Friends of the Community Path is a local group dedicated to the extension of mixed-use paths through Somerville to…More the Charles River. The group is advocating for the current path, reaching from Davis Square to Cedar Street, to be extended 2.5 miles east, thus linking the Alewife Linear Park, and the 13-mile long Minuteman Bikeway to the 17-mile long Charles River Paths by way of Somerville.
In conjunction with the City and several other local organizations, such as STEP, the Somerville Bicycle Committee, and Shape-Up Somerville, Friends of the Community Path helps to raise funds and awareness of the project, gathers local feedback and communicates with government and transportation leaders to try to move the path extension forward.
The Friends of the Community Path see "the possibility of synergy between the bike path and public transit" according to Spokeswoman Lynn Weissman, and hope for the construction to be included in the State's plans for the Green Line Extension.
Lined by trees, chain-link fencing and the occasional luxury condo building, this one-third mile pathway links Davis…More Square to Mass. Ave. in Cambridge. It's shared by pedestrians and bikers alike, as well as dogs out for a stroll with their owners.
To the east, through Davis Square, it links to the Somerville Community Path, which the City and community organizers are working to extend into Cambridge. To the west, it connects to the Minuteman Bikeway, which goes all the way to Bedford. Cambridge's Trolley Square Park sits at the western entrance at Cameron Ave. There you'll find benches, tables and a climbing sculpture for kids.
Somerville OSPCD Transportation and Infrastructure Division 93 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA02143 Whether you drive, bike, use the MBTA or walk, this division is working to make it easier and safer for you to move…More about the city. They oversee transit projects such as the Green Line extension and the proposed extension of the Community Path. Their Safe-Start and Shape Up Somerville programs place particular emphasis on pedestrian and cyclist needs, including improving sidewalk curb cuts and pedestrian crossings as well as adding bike lanes to City roadways.
In a way, Nathan Tufts Park all began with a windmill. In the early 1700s, French immigrant Jean Maillet built a…More windmill atop a hill in what is now Somerville. He couldn't have known that the 30-foot-tall stone structure would one day play a role in the American Revolution—or that two centuries later, it would become Somerville's most prominent landmark and the crowing feature of a park.
After Maillet stopped milling grain, colonists began storing gunpowder within the mill's thick stone walls. When the British raided the cache in 1774, the colonists were so enraged that historians consider the event a trigger of the revolution. After the war, a farming family named Tufts purchased the land and in 1892 gave it (and the mill/powder house) to the city. A park was created and named for Tufts family member Nathan Tufts.
Today, the park retains the graceful curving paths and stately landscaping intended by the original designers. (One path follows an old carriageway.) Used mostly for passive recreation—walking, playing quietly, and relaxing—it offers a peaceful respite from busy Powder House Square. Others make use of the small basketball court. A stone field house, built during the Great Depression as part of the WPA (Work Project Administration) Project is now used for youth programs and community meetings. And not only is the park on the National Register of Historic Places, the powder house is pictured on the Somerville city seal.
Fun fact: The powder house has stored more than gunpowder. In the 1800s, a pickle maker found it to be the perfect, cool place for storing his "Old Powder House" brand pickles. For a wonderful brochure on the park filled with similar fun facts, click here.
Shade trees, a bounty of benches, and some creative play equipment for the kids can be found at this pretty urban…More oasis—for both people and dogs. While bipeds can walk the two gracefully designed paths lined by over 60 trees, dogs can run free in the adjacent off-leash play area. And if anyone get's thirsty, the water fountain has a spout higher up for humans and a water bowl for canines below.
Built in 2008 with the help of an Urban Self Help Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation Services, this park is a shining example of the City's recent efforts to green up Somerville. Though just about the size of one square block, you can plop down on a bench here and lose yourself in nature.
The park is named for former Somerville resident Edward L. Leathers, an Army Pfc. and WWII veteran.