways along the Mystic River and its tributaries. Since breaking ground in 2016, the Encore Boston Harbor casino has been the highest profile project on the Mystic River. What is less obvious is that many other waterfront parks and walk/bike paths involving tens of millions of dollars of new investment are also underway. “The public’s investment in cleaning up Boston Harbor led to the transformation of Boston’s waterfront, and now it’s the Mystic River’s turn,” said Massachusetts Water Resource Authority Executive Director Fred Laskey. “I give a lot of credit to public and private landowners and to MyRWA for reconnecting people with the river. Let’s continue to make this a resource that is an asset for all 21 communities in the Mystic.” “For the first time in a generation, we have opened up our waterfront to our residents,” said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “At Encore, a once-polluted hazardous waste site is now a beautiful six-acre park. Encore also built River Green, an outdoor recreational powerhouse around the corner on the Malden River. By building both passive and active recreational areas along our waterfront, we are making the best use of the area and drawing a wide range of users.” Above and beyond Encore’s investment, tens of millions of dollars in public and private investments are being dedicated to new and restored shoreline parks and paths up and down the Mystic River. This includes 2.5 miles of completed shoreline paths, five miles of additional paths in design or construction and five shoreline parks in Arlington, Everett, Malden, Medford and Somerville undergoing major renovations – all since 2016. Malden River Greenway vision On September 25, MIT awarded its inaugural $100,000 Leventhal Prize to the “Malden Works” proposal to transform Malden’s Department of Public Works property into an outstanding civic waterfront space. This prize recognizes the remarkable partnership among multiple communities and nonprofits to reclaim the 3.5-mile shoreline of the once-industrial Malden River LAW OFFICES OF JOSEPH D. CATALDO, P.C. “ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELORS AT LAW” • ESTATE/MEDICAID PLANNING • WILLS/TRUSTS/ESTATES • INCOME TAX PREPARATION • WEALTH MANAGEMENT • RETIREMENT PLANNING • ELDER LAW 369 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149 (617)-381-9600 JOSEPH D. CATALDO, CPA, MST, PFS, ESQUIRE. AICPA Personal Financial Specialist Designee open space. “Our residents have lacked access to the Malden River for generations.” said Mayor Gary Christianson. “This exciting project will build on years of community-led efforts to revitalize our waterfront and create a world-class park for all residents to enjoy.” In 2017, MyRWA joined Friends of the Malden River and the Cities of Everett, Malden and Medford in completing an award-winning Malden River Greenway vision. This in turn catalyzed a cascade of new open space investments. Encore, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Combined Properties built nearly a mile of new and refurbished shoreline paths and boardwalks; nearly a mile of additional paths is currently in the planning stages. “We have less than a halfmile to go to create a seamless waterfront network of paths all along the Malden River that connect to additional greenways along the Mystic,” said MyRWA Greenways Director Amber Christoffersen. “It’s really remarkable: both the interest by community members and the investments of partners.” Moving commuters off overburdened roads with off-road paths A recent MassDOT study found that four of the five worst traffic spots in the state are in the Mystic River Watershed (https://bit.ly/2UfZU9i). Several recent investments aim to lessen the load by making bicycle and subway commuting a viable alternative. In July 2019, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarded the City of Medford a $200,000 design grant for a boardwalk linking MacDonald State Park to the Wellington MBTA Station. Also in the works is a pedestrian/bicycle bridge linking Somerville’s Assembly Row development and the casino. The project is going through the final stages of design and permitting. “With north of 10,000 new jobs associated with Assembly Square and the Encore casino, daily commuters need to be able to get to work without adding to already grinding traffic,” said Christoffersen. “This bridge is a key link across the Mystic for pedestrians and cyclists – and MyRWA is doing everything in our power to push these important projects forward.” Investments in climate resilient parks Launched with Somerville CPA funding in 2017, MyRWA has been leading a community-driven vision for the revitalization of Blessing of the Bay State Park, one of the few waterfront parks available to nearby low-income residents. Recent success includes a 2019 MassTrails grant to upgrade its bicycle/pedestrian path. Near Assembly Row, Draw Seven State Park will see millions in improvements to provide recreational opportunities, create a living shoreline and increase coastal flood resilience for the nearby Amelia Earhart Dam. “I take great pride in the community activism and agency partnerships that have produced transformative open space investments like Baxter State Park in Assembly Square, and path investments like the shared-use boardwalk underneath the Wellington Bridge in Somerville,” said Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone. “I’m excited to help mobilize investment partnerships in Draw Seven Park and Blessing of the Bay Park that improve climate resilience and low-carbon mobility in 2020.” “The Charles River and Boston Harbor have for years been more visible than the Mystic,” said MyRWA Executive Director Patrick Herron. “The Mystic has similarly benefitted from decades of effort and millions in public investment to clean up our waterways. It’s really coming into its own, and these park investments are helping residents and visitors enjoy its renaissance.” Mystic Valley Elder Services to hold “Friendraiser” at The Porch M ystic Valley Elder Services will be hosting a friendraiser at The Porch at Rivers Edge, which is located at 175 Rivers Edge Dr. in Medford, on Thursday, October 17 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Come join us for an evening of Southern Cuisine, music, complimentary wine, beer and appetizers to support elder independence. This is a fundraising event, so please bring your appetite, your giving spirit and your checkbooks! The Porch was named one of the top 10 restaurants in the Boston area by Boston Magazine. RSVP to Lisa McGovern at 781-388-2316 or lmcgovern@ mves.org by October 14.

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