Boston reaches major milestone in ensuring park access for all residents
October 19, 2018
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and The Trust for Public Land announced today the City of Boston reached a major milestone in ensuring that all Boston residents have a park within a 10-minute walk of home. The announcement stems from Boston's championing of the 10-Minute Walk to a Park Campaign, a joint effort by the Trust for Public Land, National Recreation and Park Association, and Urban Land Institute, working to bring easy and equitable access to green spaces to everyone in the United States.
"In Boston, we are proud of our world-class park system and the investments that have been made," said Mayor Walsh. "Reaching this milestone is a big step for our city to ensure that every resident, no matter the neighborhood, has a high-quality park or open space within a 10-minute walk of home. There is still much work to be done, and we are working every day to make our park system the best in the world."
"Everyone deserves a quality park within a 10-minute walk of home," said Diane Regas, President and CEO of the Trust for Public Land. "Today marks an enormous achievement based on years of dedicated and thoughtful planning by the City of Boston. Our research tells us that close-to-home access to parks are vital for public health, clean environments, and thriving, equitable communities."
The Trust for Public Land has worked with Boston and cities across the country, park advocates and the public to determine exactly where parks are needed most. The Trust for Public Land's ParkServe database is the first free, open access national data platform mapping park access in more than 14,000 cities and towns - home to more than 260 million Americans. Boston is the second major city in the United States, following San Francisco, to hit the milestone of ensuring all residents have a park within a 10-minute walk of home.
"Our goal is to have high quality, safe, accessible parks for all Bostonians," said Christopher Cook, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space. "We are proud of this accomplishment and grateful to Mayor Walsh for his steadfast support and belief in the importance of parks and open spaces for the health and vitality of all who live in Boston."
This week, Mayor Walsh rolled out a comprehensive and transformative vision that will invest in Boston's waterfront to protect the City's residents, homes, jobs, and infrastructure against the impacts of rising sea level and climate change. Resilient Boston Harbor lays out strategies along Boston's 47-mile shoreline that include elevated landscapes, enhanced waterfront parks, flood resilient buildings, and revitalized and increased connections and access to the waterfront.
Mayor Walsh allocated over $230 million, the largest-ever capital funding for Boston parks, through Imagine Boston 2030. This series of investments include the construction of Noyes Playground in East Boston, Reservation Road Park in Hyde Park, Garvey Playground in Dorchester, and McConnell Playground in Dorchester. Investments also include renovations at Franklin Park, Harambee Park, and Smith Playground. The new Martin Richard Park in South Boston will be opened next spring.
In addition, the capital budget invests in long-term planning for Boston's most iconic park -- the Boston Common. The capital plan sets aside $500,000 to develop a master plan to bring the nation's oldest public park to the level of excellence commensurate with its historical importance and use by the City's residents and visitors. The budget also invests $800,000 into Franklin Park, to develop a master plan that will enhance historic Franklin Park as a keystone park in the geographical heart of the City. The master plans will guide investments totaling $46 million over the next few years.ABOUT IMAGINE BOSTON 2030
Imagine Boston 2030 is Boston's first citywide plan in 50 years aimed at guiding growth to support Boston's dynamic economy and expand opportunity for all residents. The plan prioritizes inclusionary growth and puts forth a comprehensive vision to boost quality of life, equity and resilience in every neighborhood across the City. Shaped by the input of 15,000 residents who contributed their thoughts to the plan, Imagine Boston 2030 identifies five action areas to guide Boston's growth, enhancement and preservation, and is paired with a set of metrics that will evaluate progress and successes. To learn more, visit the Imagine Boston website.ABOUT THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.