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$400,000 state grant to help fund Harambee Park improvements


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Parks and Recreation

Harambee Park at 930 Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan will receive $400,000 as part of $7,259,512 in grant funding recently announced by the Baker-Polito Administration for park and recreation improvements in 24 Massachusetts communities. 

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The grants, administered through the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant program, are used to help municipalities acquire, develop, or renovate land for park and outdoor recreation purposes.

One of Boston’s largest parks at 46 acres, Harambee Park is a regional park designed to provide active recreation courts and playing fields for neighborhoods with limited public open space, such as Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, and Roslindale.  The PARC grant for Harambee Park will help offset $3 million in the first phase of improvements planned for the site.

“Harambee is Swahili for ‘let’s all pull together,’” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “That's what we hope to do with this grant - everyone will work together to rebuild a great park in the heart of Boston. This $400,000 grant is recognition by the state of how important local parks are to the life of our citizens.”

Phase I of the project will include a new playground with a water spray splash pad feature, construction of two basketball courts with lighting, bleachers, player benches, and drinking fountains, improved connections to Blue Hill Avenue including pathway and masonry improvements, plantings, lighting, and a new gateway at the Talbot and Blue Hill Avenue corner, drainage improvements, and adult exercise equipment.   The project is currently in the design phase with a final community design meeting to be held in January.

“The Boston Parks and Recreation Department has worked in cooperation with nearby partner organizations and community groups on a master plan to guide the park’s sequenced renovation as part of our ‘whole park’ renovation philosophy, ensuring community support and long-term success to fulfill needs for particular recreation activities,” noted Boston Parks Commissioner Chris Cook. 

Future phases will extend the pathway system with new paths crossing the park where none now exist, create a loop path for strolling, exercise walking, and running, and renovate other features such as the ball fields.