Park & Path Developments

Medford has a number of parks that are maintained by both the city and state. The City maintains over 118 acres of land through the Medford Parks Division of DPWImprovements are continuously being made to our parks by both the city and state. We will try to share any information or news that we are aware of here.

Medford’s Open Space and Recreation Plan was updated in 2019 and the plan and all the appendixes are available for download here. It was the first plan in MA to fully incorporate Climate Resiliency. 

Current Projects

For a comprehensive overview of a number of parks projects, check out this video recording of a Parks and Paths presentation and outreach public event held virtually on February 17th, 2021. An informational slide deck on current and recently completed projects is available here for download. There are several projects highlighted below with additional materials to review.

Clippership Connector

The Clippership Connector is located along Mystic River, between Clippership Drive and Riverside Park. This half-mile waterfront path will connect more than 10 miles of contiguous greenways and provide a safe and scenic route between Medford Square, Andrew/McGlynn Schools, and Riverbend Park.

This project is a partnership between the Massachusetts Department of  Conservation and Recreation (DCR) the City of Medford, the Mystic River Watershed Association, and WalkMedford through the DCR Partnership Grant Program. The DCR has hired Crosby, Schlessinger, Smallridge to do the design and engineering of this path. The first public meeting at the Andrews School on June 8th, 2017 was well attended by Medford residents. You can view the presentation from the public meeting here. You can view the presentation prepared for the January 2019 City Council meeting here. 

The project has been somewhat delayed by the discovery of contaminated soil at the south end of the project, in the northern most tip of Riverbend Park. A portion of the problem area is owned by the DCR and a portion by the City of Medford, who  collaborated to determine the extent of the problem and a remediation solution. Remediation of the area is complete and as of Oct 2020, the DCR is finalizing the construction plan. 

The MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) submitted a Notice of Intent for the path to the Medford Conservation Commission. This filing is very large, but can be downloaded here (43MB). An Order of Conditions, permitting the project, has been issued.

Images from the presentation by the DCR at the Conservation Commission hearing can be downloaded here. 

Funding
The Design of the path was funded through a DCR 2017 Partnership Grant and Wegman’s and the Solomon Foundation each provided $23,000 to support Medford’s share of the partnership. In 2019 the city received a second DCR Partnership Grant of $70,000 to continue the design and engineering. The 2019 grant was matched by a donation from the Solomon Foundation of $35,000 and the Cummings Foundation grant.

In 2018, the path was awarded a 100K for 100 grant from the Cummings Foundation to help pay for Medford’s costs related to the design and construction of the path.

The DCR has committed to funding the full amount of the constructions costs, and they have received a Federal Land and Water Grant to support their costs.

Map of the Clippership Connector from MyRWA

Clippership Connector Public Meetings Information 

The DCR held a third public meeting on Monday, Oct 5, 2020, from 6:30pm-8:00 pm virtually, where DCR presented the design of Clippership Connector, including the layout of trail connections at both ends of the project.

The presentation is now available on DCR’s website. The public is invited to submit comments until October 19, 2020, per DCR’s deadline. Comments may be submitted online here or via email at jennifer.norwood@mass.gov

NOTE: The content of comments you submit to DCR, along with your name, town, and zip code, will be posted on DCR’s website. Providing additional contact information when commenting, notably email address, is optional, and will only be used for outreach on future updates on the subject project or property.

Please find the previous public meeting details below:

  1. Held on June 6th, 2019, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Public Notice | Presentation
  2. Held on June 8th, 2017, 7:00 p.m – 8:30 p.m. Public Notice Presentation

If you have questions or concerns or would like to be added to a DCR email list to receive general or project-specific announcements, please email Mass.Parks@state.ma.us or call 617-626-4973.

Riverbend Park

In the spring of 2017 the City became aware of lead and arsenic at the surface of the northernmost end of Riverbend Park. The MA Department of Environmental Protection required that the area be fenced off and further testing be conducted.  The City issued a statement and provided information on lead in soils, which can be read on the City’s website here.

Most of the area has been cleaned up, by removing the highest areas of mercury and lead and is now safe for public recreation. The fence has been removed from that portion of the park and the future Clippership Connector is being designed to come through that area. 

One small portion of the park continues to be fenced off and will need to have asphalt or concrete laid down. City staff are working with the Medford Arts Council and Community Preservation Grant to install passive recreation, such as a labyrinth, at that location. 

South Medford Connector

In 2017, the City received an $80,000 grant from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to conduct a feasibility study for a South Medford Connector path along the south side of the Mystic River. In 2018, the City received a $198,000 Transportation Planning Grant from the MA Gaming Commission to begin engineering and permitting for the path. Currently, the City is evaluating the feasibility of closing the Route 16 exit ramp to make room for the connector path. No construction has commenced at this time as the city is committed to find a solution for the dangerous intersection at Main St. and South St. before pursuing this path, as it will increase pedestrian and bicycle traffic just one block from the intersection. 

Wright’s Pond Rain Garden

A new rain garden at Wright’s Pond has been completed, thanks to the hard work of Medford residents and city employees! 

The rain garden acts as both a stormwater drain and a water filtration system: the native plants planted in the garden will soak up runoff from precipitation events to prevent flooding. It will also infiltrate the water into the soil, preventing pollutants from entering Wright’s Pond and the nearby waterways. 

 

MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Projects

map - DCR macdonlad Park Medford Ma CO 07 Plan-Rev 6-16

MA Dept of Conservation and Recreation own and maintain Memorial and MacDonald Paths. They have been repaving paths through both parks in recent years. The path in Memorial Park was repaved in Spring 2017. The map here shows in green paths that were repaved during the Summer 2016. Most of the other paths have been repaved in subsequent years.  During the summer of 2017 DCR built a boat landing and picnic area in MacDonald Park, with picnic benches and rain gardens. Photos from the construction are available from the website of landscape designer, Shadley Associates. Over the course of 2020, the DCR worked on the design and permitting of a new playground in MacDonald Park, near the State Police Station.

Malden River Greenways Vision Project

Located on the eastern edge of the City of Medford, the Malden river flows out of Malden and forms the border between Medford and Everett. Traditionally a very industrial area, the Medford side of the river is the home to the award winning RiversEdge property whose riverfront paths are open to the public. The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) is working to create a shared vision for a seamless waterfront park system along both sides of the Malden River, connecting communities in Medford, Malden and Everett to this important natural resource.

Over the course of 2017, MyRWA partnered with cities, local developers/businesses, community groups and citizens to create a comprehensive vision that will support the implementation of vibrant and connected parklands along the river. Utile, the design consultant, developed a master plan and recommendations for new parks, paths, and amenities along the Malden River. 

MyRWA held three public workshops in June, August and October to talk about the greenway plan and to share visions for the future of the Malden River. Notes and drawings from the meetings are available on MyRWA’s website here.

They continue to collect thoughts and comments on the future of the Malden River through their mapping survey available here. See updates and stay connected via MyRWA’s e-newsletter and social media to join in the visioning process.

The project is a partnership between the MyRWA; the cities of Everett, Malden, and Medford; Bike to the SeaFriends of the Malden River; Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation; Preotle, Lane and Associates; and Wynn Design and Development.

Map of Proposed Malden Greenway from Utile