The Charles River Conservancy is dedicated to the stewardship, renewal, and enhancement of the urban parklands along the Charles River, for the enjoyment of all.
The Conservancy promotes the active use and vitality of the parklands, increases recreational and cultural opportunities, and works to ensure the beauty and integrity of this extraordinary public resource.
Established in 2000, the Charles River Conservancy (CRC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the renewal and active use of the Charles River parklands from Boston Harbor to the Watertown Dam.
The Conservancy works in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the managing agency of the parklands and parkways, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the managing agency of the historic bridges that traverse the Charles.
Each year, approximately 2,000 Conservancy Volunteers help to renew and maintain the Charles River parklands. The Conservancy also collaborates with other organizations and coalitions to advocate for increased state funding for better access and good planning and management practices to enhance the landscape, structures, pathways, and amenities of the Charles River Basin.
A leader in forming public-private partnerships, the Conservancy has successfully leveraged funds for many projects that make the parklands more active, attractive, and accessible for all—including resurfacing Charles River pathways, building a popular urban skatepark, hosting community river swims, and organizing volunteer service events.
The Lynch Family Skatepark, adjacent to North Point Park, was a major capital project of the Charles River Conservancy. What began as an idea by renowned sculptor Nancy Schön, famous for her Tortoise and Hareand Make Way For Ducklings sculptures in Copley Square and the Boston Public Garden respectively, was carried forward by the Charles River Conservancy with major support from the local skateboarding community and has been more than a decade in the making. (Hear from Nancy herself about the importance of this park, courtesy of New England Cables News). The planning began in 2000, and in 2004, the Conservancy began to raise funds from individual donors and foundations for the project.
Context map: The Lynch Family Skatepark is located in the yellow area, at 0 Education Way.
The Conservancy hired Stantec to design the park, which was then constructed by ValleyCrest Landscape Development with specialty work completed by California Skateparks. Now that construction is completed, the park has been turned over to the CRC’s project partner, the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), who manages the public facility.
The skatepark site is located in East Cambridge beneath the access ramps to I-93’s the iconic Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. It is also adjacent to the North Bank Bridge, a newly constructed pedestrian bridge connecting North Point Park in Cambridge to Paul Revere Park in Charlestown. The “wheel-friendly” park is designed to accommodate skateboarders, BMX riders, and inline skaters and will include access around the skate plaza for spectators who wish to watch the athletes in action.
The skatepark has the capacity to support community clinics and events, as well as world-class competitions.Theskatepark is designed as a one-of-a-kind facility that captures the creativity and aspirations of skaters from around the region, featuring design input from more than 400 local skaters and skateboarding professionals, including Boston area native Andy MacDonald (Andy was crowned as skateboarding’s World Champion eight years in a row in the World Cup Skateboard Series). Thanks to their involvement, skateboarders of all abilities now have the opportunity to experience street, transitional, and bowl elements throughout the park. The skatepark also includes replica features of unique skate areas throughout greater Boston to acknowledge local lore and pay homage to Boston’s skating community.