The Friends of Fellsmere Heights celebrated their sixth Lantern Walk on Saturday, August 26, with lantern-making workshops and an evening stroll with lit lanterns around Fellsmere Pond. The event, which was held on one of this summer’s few rain-free days, was particularly joyous because of the recent progress made on developing the former Malden Hospital site into a much-needed behavioral health hospital and additional open space for the communities of Malden and Medford. The Lantern Walk – funded in part by a grant from the Malden Cultural Council and the Mass Cultural Council – is an opportunity for neighbors of Fellsmere Park and the wider community to meet, make lanterns from recycled plastic bottles and appreciate our beautiful, Olmsted-designed Fellsmere Park and Fellsmere Pond.
It’s also an opportunity for the Friends of Fellsmere Heights to support the community that has supported them. “We’ve been working for close to ten years to make sure that the cities who helped build the old Malden Hospital continued to receive what the Converse family and the original local funders wanted,” said Lauren McGillicuddy, this year’s organizer of the Walk. “They intended the site for a place of healing, and now it will be again. This would not be happening without the support of many, many people, including the elected leaders of Malden and Medford and the team from Tufts Medical and Acadia Healthcare, who will build and manage the new hospital.”
Next steps for the Friends of Fellsmere Heights include making sure that our community helps define how the new open space will be used and managed. But for one day, future work was put aside in the enjoyment of crafts, neighborliness and the beauty of a park on a summer’s evening.
We hope to see all our neighbors again on August 24, 2024!