Let your garden grow: Season begins at the Malden Community Garden

By Jennifer McClain and Bonnie Blanchard With boundless energy and muddy hands, the green thumbs of Malden kicked off the growing season Saturday, May 19, at the city’s community garden, located along the Northern Strand Community (Bike) Trail between Bryant and Faulkner Streets. Young and old, experienced and beginners joined forces to prepare the plots for the bounty to come; this included a “soup vegetable” garden, a pumpkin patch and a community pick-your-own vegetable spot outside the fenced area. Volunteers also installed a Little Free Library box, practiced yoga, learned about composting and chowed down on pizza and gluten-free muffins. “It’s  amazing to be down here and see people working together,” said City Councilor Barbara Murphy, who had pushed to create a community garden five years ago. “Gardening is a language of its own.” Coordinating the activities was Julie Mangan, garden manager, who directed volunteers in the day of organization and learn up. Gardeners  pay $25 per plot to grow a variety of vegetables and crops. “It’s an extension of your backyard or it IS […]


Can Malden’s Transit Woes Be Eased with Smart Planning?

This is the third in a series for Neighborhood View exploring the future of  development in Malden. See part one and part two.  By Karen Buck Social media encourages us to share — share our photos, share our posts, and share our favorite memes. Social media connects us. What about social transit? What about sharing the road?   As our cities expand and the population grows,  many Americans are questioning a life centered on the automobile. In 2017, drivers in the Boston area spent an average of 60 hours in traffic during peak periods, according to an annual scorecard from the transportation analytics firm INRIX, as reported by WBUR. That makes Boston the seventh-most congested urban area in the country. (Los Angeles, at an average of 102 hours in traffic , and New York City, at 91 hours,  top the gridlock list.) Consider this:  Millennium Partners is proposing a $100 million gondola to fly workers over the clogged streets of the Seaport. Yet many believe that easing transportation congestion may not require flying cars. The concept of […]


City Nature Challenge shows Mother Nature isn’t camera shy

By Karen Buck The Malden River showed off its natural attributes on April 29 as Malden and Medford residents took on the worldwide City Nature Challenge, a citizen-scientist contest that included 65 participating cities in 17 countries and five continents. The Friends of the Malden River were joined by National Park Service Ranger Andrew Petite de Manage, a naturalist with a background in urban planning and a ranger on the Boston Harbor Island, to document plants, animals and birds found in our area. As part of the City Nature Challenge from April 27- April 30, urban residents photographed wildlife in their surroundings.  Yes, our urban environments are full of wildlife and all kind of surprises that show biodiversity. They used iNaturalist, a free application for cell phones, which uses photo recognition software to identify what they discovered. If the subject can’t be identifed, it will be reviewed by one of the thousands of naturalists who work with the application. This information is entered into a database which is used by scientists around the world to determine […]


Honoring Malden native and artist Ed Emberley leads to the ARTLine

By Sharon Santillo Ed Emberley might never have returned to the city of his birth if Malden Arts had not received a tip that he was born  here in Malden in 1931. When members learned there was to be a retrospective of his work at the Worcester Art Museum in the fall of 2016, they planned a field trip. All were impressed with the breadth of his 60+ year career illustrating children’s books, his magnificent woodcuts that won him a Caldecott Medal in 1967, and the charm of his how-to-draw books that have influenced generations of children.  I am a board member of Malden Arts and I reached out to Emberley after the museum visit with a request to allow Malden Arts to paint a mural to honor him. “We know you left Malden when you were a baby, but we still claim you as our own,” I told him.  “How could I feel anything but a soft spot in my heart for Malden,” said Emberley, who will be 87 on October 19. He agreed to […]


Who are our neighbors?

By Jennifer McClain “You must begin with the stories,” said the Rev. Isaac Seelam during a recent talk  at First Parish Malden. As a visiting guest at the First Parish Malden, Rev. Seelam was there to explain the mission of Refugee Immigration Ministry, which provides refugees and asylum seekers job preparation, case management and immigrant support. “We had a woman who was kidnapped, taken from her family and friends and held for a period of time..she lost her humanity. Somehow she escaped,”  said Rev. Seelam, the Coordinator for Congregational Development at RIM and who works with the American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts in partnership with RIM. The woman found out about an opportunity to go to America for a conference and was told for her own safety to “go and not come back.” First Parish Malden will host a fundraiser for the Refugee Immigration Ministry on Thursday, May 10, at the parish, 2 Elm St., featuring several participating interfaith choirs: Tickets: $20, Students $10. “These are people who can not go back to their own countries,“ said Rev. Seelam. The […]


Paper History: Malden man’s passionate poster collection

By Jennifer McClain Tree-lined, long flat roads with large grassy areas greet you on the way into the town of Norfolk. It is a sparsely populated town with a centrally located library. This is exactly the kind of place where Stephen Lewis wants to mount an exhibit from his expansive poster collection, even though he is a long-time Malden resident. Lewis, a former union organizer and poster collector, believes his mission is to bring these posters to those who live in suburban and rural areas where interaction with this type of art is less likely.  He also likes the serendipity involved in showcasing in libraries or colleges; it allows viewers to stumble into this work without spending money or planning a visit. Lewis has been collecting posters for the past 22 years at both union and activist conferences and has now accumulated more than  7,000  posters. He stages about three exhibits a month, usually each centered on a theme.  He has shown his Cuban posters in Worcester,  revolutionary posters in Pepperell,  and “Stop Violence Against Women” posters […]