Malden Works receives Norman B. Leventhal Prize to improve access to the Malden River

The Steering Committee and Prize Team coordinated a successful public kick-off meeting for the Equitable Resiliency project on the Malden River. Over 90 people came to listen and to share their thoughts about our valuable gem. Please contact the to participate in this public process.

Neighborhood View

Malden River (Photo by Khalil Kaba)

By Kevin Perrington-Turner

A Malden urban coalition has won a prestigious $100,000 prize from the Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism (LCAU) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that will be used to fund a two-year program of projects on the Malden River to create greater access to the river for Malden’s diverse population.

Malden Works for Waterfront Equity and Resilience, known as Malden Works, was named the winner of the first Norman B. Leventhal City Prize in September. Malden Works has formed a steering committee to ensure all communities are represented in upcoming projects.

The $100,000 triennial prize was established by the Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism to catalyze innovative, interdisciplinary urban design and planning approaches worldwide to improve both the environment and the quality of life for residents.

“The prize was a really difficult competitive event,” said Kathleen Mead Vandiver…

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The Massachusetts Environmental Trust awards Trash Free Malden River grant to the Friends

The Friends of the Malden River (FoMR) received a financial boost with a $9,805 grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET/the Trust). This funding and in-kind services ($6,850) from Gentle Giant Rowing Club, PaddleBoston, Preotle, Lane and Associates, the National Park Service, Mystic River Watershed Association, and FoMR volunteers will help create a Trash Free Malden River.  FoMR also received a critical donation from the Clean River Project (Located on the Merrimack River in Methuen) of a trash boom that will help to restrain the trash from flowing from the municipal storm water systems into the Malden River and eventually into the Mystic River.  

Trash Boom donated to the FoMR from the Clean River Project of the Merrimack River in Methuen. Photo by Karen Buck July 11, 2019

According to Trust Program Director, Kim Tilas, the Trust will provide $471,512.00 in grants to 18 organizations, thanks to motorists who choose to purchase one of the Trust’s specialty license plates. “Trust plates, including our signature Whale Plate, are the only specialty plates that exclusively fund environmental initiatives,” said Tilas.”When you purchase a specialty plate for $100.00 from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the $40 specialty plate fee goes directly to the Trust to fund water-focused environmental programs.” 

“Funding from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust will enable us to create a trash free Malden River for the public and for our environment”, says Karen Buck of FoMR.  “Collaboration and educational modalities with the Cities of Malden, Everett, Medford, and Melrose, the Malden riverfront landowners, and the public is essential to reduce the amount of trash that flows into the Malden River. The benefits of trash reduction and retention will be evident and long lasting.” 

This trash flowed through our storm water system from the streets of Malden during the rainfall of July 12, 2019. Accumulation of rainfall was .64 inches – just over 1/2 inch.
Photo by Karen Buck

Supporting the environmental programs funded by the Trust in your community is easy: choose one of three environmental plates, the Right Whale & Roseate Terns, The Leaping Brook Trout, or the Blackstone Valley Mill when you purchase or lease a new car or renew your registration with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  Recently, Governor Baker announced a new plate, commemorating our Striped Bass (who follow the migration of our massively increased herring population up our rivers, thanks to the fish ladders installed on some of our dams).  

These license plates beat any bumper sticker!  Wear your plate proud and offset your automobile’s carbon output at the same time!  

The standard registration fee for a Massachusetts plate is $60.00. The special plate fee is an additional $40.00 (tax deductible every two years) for a total cost of $100. Every time you automatically renew your registration, the $40.00 goes to the Trust. 

Visit your local Registry of Motor Vehicles to order a plate online at or You can also visit us at to learn more about the Trust, the programs it supports, and the specialty license plate offerings.

Cruising and Cleaning the Malden River — Neighborhood View

, By Karen Buck Photos by Anne D’Urso Rose and Kelsey Menon On the eve of the 2018 Autumnal Equinox during the mystical moment of twilight, two launch boats from the Gentle Giants Rowing Club (GGRC), towed 10 canoes from the Blessing of the Bay up the Malden River. Aboard were Pastor Edwin Menon of Highrock […]

via Cruising and Cleaning the Malden River — Neighborhood View

Malden’s second “City Nature Challenge” takes place April 28 — Neighborhood View

Mother Nature is calling. Will you help her out? Do your part for biodiversity by participating in the second City Nature Challenge, a global contest for cities to compete for the highest number of natural observations within their regions. This Sunday, April 28, the Friends of the Malden River and the National Park Service of […]

via Malden’s second “City Nature Challenge” takes place April 28 — Neighborhood View

National Grid’s refusal to the Friends of the Malden River Motion to Participate

The Friends of the Malden River wrote this letter to the editors (ltte) of local papers to bring insight to National Grid’s refusal to have a community advocacy group participate in a motion.  National Grid is appealing  the Massachusett’s DEP’s decision  upholding NGrid’s Chapter 91 public responsibility for their 1100 plus feet of river bank frontage.  This is an important link for the Malden River Greenway and the Mystic River Greenway.

Chapter 91 is a Massachusetts General Law upholding the public’s right of access to tidal water bodies.  This includes all historical tidal properties.  Formerly tidal, the Malden River is subject to the public access rights of the state’s Public Waterfront Act. Many
riverfront properties are not in compliance, including National Grid’s

From the LTTE: “In a decision promulgated by the Department of Environment Protect this fall, National Grid was instructed to fully comply with the requirements of Chapter 91. DEP required that National Grid build and maintain a 10-foot wide half-mile waterfront path along its property situated in Malden and Everett. National Grid was required to submit a plan within one year and complete the building of the path within two years. The DEP decision had been a rebuke to National Grid’s proposal in 2016 to build a 100-foot path and bench on the north side of its Malden/Everett location with the remaining 2,000-plus feet of riverfront blocked off to the public.”

National Grid’s decision to appeal these requirements is being countered by the Conservation Law foundation and legal counsel from the cities of Malden, Medford and Everett. The denial of a seat at the table for Friends, resulting from National Grid’s challenge, demonstrates their lack of corporate and social responsibility. The decision sends a chilling message to those working to better one of our area’s most valuable resources. Those most concerned and affected by the degradation and unmitigated pollution of Malden River are not being allowed to voice the concerns and vision of a restored and improved Malden River.

The Friends of the Malden River are outraged at this decision. We seek only to have quality access for area residents to the banks of the river as required under law. Our community deserves this. We expect better examples of good corporate citizenship than the one recently on display by National Grid. Help us reach our goals by joining the Friends of the Malden River and voice your support by emailing Visit and “like” our Facebook page at Friends of the Malden River.”

This is the Malden Wicked Local site for the letter

 Letter to the editor

Monthly Meeting Dates/Events


Meeting dates are every second Monday of each month (6:30-8:00 PM):

June 10th (Monday) starting at 6:30 until 8:00 PM

July 8th (Monday) starting at 6:30 until 8:00 PM

August 12th (Monday) starting at 6:30 until 8:00 PM


We will be meeting at the Cambridge Health Alliance on 195 Canal Street, Malden in the Community Room (first floor to the left of the main lobby).

There is plenty of parking. Cambridge Health Alliance is right across the street from the Northern Strand Trail.  Enter the building via the large parking lot.







Here is an article recapitulating the comments: September 2nd issue of the Malden Advocate

Press Release of August 30, 2016:

MALDEN, Mass. – Friends of the Malden River (FoMR), a local advocacy group, is asking the state Department of Environmental Protection to require a Malden property owner to greatly improve its plans for a river path along the Malden River. Together with the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), the Friends of the Malden contend that Combined Properties’ plan to redevelop 295 Canal Street fail to meet regulatory requirements designed to promote active use of the Malden River shoreline.

In addition, the group is asking the state to require that an adjoining property, also owned by Combined Properties, be held to the same current regulations. The group bases its position on a Colonial Ordinance first enacted in 1641 and codified as a state statute in 1869, now known as Chapter 91.

In addition, the Friends argue that, because of anticipated use of the path, the increasedon-site parking of over 140 spaces, and the nearby busy intersection, a traffic study should be required to determine appropriate mitigation to ensure the safety of pedestrian, bike and physically challenged users.

Combined Properties, a regional real estate firm, plans to demolish the existing one-story building at 295 Canal Street and replace it with a five-story commercial enterprise. Chapter 91—the Massachusetts Public Waterfront Act—requires public access along a quality riverfront path. Both MyRWA and FoMR seek to have the owner provide a 12-foot minimum right-of- way for accessibility, including benches, lighting, trash receptacles, signage, and landscaping.

The two organizations believe that, with a bit more thought and planning done incollaboration with MyRWA and FoMR, the Combined Properties project can be an excellent neighbor in a neighborhood thirsting to reconnect with its own river.

Friends of the Malden River is a grassroots group of community members—most of them residents of one of the three cities (Everett, Malden, and Medford) that ring the visible Malden River—who are deeply concerned about the ecological and recreational health of the river. FoMR’s mission is “to promote awareness of and interest in the Malden River, improve its water quality, and increase access for public enjoyment.”

Formed in 2012, the group is strongly committed to restoring the Malden River to, and preserving it as, a priceless community amenity and natural resource. For more information about the Friends, visit or email

The Mystic River Watershed Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1972 by a group of concerned community residents. MyRWA’s mission is to (i) protect the Mystic River Watershed, (ii) restore and maintain clean water and the natural environment in a healthy state in the Mystic basin’s 22 communities, and (iii) promote responsible stewardship of our natural resources through educational initiatives in the watershed. MyRWA accomplishes its mission by forging strong links with citizens’ groups, universities, businesses, and government agencies.