Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Completion of the Mystic River Overview Project at Torbert Macdonald State Park

For immediate release:
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Completion of the Mystic River Overview Project at Torbert Macdonald State Park

Troy Wall, Press Secretary

ribbon cutting

MEDFORDToday, the Baker-Polito Administration hosted a ribbon cutting event to unveil a new Mystic River overview deck and seating area located at Torbert Macdonald State Park within the Mystic River State Reservation in the City of Medford. The $355,000 project, which was partially funded by a $150,000 contribution by Howard Wolk, will provide visitors of Torbert Macdonald State Park with additional amenities, as well as increased access to the park’s natural resources.

“The Mystic River and its associated parkland are incredible natural resources that the Department of Conservation and Recreation is proud to manage on behalf of the public for people of all abilities to enjoy,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Baker-Polito Administration works hard to foster strong public-private partnerships, and we thank the Wolk Family for their very generous donation and the Mystic River Watershed Association for their continued advocacy of the park.”

Howard Wolk was introduced to Torbert Macdonald State Park while working at Agero, a company that regularly participates in the Mystic River Watershed Association’s (MyRWA) annual water chestnut removal project. The park continues to be an outstanding community asset, and Mr. Wolk determined that he wanted to personally contribute to the property in honor of his parents, Sydney and Deanna. While working with the DCR and the MyRWA, the overview deck project was identified as a way to improve access to the water’s edge and enhance the visitor experience.

“We are delighted to be able to support the DCR and MyRWA in their tremendous efforts to clean up the Mystic River and to make the surrounding parks and bike path more functional, accessible and attractive for the community,” said Howard Wolk. “Our company, Agero (formerly Cross Country Automotive Services), has been based in Medford for over 35 years and we were glad to give this support on behalf of our many associates who live here and in the neighboring towns.”

Details of the project include:

  • The installation of paving and seating stones at the water’s edge;
  • The creation of an accessible route to the water’s edge;
  • The placement of additional amenities, such as picnic tables; benches; and bicycle racks;
  • The installation of two rain gardens to filter storm water;
  • The planting of trees, shrubs, and perennials; and,
  • The construction of new accessible walkways.

“Thank you to DCR for their partnership and commitment to improving access at MacDonald Park, and thank you to the Wolk family for their generous donation,” said State Representative Christine Barber (D-Somerville). “MacDonald Park is one of Medford’s biggest open spaces and the largest park along the Mystic River. In our dense urban environment, we need partners like DCR and Mystic River Watershed Association working together to preserve open space, and I am glad to be celebrating significant accomplishments revitalizing MacDonald Park today.”

“The park improvements and spaces created through the Wolk family donation will be treasured as a true public benefit,” said State Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville). “MacDonald Park is a jewel in the Mystic parks system and MyRWA’s years of effort along with DCR to improve river access has truly born fruit with the completion of this project.”

“This is an important step in making the MacDonald Park the crown jewel of the Mystic River State Reservation,” said State Representative Paul Donato (D-Medford).

“MacDonald State Park is a great asset to the City of Medford,” said Medford Mayor Stephanie Burke. “The landscape and views that the park offers bring peacefulness in such an urban setting. The City of Medford is thankful to the Wolk family for their commitment and contribution to this beautiful green space.”

Torbert Macdonald State Park is named after former Massachusetts Congressman Torbert Macdonald, who served in Congress for over 20 years from January 3, 1955 to May 21, 1976. Additionally, during the course of Congressman Macdonald’s life, he received a law degree from Harvard University, and enlisted into the United States Navy. Torbert MacDonald State Park is the largest park within the Mystic River State Reservation, and offers rolling topography, abundant trees and lawns, and a network of paths that create a pastoral landscape between the Mystic Valley Parkway and the Mystic River


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Completion of the Mystic River Overview Project at Torbert Macdonald State Park

Department of Conservation & Recreation 

DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.