Somerville Parks & Recreation Department to Oversee Maintenance, Increase Programming at Boat House

New partnership with Paddle Boston, increased programming with Gentle Giant Rowing Club to expand waterfront recreation offerings for Somerville residents.


SOMERVILLE – The City of Somerville and the Somerville Parks & Recreation Department, under the leadership of Director Jill Lathan, are proud to announce that the City of Somerville recently won a statewide bid to conduct maintenance, operations and additional programming at the Blessing of the Bay Boat House on Shore Drive. Earlier this year, a Request for Proposals was issued by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which owns and formerly operated the boat house and surrounding green space. The City of Somerville has shared maintenance of the facility under a Memorandum of Understanding with DCR.


The Recreation Department partnered with community organizations Gentle Giant Rowing Club and Paddle Boston to offer new and expanded programming and training opportunities at the Boat House beginning this summer.


“We’re looking forward to working with such incredible partners who are invested in creating wonderful programs in Somerville,” said Lathan. “The opportunities both these organizations provide are endless.”
Somerville Parks & Recreation already offers youth canoe and kayak clinics under its current programming, but through an expanded partnership with Gentle Giant, and a new partnership with Paddle Boston, will offer trainings and clinics, paddle boarding, and other opportunities for water-related activities along Somerville’s valued waterfront.


For more information about programs and how to get involved at the Boat House, visit



About Gentle Giant Rowing Club (GGRC)

GGRC is a community rowing organization housed at the Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville since 2002. The goal of GGRC is to bring the benefits of the sport of rowing to the communities that border the Mystic River and beyond. GGRC has fostered the public high school rowing programs for Somerville, Malden, Medford, and most recently Everett, and provides opportunities for teens to row in the summer and fall seasons with the GGRC Youth team. GGRC also partners with organizations such as Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Rowing Strong, Rowing Together to extend the reach of its programming to individuals who might not otherwise be able to participate in rowing and to bring them to the shores of the Mystic. Rowing programs for novice and experienced rowers from high school aged and up are offered from the beginning of April through the end of October. Coached programs take place Monday through Saturday, at scheduled times. For more details, visit 



About Paddle Boston

PADDLE BOSTON: Charles River Canoe & Kayak will offer a full selection of canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals in addition to shuttled river trips from the Mystic Lakes, kayak & paddleboard classes, and guided Boston Harbor Tours. Since 1973 we have been the leaders in providing exciting and affordable outdoor recreation in the Boston area. Stop by the boathouse to take a look at the new equipment and meet the friendly staff. The boathouse will be open for rentals seven days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Join us on Monday, July 10, for free paddleboard demos as part of the Red Paddle Company Demo Tour, and the weekend of September 8-10 for Riverfest including fireworks. Full details can be found at


Individuals with disabilities who need alternative means for experiencing the Tower, auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville, or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator at 617-625-6600 ext. 2250, or email


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