Every year at the Mystic River Watershed Association’s annual meeting, community leaders and volunteers are honored for their efforts to improve their local watershed. Mayor Gary Christenson was just named the Mystic Municipal Awardee, which honors the officials and staff in our towns and cities who have made an outstanding contribution to improving the condition of the Mystic River watershed.
The Malden River, named for one of the cities it runs through, was once tidal, flowing from Spot Pond Brook down to the Mystic River and Boston Harbor. But more than a hundred years of industrial and commercial development has forever changed this river. It has been buried, channelized and walled-off from the community. Although the last few generations have not been kind to the Malden River, we’re encouraged by local leadership and resident support for the next chapter in this river’s history - one of restoration and recreation.
Mayor Christianson has supported many of the Mystic River Watershed Association’s efforts, such as the Malden River Vision Plan and Human Health Risk Assessment. He was an early adopter of the Northern Strand Community Trail – after 25 years of community-driven advocacy and municipal leadership, this path will see $13 million in improvements in 2020. Most recently, he enthusiastically supported our “Malden Works” proposal, setting the course for development a waterfront park that incorporates the ideas of the many diverse communities that make Malden so unique.
“Over the years the mayor has attended countless public meetings, ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings. And at the end of every meeting we have with him, he asks “what can I do to help?” “While these aren’t easy problems to solve, having a local leader who listens to individuals and community groups - like Friends of the Malden River – is a critical ingredient,” said Amber Christoffersen, Mystic Greenways Director, who presented the award to Mayor Christensen at the October 22nd annual meeting.
Beyond recognizing Mayor Christenson, the Mystic River Watershed Association also elected new board members, provided a brief summary of the programmatic and financial highlights of the year and honored the following additional awardees: Encore Boston Harbor - Mystic Champion Awardee; Julie Berkman - Volunteer of the Year; and Katie Theoharides -EOEEA Secretary, Ripple Awardee.
About the Mystic River Watershed Association: The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) works to improve the lives of the more than half million residents of Mystic River communities through its efforts to protect and restore water quality, natural habitat and open space throughout the 76 square mile watershed. For more information see www.MysticRiver.org.