Yearly Archives: 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACT:    

Charlie Patterson, charlie@sqcomms.com

202 618-6000

Ilana Cedarbaum, icedarbaum@thecharles.org

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The Charles River Conservancy and Google Maps Unveil never-before-seen Digital Views of the Charles River

Specially collected imagery from the Charles River is now accessible online

 

Cambridge, MA – December 10, 2015 – Today, Google Maps and the Charles River Conservancy (CRC) will announce a special collection of imagery for Google Maps Street View. The 360-degree imagery will allow online users to access views of the Charles River as seen if positioned directly on the water and from public paths around the Charles in Boston and Cambridge. The new imagery will be officially announced during an event at Google’s Cambridge offices featuring readings and conversations from CRC’s River Stories III, a collection of memoirs, poems, reflections and artwork about the Charles River by local writers including NPR’s Tom Ashbrook who will M.C. the event. The imagery, which was collected by water and land with Google’s high-tech Trekker camera using a DCR golf cart and a boat, will be unveiled on a projection screen during the event.

 

“It is the hope of the Charles River Conservancy that the ability to experience the Charles River online will also lead to more active and engaged stewardship of the river and its surrounding parklands,” said Renata von Tscharner, Founder and President of the Charles River Conservancy.  “The Charles has come a long way from its dirty past because people in this area have committed to being advocates for the river. We even have people swimming in it now, and we think having it live online can help grow that local love and appreciation for the Charles in the digital era.”

 

“Given the critical role that the Charles River plays culturally and environmentally for Boston and Cambridge, it was a natural candidate for a special collection,” said Deanna Yick, Street View Program Manager. “The Charles River is home to the Head of the Charles and Boston’s Fourth of July celebrations. It’s where Boston goes to play, where students go to learn, and it is simply such an important feature of the city historically. We are especially proud to partner with the Charles River Conservancy in making the imagery of the Charles more accessible online.”

 

To access the imagery, click here.

 

About the Charles River Conservancy

About the Charles River Conservancy: 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. Follow CRC on Twitter @CharlesRiverCRC or at Facebook.com/CharlesRiverConservancy. You can also find us at www.thecharles.org.

 

Thanks to Google’s Street View project and Charles River Conservancy.

Boston.com
by Meagan McGinnes

A photo taken by Google's "Trekker" camera of the Charles River Esplanade. Screenshot

A photo taken by Google’s “Trekker” camera of the Charles River Esplanade.
Screenshot

You can now see the Charles River as if you were on the water or the pedestrian paths anytime and anywhere.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google Maps and the nonproft Charles River Conservancy worked together in October to capture panoramic views of the river from the Watertown Dam to Boston Harbor with Google’s “Trekker” camera.

The virtual river is now here, and will go live on Thursday, according to BetaBoston.

Evan Bradley , with the Charles River Conservancy, photographs the Charles River with Google’s famous street-mapping Trekker camera. Suzanne Kreiter / The Boston Globe

Evan Bradley , with the Charles River Conservancy, photographs the Charles River with Google’s famous street-mapping Trekker camera.
Suzanne Kreiter / The Boston Globe

The photos will be unveiled at the Charles River Conservancy’s “River Stories III” event Thursday at 6 p.m. in Kendall Square, the site reported.

See a preview of the interactive images at BetaBoston.

 

MassLive
by Laura Newberry

BOSTON — Google Maps unveiled Thursday a never-before-seen virtual tour of the city’s iconic Charles River.

A view of the Charles River and the North Bank Bridge.

A view of the Charles River and the North Bank Bridge.

The Charles River Conservancy, an environmental nonprofit, spent two weeks in October documenting the 10-mile stretch between the the Charles River Dam by the Museum of Science to the Watertown Dam.

The organization embarked on the venture in hopes it would lead to “more active and engaged stewardship of the river and its surrounding parklands,” said Renata von Tscharner, founder and president of the conservancy.

The panoramic portraits are made up of stitched-together snaps from the Google “Trekker” camera, a 40-pound piece of machinery that was loaned to the conservancy. The contraption is normally carried atop Google Street View cars, but for this project the conservancy used alternate modes of transportation that included a golf cart and a boat.

The Charles River Esplanade

The Charles River Esplanade.

The Trekker was manned by Evan Bradley, a part-time conservancy employee and a 22-year-old Northeastern University graduate.

Thanks to those efforts, online users can view the Charles River as seen if positioned directly on the water and from public paths in Boston and Cambridge.

“It’s where Boston goes to play, where students go to learn, and it is simply such an important feature of the city historically,” said Deanna Yick, Google’s Street View program manager. “We are especially proud to partner with the Charles River Conservancy in making the imagery of the Charles more accessible online.” -04db2f6b4d73ebac

von Tscharner said she hopes the project will foster a continued appreciation of the river in the digital age.

“The Charles has come a long way from its dirty past because people in this area have committed to being advocates for the river,” she said.

A view from the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path.

A view from the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path.

The US Environmental Protection Agency gave the Charles a B-plus rating in May for water quality, the Boston Globe reports. And in July, more than 125 people signed up to swim in a marked-off section of the Charles near the Esplanade.

The photos will be unveiled at a special event sponsored by the Charles River on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Google headquarters in Cambridge.

To take the tour, click here.

 

Read the original article on MassLive’s website: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/12/google_maps_unveils_10-mile_di.html

 

It’s a special collection from Google Maps and the Charles River Conservancy.

BostInnoManaging Editor

Take a tour of the Charles River like you’ve never seen it – from the comfort of your phone or laptop.

In conjunction with the Charles River Conservancy (CRC), Google Maps has unveiled a special series of 360-degree Trekker images of the Charles River, from vantage points ranging from the public paths in Boston and Cambridge to smack in the middle of the river itself.

“Given the critical role that the Charles River plays culturally and environmentally for Boston and Cambridge, it was a natural candidate for a special collection,” said Deanna Yick, Street View Program Manager. “The Charles River is home to the Head of the Charles and Boston’s Fourth of July celebrations. It’s where Boston goes to play, where students go to learn, and it is simply such an important feature of the city historically. We are especially proud to partner with the Charles River Conservancy in making the imagery of the Charles more accessible online.”

The collection will be officially announced Thursday at Google’s Cambridge office, an event MC’d by NPR’s Tom Ashbrook that will include readings from the CRC’s River Stories III, “a collection of memoirs, poems, reflections and artwork about the Charles River by local writers,” including Ashbrook himself.

The images were collected using Google’s high-tech Trekker camera, worn on a person’s back while riding in a golf cart and a boat. They’re not publicly searchable in full until tomorrow.

“It is the hope of the Charles River Conservancy that the ability to experience the Charles River online will also lead to more active and engaged stewardship of the river and its surrounding parklands,” said Renata von Tscharner, Founder and President of the Charles River Conservancy.  “The Charles has come a long way from its dirty past because people in this area have committed to being advocates for the river. We even have people swimming in it now, and we think having it live online can help grow that local love and appreciation for the Charles in the digital era.”

Read the original article on BostInno’s website to catch a glimpse of the Charles River views: http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/12/09/charles-river-google-street-view-images-are-now-live/

 

betaBoston
by Jessica Geller

 

The Charles River is now virtual.kreiter_googleboat5_biz-700x466

Alphabet Inc.’s Google Maps and the Charles River Conservancy, a nonprofit, worked together in October to produce imagery for Google’s Street View project. And Beta Boston is giving readers a preview of the interactive images that will go live Thursday on Google Maps.

The images allow users to see the Charles River as if one is on the water or the pedestrian paths around the river in Boston and Cambridge. While Instagram has numerous sunset posts taken from the riverbank, the 360-degree technology makes it seem as if one in spinning around in a circle to admire the surrounding landmarks.

A google employee drove a Google Maps Street View vehicle around Palo Alto, Calif.

A google employee drove a Google Maps Street View vehicle around Palo Alto, Calif.

“It makes people realize what a precious environment we have,” said Renata von Tscharner, president and founder of the Charles River Conservancy. She hopes the Google images, that will show a 10-mile stretch of the river from the Charles River Dam by the Museum of Science to the Watertown Dam, will encourage people to take care of the parklands area.

The photos will be officially unveiled at the Charles River Conservancy’s “River Stories III” event Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Google headquarters in Kendall Square. Tickets are still available to hear about the project which is a collection of memoirs, poems, reflections, and artwork by local writers and artists about the Charles River.

Street View launched in 2007 and typically uses images captured from “Trekker” perched atop Google cars. But to get up close and personal with the river, the project used other modes of transportation, included a fishing boat and a golf cart. For two weeks this fall Google loaned out its famous “Trekker” camera to the Charles River Conservancy to take a panoramic portrait of the river.

Google captured the Grand Canyon in October 2012.

Google captured the Grand Canyon in October 2012.

The 40-pound “Trekker” camera snaps photos every few seconds, stores the images in a built-in hard drive, and then Google stitches the photos together to provide a seamless, continuous view. Google has captured landmarks on all seven continents, including Machu Picchu in Peru, the Northern Lights in Finland, sand dunes in the desert near Abu Dhabi, and the Grand Canyon.

 

 

Read the original article on betaBoston’s website to see samples of the virtual Charles River: http://www.betaboston.com/news/2015/12/09/first-look-at-googles-trekker-images-of-the-charles-river/

 

Charlestown Patriot-Bridge

By Seth Daniel            November 19, 2015

One of the most interesting places for things on four wheels – or even two wheels – is right in Charlestown at the Paul Revere Park, as the long-promised skate park was unveiled last Saturday, Nov. 14, under the highway.

The Lynch Family Skatepark, named after Peter Lynch of Fidelity Investments fame, opened with great fanfare on Saturday – hosting local skaters and professionals as well. The skatepark accommodates riders on skateboards, BMX bicycles and inline skaters.

The park is located just on the northern edge of Paul Revere Park, straddling the Cambridge and Boston line.

For skaters like Andrew MacDonald, a Boston native who moved to California, the park was a welcome sight.

“I lived in Boston and always dreamed of having a great facility like this for skating, but we never had anything like this,” he said. “So, I had to move to California to get my career on the right path. Now, skaters have a world-class facility right here.”

MacDonald was skateboarding’s World Champion eight years in a row for the World Cup Skateboard Series.

The park features a long promenade with several skate features and rails along its edges. There are several bowls as well for skateboarders and BMX riders to try out as well. It runs right under the elevated highway that feeds the Zakim/Bunker Hill Bridge.

Nora Vasconcellos skates the walls with no problem in the new Lynch Family Skatepark on the edge of Paul Revere Park in Charlestown. The extraordinary skatepark opened to the public last Saturday, Nov. 14, after 15 years of planning and fundraising. The park was pulled off by the Charles River Conservancy, but will be operated by the DCR.

Nora Vasconcellos skates the walls with no problem in the new Lynch Family Skatepark on the edge of Paul Revere Park in Charlestown. The extraordinary skatepark opened to the public last Saturday, Nov. 14, after 15 years of planning and fundraising. The park was pulled off by the Charles River Conservancy, but will be operated by the DCR.

The project began with an idea by sculptor Nancy Schon, famous for her ‘Tortoise and Hare’ and ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ pieces in the Back Bay. The Charles River Conservancy grabbed the idea and ran with it, taking the first steps in planning the park in 2000.

Fundraising began in 2004 and has continued throughout.

Stantec designed the park and ValleyCrest Landscape Developoment – a specialist in California skateparks – constructed the facility. More than 400 local skaters were surveyed during the design.

The DCR will manage the public park.

Read the original article on the Charlestown Patriot-Bridge’s website: http://charlestownbridge.com/2015/11/19/skatepark-openshaven-for-those-with-wheels/

 

Cambridge Chronicle

By Natalie Handy                   November 18, 2015

People stand on their bikes during the opening day of the Lynch Family Skate Park in Cambridge, Nov. 14, 2015. (Wicked Local Photo/Adam Glanzman)

People stand on their bikes during the opening day of the Lynch Family Skate Park in Cambridge, Nov. 14, 2015. (Wicked Local Photo/Adam Glanzman)

CAMBRIDGE

Though professional skateboarder Andy MacDonald grew up in Boston, he’s lived in San Diego for the past 22 years. MacDonald moved, he joked last week, because he got tired of waiting for the city to build a skatepark.

After decades of planning, MacDonald finally got his wish with the opening of the Lynch Family Skatepark by North Point Park in Cambridge on Nov. 14. MacDonald travels around the world to help open public skateparks, and said he knows how much of a difference they can make.

“I know people who have been skating in Boston since the mid-1970s, waiting 30-plus years for a place that kids can come skate in a safe, fun, positive environment, and that’s what the Lynch Family Skatepark is all about,” he said at the park’s opening ceremonies with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Cambridge Mayor David Maher, Lynch Foundation founder Peter Lynch and vice president of Vans Steve Van Doren.

“Today we’re blessed. Everything that’s happening today is a miracle — this is a sanctuary. This is not just for skateboarders, this is for the entire community,” said professional skateboarder Tony Alva, who traveled from Los Angeles for the event.

The park, which has been in the works for the past 15 years, was created through the Charles River Conservancy and will be operated by the state, but was built with investments from the Lynch Foundation and Vans, among others. Vans donated $1.5 million to the park, and in addition will pay $25,000 every year for the next seven years for park maintenance.

The park evolved from an idea from sculptor Nancy Schön, who caught skateboarders jumping over her Tortoise and the Hare sculptures in Copley Square years ago, inspiring her to find them another place to skate. In honor of Schön’s statues, the skatepark has large cement etchings of a tortoise and hare at its entrance.

Until now, there has never been a designated area to skateboard around Boston, equally frustrating skaters, parents and members of law enforcement. In his speech to the crowd, Maher acknowledged the CRC for taking an otherwise useless area and turning it into something that benefits a high number of people.

“Thank you for taking an area of our community, and reimagining what it could be. To take an area that was really underutilized, here we are under this bridge and off-ramp, and to say, this could be a great park where people of all ages could come and have a great time,” Maher said.

Massachusetts State Sen. Sal DiDomenico, who grew up near the former transfer station at the park, echoed Maher’s comments and reflected on his own memories of being told to stay away from the area.

“When I was a kid, we were told not to come to this part of the city because there was nothing good that came out of here, it’s a place not meant for kids or families. Today, to the work of so many people, this is the fruits of their labors,” DiDomenico said.

The park offers something for everyone, MacDonald said. The stage where he stood had handrails and stairs to simulate street skating, catering to those whose only opportunity to skate was on the street. In the spring, lights will be installed around the park so skaters can stay later.

Aside from the community benefits, skateboarding can change lives on a spiritual level, Alva said. Alva, 58, said he took destructive paths in his early years and credits his past 10 years of sobriety to skateboarding.

“Skateboarding gave me something that I was finally good at it. It gives you equanimity in life, which is spiritual balance. Basically, skateboarding saved my life,” Alva said.

Alva said his ambition is what caused him to seek trouble when he was younger, and skateboarding was his outlet to release energy in a positive way.

“I had the courage to change, and the courage to change is really big in this world today. By helping the community, and giving kids this sanctuary, giving them a chance to experience something that’s willingness and faith and the courage to change – that’s a big deal,” Alva said.

Read the original article on WickedLocal Cambridge: http://cambridge.wickedlocal.com/article/20151118/NEWS/151115797/

 

TransWorld Business

By Hayley Helms               November 18, 2015

THE LYNCH FAMILY SKATEPARK HAS BEEN LONG-AWAITED IN THE BOSTON COMMUNITY

This past Saturday, Vans joined thousands of skateboarders, BMX riders and passionate city locals from greater Boston to celebrate the long-awaited grand opening of the Lynch Family Skatepark. As the final contributor to the project, Vans provided a leadership commitment of $1.5M, joining The Charles River Conservancy (CRC), the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and the Lynch Foundation in supporting a brand new community skatepark located in East Cambridge, MA. The exciting ribbon cutting ceremony welcomed various dignitaries to the podium, including key city officials, representatives from the CRC and DCR, Vans skateboarding legends Tony Alva and Ray Barbee, rounded out by a warm welcome from Master of Ceremonies, Vans’ own Steve Van Doren.

With steadfast leadership from the CRC’s Renata Von Tscharner and enthusiastic commitment by Vans, the $5M, 40,000-square-foot Lynch Family Skatepark project has finally triumphed after being in the works for more than a decade. Vans’ contribution to the city’s laborious efforts provided the final dollars needed to begin construction, and in addition to this support, Vans has secured giving $25,000 each year for seven years to the DCR for ongoing maintenance of the skatepark.

“Since our founder left Massachusetts to start up Vans in California, we have sought ways to give back to our original New England roots,” said Vans and VF Action Sports President Kevin Bailey. “Vans is honored to join the city of Boston, the DCR and all the dignitaries who worked so hard to make this happen, to provide a platform for locals to express themselves through skateboarding as our brand has done for nearly 50 years. Vans’ commitment to this incredible partnership is strong and spirited, and we look forward to supporting the Lynch Family Skatepark for many years to come.”

Moving forward, Vans plans to partner with the new skatepark to host world class competitions, local skate and BMX clinics, and community events year round. The Lynch Family Skatepark is owned and maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and will be open from dawn to dusk. Visit www.thecharles.org for more details on the project’s background.
Read more at http://business.transworld.net/news/vans-joins-the-lynch-family-skatepark-at-its-grand-opening/#C9rWVkgjVHOLorZS.99

 

 

 

New Boston Post

By Diane Kilgore      November 16, 2015

The Lynch Family Skatepark is now open for business underneath the Zakim bridge. (Diane Kilgore, NewBostonPost)

The Lynch Family Skatepark is now open for business underneath the Zakim bridge. (Diane Kilgore, NewBostonPost)

This week, a creative new world opened under the access ramps of Interstate 93’s Leonard Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. A world of athleticism, sportsmanship and unparalleled excitement has been engineered into a site once isolated by Big Dig construction.

Annexing the power of collaboration​,​ The Charles River Conservancy co-mingled the vision of eight-time World Cup Skateboard Champion and Melrose native Andy MacDonald with public and private donations of more than $5 million to create a cement utopia in Boston. Concrete canyons​,​ 11 1/2-feet deep, barriers, and pipes have been constructed into an open space​, ​​helping to satisfy the wishlists of more than 400 volunteer consultant skateboard devotees of various ages and abilities.

This cooler than cool, sunlit underworld of 40,000 square feet, now called the Lynch Family Skatepark, is a one-of-a-kind playground​,​ welcoming skateboarders, BMX riders, in-line skaters and spectators. Both Mayor of Boston Martin Walsh​​ and Mayor of Cambridge David Maher​ affectionately claim boasting rights to the sporting facility designed to host community activities, multi-level clinics, as well as world-class competitions.

From immediate left, Peter Lynch, Mayor Martin Walsh and Renata von Tschaner at the ribbon cutting of the Lynch Family Skatepark. (Diane Kilgore, NewBostonPost)

From immediate left, Peter Lynch, Mayor Martin Walsh and Renata von Tschaner at the ribbon cutting of the Lynch Family Skatepark. (Diane Kilgore, NewBostonPost)

Like much of Boston’s famed history, the Lynch Family Skatepark, has contentious beginnings and a happy ending. Renata von Tschaner, founder and president of the Charles River Conservancy​,​ says the inspiration to support this magnificent athletic culture began two decades ago after a near tiff between sculptor of “Make Way For Ducklings,”​ ​Nancy Schon, and street skateboarders. Schon became furious watching wild boarders whiz around and jump over another of her iconic public works, “Tortoise and Hare​.​” That sculpture​,​ located in Copley Square near the finish line of the Boston Marathon​,​ symbolizes the merits of finishing a race rather than it’s pace.

Schon​,​ determined to protect the sculptures​,​ was prepared to rage at the skating, jumping, unruly looking boys. Once she spoke to the kids​,​ she found beneath their wild hair and ragged clothes were wholesome,​ ​polite young people intently focused on perfecting their skills in a sport they loved. After a short conversation​,​ she was convinced they were respectful of her and the art. She treated them in kind by calling Renata at the CRC asking why Boston can’t support skateboarder’s interests the way we do all other athletic endeavors in the city.

After some research, von Tschaner, a true steward of urban renewal, found skateboarding to be the fastest growing sport in the country. She says “​because most cities have no facilities to handle it, they out law it. ” Hoping to make every inch of the 400 of urban parklands that stretch between Boston Harbor and the Watertown dams attractive, active and accessible​,​ von Tschaner sought to utilize the under-utilized plot of land under I -93 to give Boston the largest skate park on the East Coast. She and both Mayors Walsh and Maher believe this site will soon become another of Boston’s many tourist attractions.

This weekend, in the shadow of Bunker Hill, more than 2,000 skateboarders, BMX bikers and in-liner skaters were given access to write another chapter in Boston’s great history of creating — or in this case, shredding —​ ​new worlds.

The Lynch Family Skatepark connects to Boston via the newly constructed pedestrian bridge between North Point Park in Cambridge and Paul Revere Park in Charlestown. It’s two blocks east of the Museum of Science.

The park was made possible, in part, by a donation from philanthropist Peter Lynch and his late wife, Carolyn, who passed away Oct. 1, 2015.

 

Diane Kilgore is a Boston-based blogger. Read more of her articles here: http://newbostonpost.com/author/diane-kilgore/ 

Read the original article on the NewBostonPost website: http://newbostonpost.com/2015/11/16/shredding-new-worlds-at-lynch-family-skatepark/

 

Shawn Clark was murdered in his skateboard shop by two men

WCVB 5/ABC

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. —A skate park opened its door Saturday and honored the owner of a skate shop who was murdered in his shop in 2013.

Shawn Clark dreamed of a park where people could skate safely and enjoy. The former Marine was so passionate about the sport, he opened his own skate shop, Patriots Skateboards, in Malden.

Watch NewsCenter 5’s report

Clark was fatally shot following a confrontation with two men on Jan. 29, 2013.

“If Shawn were here, he would be definitely celebrating along everyone else,” said Anita Clark at the dedication ceremony in Cambridge for the Lynch Family Skate Park.

“It’s beautiful,” said Renata von Tscharner, founder and president of the Charles River Conservancy. “I think it will be enjoyed by all who skate here and all who come here to visit.”

While touched by Shawn’s mention during the ceremony, his mother says she won’t be satisfied until police arrest her son’s killers.

“We’re hoping that maybe more leads will come forward and someone will call the state police and help us to get these perpetrators,” said Anita Clark.

The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office says there has been progress in the investigation, but they are asking the public to help in solving this crime.

Watch the video on WCVB’s website: http://www.wcvb.com/news/skate-park-opening-honors-slain-owner-of-skateboard-shop/36455026

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