Christian A. Herter Park, located along the riverbank in Brighton, is the largest section of open park in the Charles River Basin. The park is named in honor of Christian Herter, a former Massachusetts governor, United States secretary of state, and champion of the environment. With a community garden, playground, spray fountain, large open lawn that draws volleyball and badminton players, and rental kiosk operated by Charles River Canoe & Kayak, this area of the parks has something for everyone. The Conservancy Volunteers program works actively with the Friends of Herter Park to restore the historic Herter Park Theatre for public programming.
NORTH POINT PARK
North Point Park is part of the New Charles River Basin, the “lost half-mile” between the old Charles River Dam (now the site of the Museum of Science) and the Charlestown Bridge. The 8.5-acre park includes a broad pedestrian path and a bikeway, a large playground, a water feature, and an open field for playing sports or picnicking. Uniquely, a shallow waterway, perfect for exploring via kayak, creates two islands within the park. North Point Park is the third park to be completed as part of the Big Dig mitigation efforts, which also included the restoration and expansion of Paul Revere Park in Charlestown and the construction of Nashua Street Park in Cambridge and Boston. The Lynch Family Skatepark is located in close proximity to North Point Park, and our proposed Swim Park would also be located off the park’s main lawn.
Magazine Beach is a 15-acre park in Cambridge, featuring an historic granite “Powder House,” which was built in 1818 as a state gunpowder magazine. The building was redeveloped in 1899 by Olmsted & Eliot, as a bathhouse to accommodate a lively swimming scene at Magazine Beach. As a result of industrialization, poor water quality and contaminated sediments resulted in the closure of the public beach in 1955. Today, the park features a large treated swimming pool, playing fields, picnic areas, pathways, and large swaths of open space to accommodate crowds for events such as the Head of the Charles Regatta, held annually in October. To learn more about work being done at Magazine Beach, visit the Magazine Beach Partner’s blog. The Conservancy regularly hosts volunteer events at Magazine Beach.
Riverbend Park is adjacent to Memorial Drive and extends from the Eliot Bridge to Western Avenue. From the last Sunday of April through the second Sunday of November, Memorial Drive is closed to vehicular traffic from 11am to 7pm, creating a large stretch of open space alongside the parklands to accommodate cycling, skating, running, and a range of other activities.
Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path is an 18-mile loop along the Charles, from Science Park in Cambridge to Watertown Square. The bike and pedestrian pathway was named after the renowned cardiologist, who was a staunch advocate of exercise, diet, and weight control in the prevention of heart disease. In 1924, Dr. White co-founded the American Heart Association and became the organization’s president in 1941.