40 years ago, Isabella Halsted, who lived near the Charles River in Cambridge, had the vision to propose closing Memorial Drive to traffic on Sundays to create a peaceful place in which one could enjoy being by the historic river. Today, people from near and far continue to enjoy the closing of Memorial Drive on Sundays.
The People for Riverbend Park Trust was created by Isabella in 1975. For 30 years, the Trust, with the help of volunteers, has been planting and caring for shrubs and flowers in Riverbend Park, from Hawthorn Street to the Mt. Auburn Hospital, with special care given to the Sekler playlot. The trust has been headed by Pat Sekler, for whom the playlot is named. The People for Riverbend Park Trust is a non-profit, maintained entirely by volunteers. Since 1990, students from the nearby Shady Hill School have helped plant, rake, weed, and clean the park.