MyRWA and partner organizations packed Everett City Hall on November 17, 2016 for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's Chapter 91 License Application Public Hearing for the National Grid site located along the Malden River. The currently proposed public access plan includes a 100 foot path on the north-side of the site – the remaining 2,000+ feet remain blocked off to the public. The testimonies unanimously rejected this proposal, calling for National Grid to build a waterfront path along the entirety of their property, connecting to the planned Riverwalk network that spans both sides of the Malden River.
A total of 19 people testified at the hearing – including the Mayor of Everett, statements from the Mayors of Malden and Medford, six elected officials, the President of the Conservation Law Foundation, MyRWA staff and members, and the Friends of the Malden River. A strong statement was made to support the river. We see this as enormous opportunity to change the quality and elevate the status of the Malden River – a seamless Riverwalk would serve thousands of surrounding residents in Medford, Malden and Everett, many of whom represent environmental justice communities. Restoring full public access to river – and creating a community asset for recreation and active transportation – will reverse some of the equity issues that local residents have faced for years.