Somerville is a city located directly to the northwest of Boston, and north of Cambridge, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. As of 2010, the United States Census listed the city with a total population of 75,754 people, making it the most densely populated municipality in New England. As of 2010, it was the 16th most densely populated incorporated municipality in the country. Somerville was established as a town in 1842, when it was separated from Charlestown. In 2006, the city was named the best-run city in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. In 1972, in 2009, and again in 2015, the city received the All-America City Award. It is home to Tufts University, which has its campus along the Somerville and Medford border.
The Somerville Community Path is a tree-lined rail trail that runs from Lowell Street to the Cambridge border near Davis Square. It connects with the Alewife Linear Park, which in turn connects with the Minuteman Bikeway and the Fitchburg Cutoff Path. Community activists hope to extend the path eastward to Lechmere Square, which would connect with the Charles River Bike Paths and the proposed East Coast Greenway.
In May 2013, construction began on an extension of the path between Cedar and Lowell streets, which was completed in 2015. As of 2010, the city has a total of 63 parks, playgrounds, playing fields, and community gardens.
With the establishment of the Playground Association of America in 1906, many cities, including Somerville, began to sponsor supervised playgrounds for the children of the city during the summer months. Though the Recreation Department was not formally established in Somerville until 1917, supervised play, sponsored in part by the city and the Playground Association of America, began in 1909.
The Recreation Department provides many recreational and play activities for residents of all ages, including Summertime Playgrounds, outdoor games and sports leagues, theater groups, and an active Senior Citizens Club.