Boston’s Harborwalk turns 35 this year, celebrating over three decades of waterfront public access to both visitors and local residents.
In honor of this occasion, Boston Harbor Now, a non-profit dedicated to providing community access to the Boston Harbor and its Islands, is holding a series of four guided neighborhood Harbor[walk] strolls along the waterfront. Participants will engage with local communities, receive a snack-filled 80s retro-style fanny pack and enjoy light refreshments at the start and finish. This is an ideal family activity for those with a passion for the outdoors and of a moderate endurance level.
Harbor[walk] 1: Dorchester October 5
Harbor[walk] 2: South Boston October 12
Harbor[walk] 3: Fort Point, Wharf District, and North End October 19
Harbor[walk] 4: Charlestown and East Boston October 26
As an added treat, each walk includes an exclusive collectible pin featuring a historic landmark from the walk’s neighborhood. These pins will only be available during their designated walks, making them unique pieces of the city’s Harborwalk memorabilia.
The walks are not the only celebration taking place, though. Boston Harbor Now will also hold a speaking program on Thursday, October 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Worcester Polytechnic Institute Seaport, with Stephen Coyle who was the director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority in 1984 when the “HarborPark” was established.
The program will then feature a speaker panel comprised of waterfront leaders from across the U.S., with individuals from Washington, D.C., Seattle, Washington and Boston. The discussion will focus on the historic development of the Harborwalk, as well as the work being implemented by cities throughout the country to preserve and increase community access to the water in urban areas.
The Harborwalk was first envisioned by former mayor, Raymond Flynn, in 1984 and implemented by the city using Chapter 91, the state law that protects the public’s right to access the waterfront. As the redevelopment of former industrial wharves took place following the Boston Harbor cleanup, the Harborwalk path system and other public amenities emerged as a commitment to protect public access to the waterfront. Now, it serves as a valuable asset to the City of Boston, connecting communities both to the water and each other.
To learn more about Harbor[walk] programs taking place this fall and to register for one, visit www.bostonharbornow.org/harborwalk35.