Beyond the Wall

“Beyond the Wall” is a community project that is spearheaded by the Edgewater Neighborhood Association (ENA) of Mattapan, which seeks to improve residential access to the Neponset River.

The Edgewater Drive neighborhood of Mattapan sits alongside the beautiful Neponset River, but you would never know it because access is cut off by a 1/2 mile-long rock wall with just one entrance.

To gain access to the Neponset River, modifications need to be made to the imposing stone wall that was built in the 1930s and serves no apparent purpose. Openings in the wall would allow residents of the area to enjoy the natural beauty of the River and woodlands that are currently inaccessible.

The residents of the neighborhood would like to have better access to the Neponset River and surrounding woodlands. To achieve this goal, a working group has been formed that includes the Edgewater Neighborhood Association (ENA), the Solomon Foundation, the Trust for Public Land, the Fairmount Greenway Coalition, and NepRWA.

The group is currently in discussion with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation about creating openings in the wall and adding trails along the water’s edge. They are also working on community outreach to bring awareness and build a constituency for the project.

To get involved or for any questions, please contact NepRWA Greenways Program Director, Andres Ripley, at

Plan below shows proposed openings in the Edgewater Drive wall.

Watch the video below to learn about the “wall” from ENA organizers, Vivien Morris and Laray Brison. (Video by Haley Johnson, Ryan Kalayjian, Maura Raymo, Angela Szarek). To share the video, copy

Student Project: Beyond the Wall Toolbox

During the spring of 2021, students from the Colleges of the Fenway Environmental Forum (Haley Johnson – Massachusetts College of Art, Ryan Kalayjian – Wentworth Institute of Technology, Maura Raymo – Simmons University, and Angie Szarek – Simmons University) created the following outreach materials to help support the efforts of the Edgewater Neighborhood Association. Please use these materials and help spread the word!

If you have any questions about using the Beyond the Wall outreach materials, please contact NepRWA Outreach & Communications Director, Nancy Fyler, at

Logo designed by Haley Johnson, Mass Art Click on each logo to view individually, then right-click to copy or save.

Use the FACT SHEET below at meetings, and events. (by Maura Raymos, Simmons University) Click on the image for the printable file.

Use SOCIAL MEDIA, below, to help spread the word online. (by Angela Szarek, Simmons University) Click on an image to view individually, then right-click to copy or save – and post to your social media accounts. Use the suggested text if you wish.

Suggested Text: Increasing access to the Neponset River creates access for community members to explore nature in their own backyard. #BeyondTheWall

Beyond the Wall poster, presented by the students at the 2021 Muddy River Symposium on April 12. Click to view.

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