On Thursday, October 6, 2016 the Mystic River Watershed Association and Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) kicked-off a series of improvements to Torbert Macdonald Park in Medford. Revitalization projects include newly paved paths, phragmities removal, a volunteer stewardship program – and future amenities such as a river overlook and picnic area.
More than 80 people attended the kick-off event, including DCR Commissioner Leo Roy, Senator Patricia Jehlen, Representative Christine Barber, and Alicia Hunt from the City of Medford. After the event, 75 Boston Cares volunteers spearheaded the park management efforts.
Through a grant funded by FedEx and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program, the Mystic River Watershed Association – together with local cities and towns, community groups, and the DCR – will work to restore habitat in our urban park spaces through invasive plant management planning and events. The project area includes 4.7 miles of riverfront parkland and focuses on the 66-acre Torbert Macdonald Park in Medford.
As part of this work, the Mystic River Watershed Association will engage more than 400 volunteers in invasive plant mapping and removal over the course of two years. Oriental bittersweet, a fast growing, destructive vine which routinely climbs and kills native trees and shrubs will be the principal target of field work.
“Invasive plant management will improve habitat quality in Mystic River parklands and offer meaningful community stewardship opportunities,” said Mystic Greenways Director Amber Christoffersen. “We hope to attract many more people to Macdonald Park and the Mystic River through these park improvements.”
“Thanks to a very strong partnership between the Department of Conservation and Recreation and our friends at the Mystic River Watershed Association, visitors to Macdonald Park in the City of Medford will enjoy new amenities and a healthier ecosystem, which speaks to our shared commitment to caring for the larger Mystic River park system,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy.