MAPC has been working with Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford and Somerville to identify potential walking routes that would connect neighborhoods with the lower Mystic River and its tributaries (Chelsea Creek, Mill Creek, Island End River and the Malden River). This project is called “Walking Routes to the River.”
To date, the work has resulted in a map entitled “Locally Identified Potential Walking Routes to the Lower Mystic and Tributaries” and three signed and mapped routes ready for public use.
MAPC plays two important roles. The first is a coordinating and technical assistance role to keep the project moving forward by providing a structure and securing funding.
The second role is to provide a regional perspective and to combine the efforts of individual communities and organizations into a regional system.
Why it’s important
Rivers are unique resources for any urban area. They are usually rich in history and important as wildlife corridors and for active and passive recreation. The purpose of developing walking routes to the river is to bring residents from the neighborhoods where they live and work to the river. Some of the benefits of walking routes to the river include:
- Higher visibility for the Mystic River and the recreational resources that exist.
- Higher visibility means more people who care about the river and will advocate for it.
- Health and fitness benefits of promoting walking – less obesity, car pollution, decreased risk of disease.
- Potential economic benefits if routes help people walk by local businesses.
- Programming around walking routes such as organized walks promote a sense of community.