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MacDonald Park

Shadley Associates is working with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation on the renovation of Torbert MacDonald State Park, the largest park in the Mystic River Reservation.  Located in Medford, the park is built on dredge spoil piles from the construction of Interstate 93 in the 1970’s and provides critical public open space and waterfront habitat.

Shadley Associates and our team of environmental specialists and engineers prepared an updated Master Plan for the entire park identifying new improvements within this 63-acre site.  The SA team designed a River Overview at the water’s edge, a new pedestrian park entry, a playground, labyrinth, pollinator meadow, and site-wide wayfinding signage.  Approval from the Medford Conservation Commission was received in 2016 and the first phase of construction, replacement of approximately one mile of asphalt walkways, was completed that year.

The second and third phases of construction are underway and create the River Overview, an area in the heart of MacDonald Park with direct access to the Mystic River.  The Overview is framed by a sweeping granite seatwall with custom wildlife engravings, an accessible pathway to the water’s edge, a picnic area with accessible tables and benches, and new landscaping including new rain gardens for stormwater management.  In addition, under construction is a new Park Entry which includes a small plaza space with a granite seatwall, seating, bicycle parking, sidewalks, HC parking, wayfinding kiosk, and new landscaping.  Construction will be complete in 2018.

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