The Friends of the Malden River – a new citizens group committed to drawing the Malden River back to vibrant, civic life – will meet on Tuesday, September 10, 6:30-8 p.m. in the Keverian Room of Everett City Hall, 484 Broadway, with Everett city planner James Errickson and riverfront developer John Preotle to discuss their vision for a riverfront that is attractive, safe, environmentally sustainable and accessible to the public.
A particular focus of the meeting will be to consider the effect that plans for protecting and preserving key riverfront parcels, accompanied by broad public access – on foot, by bicycle and by public transit – can have on people’s perception of the Malden River and one of the next great urban spaces for preservation and recreation. In addition, the Friends of the Malden River’s four committees – which focus on water quality, public access, outreach, and youth involvement – will begin to formulate specific agendas to implement over the coming year.
“This meeting is happening at an important time, given that the fourth annual Malden River Festival, which attracts hundreds and hundreds of people of all ages, will take place on Saturday, September 21, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and bring into closer focus the possibilities for transforming the entire riverfront into an urban oasis,” said Beth MacBlane, outreach coordinator for the Mystic River Watershed Association.
Friends of the Malden met four times this spring and summer in both Everett and Malden, which, along with Medford, are the three cities that ring the Malden River. In May, aided by a team of graduate students studying water policy at Tufts University, the group inaugurated a website dedicated to all things Malden River – including environmental remediation, public access, local history, resource improvement strategies, and citizen activism. The site, at www.maldenriver.wordpress.com, includes videos about the river and interviews with community members. The Malden River group is working closely with the Tri-City Community Action Program (Tri-CAP) in Malden, the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), environmental and urban justice advocates, and Tufts University’s interdisciplinary graduate program in Water: Systems, Science & Society (WSSS). An extensive report compiled by the seven Tufts graduate students who worked intensively on this project over the spring is also posted on the web: http://ase.tufts.edu/uep/degrees/field_project_reports/2013/Team_WSSS_Malden_Final_Report_2013.pdf.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our active and growing group of interested residents to hear from two individuals – one from the public sector and the other from the private sector – who are playing complementary, key roles in our river’s future, and to express their initial views on ways that river access can be enhanced,” said Philip Bronder-Giroux, Executive Director of Tri-CAP, which serves Malden, Everett and Medford.