Watertown Riverfront

Improving the Charles for Our Community and Environment

In partnership with the Bilezikian Family Foundation, Perkins School for the Blind, the Town of Watertown and the Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Fund, the Watertown Community Foundation convenes community-wide support for the Charles Riverfront Restoration Project.  WCF founded the Friends of the Watertown Riverfront group and collaborated with the Historical Society of Watertown and the Solomon Fund to restore the Watertown Founders’ Monument.

Riverfront Mini-Grant Program

The Watertown Community Foundation’s  Watertown Riverfront Mini-Grant Program ran from 2011-2016. The purpose of these $500 grants was to encourage enjoyment, utilization and stewardship of the Watertown riverfront.  The Watertown Riverfront Mini-Grants Program was funded by the Bilezikian Family Foundation.

Previously awarded Riverfront Mini-Grants

  • Watertown Public Library for two ‘virtual‘ river tours (slideshows with music and birdsongs) by local photographer/naturalist, Carol Smith-Berney.
  • Beaverbrook STEP for three walking/guided environmental tours of the riverfront for the individuals they serve.
  • Watertown Cub Scouts Pack 30 for an Earth Day cleanup and canoe trip.
  • Charles River Watershed Association for spring Earth Day cleanup days.
  • Arsenal Center for the Arts for a landscape painting workshop along the Charles.
  • Watertown Family Network for ”Nature Walks Down by the River” for preschoolers, toddlers, infants and their parents/caregivers to look for geese, ducks and turtles and to enjoy a nature program with music.
  • Charles River Conservancy for fall volunteer clean up days and to remove dense vegetation overgrowing bicycle paths.
  • Watertown Council on Aging/Senior Center for mini-series of ‘virtual‘ river tours (slideshows with music and birdsongs) by local photographer/naturalist, Carol Smith-Berney.
  • Cunniff School PTO for a “Cunniff Cares and Cleans” day along the banks and walkways by the river.
  • Watertown Community Education – Lowell School Extended Day Program for spring weekly Grade 2 riverfront nature walks and wildlife observations with expert birder/naturalist, Adam Blanchette.
  • Historical Society of Watertown for preparation/mounting of the replacement Benjamin Curtis plaque on the Watertown Delta as well as the rededication ceremony combined with an historical walking tour of Charles River Road.
  • Watertown Public Schools – Summer Program to raise awareness of the riverfront — its history, wildlife, and wildflowers.
  • Church of the Good Shepherd – Vacation Garden School to explore river water quality, runoff into the river, wildlife and fish.


Application process

Applications are not being accepted for this program at this time. For more information, please contact us at  info@watertownfoundation.org

Proposed Charles Riverfront Restoration Plan

The mile-long park restoration project, paralleling Charles River Road, will dramatically increase access to the riverfront of the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Charles River Reservation just below Watertown Square for people with a full range of abilities, including those who are blind. It will improve bicycle safety along the parkway and provide safe crosswalks to the park for the first time. The Watertown Riverfront will be part of a tri-city river walk circling the upper basin and serving tens of thousands of people in the cities of Boston, Newton, and Watertown. It is a critical link in a regional path system leading from Waltham to downtown Boston.  Watertown Riverfront Project Summary – September 2011 is a summary of the Riverfront Restoration Plan.

Friends of the Watertown Riverfront (FOTWR)

The Watertown Community Foundation founded and supports the Friends of the Watertown Riverfront (FOTWR).  The Friends is a grass roots organization to maintain, support, and advocate for the parkland along the Charles River in Watertown.  FOTWR meets periodically, usually at Perkins School for the Blind, to discuss, plan and celebrate events and activities pertaining to the Charles River in Watertown.  For more information about FOTRW or to join the organization, contact us at: info@watertownfoundation.org.