Somerville’s Groundwork spreads its roots in Malden

I dash into the Cha Shu Coffee and Bubble Tea shop on Summer Street to meet Clay Larson of Groundwork Somerville and Lawrence and the Bike to the Sea Organization. Rush is playing in the background. The lyrics of Natural Science spin in my head. Wheels within wheels In a spiral array A pattern so grand And complex Time after time We lose sight of the way Our causes can’t see Their effects We cupped our coffee to warm our hands, kicked back in comfy chairs and talked. The Orange Line brought Clay and his wife, Naomi to Malden in 1997. From this vantage point, they have loved the contrast of venturing in the nearby woods of the Fells to frequent Malden downtown jaunts. Larson smiles, “We liked the downtown area and we wanted a walkable urban environment. We are happy that seventeen years later Malden Center is becoming a destination. And now we have a coffee shop that serves great lattes, just a five minute walk from our house!” Larson reflects, “Changing city hall is […]


Farewell to Malden High’s principal Dana Brown

Malden High School’s outgoing principal Dana Brown was selected as the Massachusetts Principal of the Year by the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association (MSSAA). Here’s an excerpt from a press release from MSSAA: “This program annually recognizes principals who demonstrate exemplary skills in instructional leadership, supporting a safe learning environment and fostering a collaborative culture of decision making among members of the school community. Mr. Brown will receive the 38th Bertram H. Holland Award at the annual MSSAA Leadership Institute at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center on July 27, 2016. Mr. Brown has created a collaborative culture at Malden High that bases all decision-making on a simple question; “Is it good for students?” Youngsters come to Malden High with a variety of learning styles. In addition, some come as parents, part-time workers or newly immigrated. Attending to all students takes creativity, hard work and patience.” –MSSAA For just a few moments, I waited in the Malden High School Boyle conference room for Principal Dana Brown to arrive. The stark walls, devoid of distractions, shared […]


Malden and Everett tackle the trail together

Two neighboring communities connected by the Northern Strand Trail joined forces to clear overgrown brush and overblown trash for their Earth Day efforts on April 23. Over 100 people from  Malden and Everett gathered under stormy skies.  Tee shirts were handed out as people signed in.  Spirits were high as progress was observed and tallied.   Check out this video of the cleanup:  Everett Access TV video of the Everett cleanup The Friends of the Malden River revived a previously constructed rain garden at the Everett end of the Northern Strand Trail. Walk or ride to the Everett trail head of the Northern Strand Trail to learn about the benefits of rain gardens and to see the beauty of natural ways to keep our rivers clean. (Photo by Clay Larson of Groundwork Somerville and Bike to the Sea Organization). Actions speak loudly:  Every day is clean up day for Malden Mayor Gary Christenson, who routinely picks up litter in his travels through Malden.  (Mark Micheli Photo) Mayor Carlo DeMaria of Everett stated, “I would like to thank everyone […]


Trail of Gears: Winslow’s journey to bike to the sea

The Pacific Ocean loomed just over the Santa Cruz Mountains about thirty miles away in California. Growing up in San Jose, Steve Winslow yearned to ride over the mountains to the coastline, but it never happened.  Later in 1989,  as a married couple, Helen and Steve Winslow moved from the bicycling nirvana of Davis, California to Malden as a most convenient place to commute to work in Boston.  Winslow recalls, “I remember trying to bike up Washington Street to Melrose and it was horrible.” The Winslows were appalled by the local horrendous biking conditions and the resulting lack of cyclists. It was time for change in their new community. Winslow explored the abandoned railroad bed running through Malden.  He followed it to where he could smell the salt marshes of Revere. Winslow reflects,“We are really close to the ocean and wouldn’t it be great to bike to the beach!” This would be such an easy and fun ride with a total elevation of 108 feet. But, the virtual challenging mountains of Malden, Everett, Saugus and […]


GUEST POST: The Malden River finally gets “friended”

For more than a century, a ribbon of shallow water has connected the Mystic River to downtown Malden.  That riparian finger, straightened by the demands of the heavy industry that once lined its shores – tanneries, rubber works, aircraft engine manufacturers, chemical plants, coal tar refiners – has long given rise to minor local humor. Asked for directions to the Malden River, a city resident is heard to reply: “I didn’t even know Malden had a river—where did it go?” But this sad comedy is itself becoming history, now that the Friends of the Malden River is under full sail.  This volunteer organization, which turns three this fall, is helping to put the Malden River back onto the map both geographically and politically. The Friends came into being as a result of pent-up local interest in preserving, protecting and enjoying the two-mile long portion of the river that hasn’t been culverted.  Propelled and steered by MyRWA, with help from a Tufts graduate-student Practicum in spring 2013, FoMR has become a full-fledged citizens advocacy group that’s developed […]


Friends of the Malden River rally for a clean up

On June 4, over 60 residents and city officials of the tri-city area came to the Macarrio Room of the Malden Public Library to show their support for the Malden River.  The Friends of Malden River petitioned Honeywell Inc. to inform the public of their corporate history (through Allied Chemical and Dye) with the river, their recent cleanup work, and their future intentions for 378 Commercial St. in Malden. Why summon Honeywell to Malden? EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, executive director of the Mystic River Watershed Association, comments that Honeywell doesn’t own the property: “But … owns the problem.” The Friends of the Malden River, a grassroots community advocacy group, utilized Massachusetts laws in order to create transparency in regards to toxic chemical monitoring for Honeywell’s site, 378 Commercial St.  This location has been dubbed as one of the most contaminated sites on the Malden River.  Honeywell, Inc. is obligated by the law to publicly present their past, present and future plans to monitor this polluted site. The draft Public Involvement Plan was presented by Honeywell representatives […]