Swimmable Charles


Thanks to the generosity of Common Impact and Stantec Engineering we’ve unveiled a Feasibility Study for a permanent swimming facility on the Charles River.

The first step for this vision– an Indiegogo campaign– recently concluded and was more than 100% funded!



tpbbwhv5ifbutzbqgcwgWith a partnership grant from Common Impact, team of volunteer professionals from Stantec Engineering conducted a study for the Charles River Conservancy (CRC) exploring the feasibility of a permanent swimming facility in the Charles River at North Point Park. In order to evaluate the feasibility of such a site, Stantec compiled a team of volunteers, drawing on expertise from landscape architecture, civil engineering, environmental science, and much more. Their work determined that given further study and due diligence, a permanent swimming area is indeed feasible!


Next Steps

In order to make the permanent swimming facility a reality, the following steps must be taken:

  • Engage in conversations about:
    • Ownership, operation, financing, and safety
    • Potential park maintenance and dam operation impacts
  • Seek ongoing consulting advice from legal, environmental, engineering and design professionals.
  • Further analysis of the riverbed and water, including:
    • Pursue frequent testing of water quality over time in this area
    • Conduct a bathymetric Survey of area (testing of the depth of the river in this area, including scanning for debris at the bottom)
    • Turbidity Analysis (analysis of the haziness or cloudiness of the water and ways to address)
  • Host a facility design competition


Why North Point Park?

For many years, North Point Park was a wasteland used for industrial purposes and as a trash transfer station, but mitigation for the “Big Dig” project led to new commercial, residential, and open space development in the area, including North Point Park and the Lynch Family Skatepark (developed by the CRC). Because of its generous lawn spaces, direct access to the river, nearby connections to the MBTA, EF’s Lingo restaurant, several playgrounds and proximity to several Hubway bike rental stations, North Point Park is quickly becoming a destination, making it an ideal location for a permanent swimming area on the Charles.

A full electronic copy of the feasibility study is available here. If you’d like a printed copy, please email crc@thecharles.org to learn more.


For more information about the Swimmable Charles Initiative contact Kelsey Pramik at 617.300.8164 or kpramik@thecharles.org.  For press inquiries, please contact Director of Development and Communications, SJ Port at 617.300.8172 or sjport@thecharles.org.

To support a swimmable Charles, please give to our Indiegogo Campaign