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The Muddy River Community Marks the Passing of Jack Martin

Jack Martin, former VP of Business Administrator at Northeastern University, passed away on February 18th.  Jack was fundamental to the Muddy River Restoration Project.

With a background in engineering, Jack led formal studies created by NEU of the problems of the Muddy River, helped to form the key coalitions for political advocacy for this Project, and formulated  and hosted at NEU the original Muddy River Citizens Advisory Committee. He brought together Fenway Alliance institutions, friends groups, government entities, and private citizens in service of the Muddy River rehabilitation, and he traveled to Washington with a key group to advocate for its funding.  

Long-time colleague and MMOC co-founder Betsy Shure Gross recalls the impact of his leadership and the “gift of [his] time:”

“Jack Martin who was an unusual leader in the most challenging of times for the Muddy River. Our trip to Washington was extraordinarily successful because of the strategy we developed before the visit which assigned each of us (wearing our various hats) to Senators Kennedy and Kerry, Representatives Joe Kennedy II and Barney Frank. Jack’s role as Northeastern guru as well as Chair of both the Fenway Alliance, which was a powerful coalition of the major institutions, and the nascent Emerald Necklace Conservancy was to focus on the adverse economic impact of the flood.

DCR Secretary Bob Durand spent time with the legislators persuading them to take the leadership for obtaining close to one hundred million dollars for the Army Corps to have responsibility for the project. Justine Liff, as Commissioner of Parks, represented the City of Boston and Tom DeMaio, as Commissioner of Public Works in Brookline, spoke to the Environmental challenges to the municipalities and the potential crushing financial implications. I presented the Olmsted Historic Preservation advocacy community wearing my National Association for Olmsted Parks (over my Chair of the Brookline Conservation Commission and Chair of Historic Massachusetts) hats. 

The gift of time from Jack Martin over many, many years included allowing Jack Malone to Chair the Muddy River Technical Advisory Committee as well as serving for decades on the MMOC. 

Jack’s death is a loss to many, most especially to those who served with him on the Muddy River Project.”

Jack will be honored the Muddy River Annual Meeting on April 26th.