Mayor Gary Christenson and Malden City Councillor-At-Large Stephen Winslow participated in a social distancing announcement of the establishment of a 3.2 mile/5-meter walking, running and cycling Loop connecting trails that encircle the Malden River. The Loop starts on the Northern Strand Trail (Bike Path) just south of the Bell Rock Cemetery on Medford Street.
The Loop was dedicated in honor of two prominent Maldonians. Former Malden Clerk Magistrate Joseph Croken and Malden High School Track Athlete and U.S. Olympian Louise Stokes. Mayor Christenson was particularly pleased to remember Joe Croken on Memorial Day weekend to recognize his dedicated service to Malden both as a Marine and as a fair-minded Clerk Magistrate. “Joe loved to bicycle the Charles River Trail so it’s nice to be able to remember him in this way,” said Councillor Winslow.
The efforts were also assisted by the Friends of the Malden River and the Run Club of Malden. Friends of the Malden River thought it fitting to dedicate the Loop to Louise Stokes who first ran pick up foot races along the railroad that became the Trail. In 1932, Louise was one of two African American women to qualify to complete in the U.S. Olympics, however the coach left them out of the final lineup. She qualified once more in the 1936 Olympics but was again replaced by a white runner. She came home to a hero’s welcome in Malden.
Run Club of Malden members tested out the Loop and look forward to promoting it with groups in Everett and Medford. Also in attendance were Malden residents Joseph Croken, Jr. who was presented a copy of the sign, Elena Martinez who designed the logo for the Loop and Naomi Kahn whose Malden business Cambridge Reprographics printed the signs.