City celebrates reopening of Children's Park in Roxbury
June 20, 2017
Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, the Highland Street Foundation, Youth Lead the Change and local teachers, students, and residents today celebrated the reopening of Children's Park in Roxbury. The celebration marks the completion of a comprehensive $1.1 million renovation of the entire playground, allowing children and families of all abilities to enjoy time together outdoors.
"Today we are not only celebrating the opening of Children's Park, but we are also celebrating Boston's progress in becoming a more inclusive city to its residents of all abilities," said Mayor Walsh. "Children's Park models the accessibility that we are working to bring to every park in Boston -- one that benefits the entire community. I am proud that Boston has one of the best park systems in the nation, and with the renovations made to this park in Roxbury, residents will be able to enjoy the park today and for years to come."
The Parks Department collaborated with the inclusion program at the Lila Frederick Middle School and the Boston Public Schools Facilities Department to incorporate inclusionary elements in the design of the new space. Previously, students in wheelchairs could not access the park due to the lack of a connection to accessible pathways at the back of the playground, and the playground along Intervale Street was inaccessible because the sidewalks were too steep to access the park. The Parks Department project manager accompanied the students on a field trip last year to the fully accessible Thomas M. Menino Park in Charlestown to see which equipment they used and liked, resulting in the installation of an integration carousel.
With a design and construction budget of $1.1 million funded by Mayor Walsh's Imagine Boston Capital Plan, $31,225 from Mayor Walsh's Youth Lead the Change initiative, and a $100,000 donation from the Highland Street Foundation, the new park design includes four all-accessible entrances, a 2-5 year-old play area including stepping pods and a small climber, a large 5-12 year-old accessible play structure with ramps to reach the top level of play, two accessible ground level stand-alone play panels, a water play area with spray jets, three benches with companion seating, seat walls surrounding the 5-12 play area, sitting rocks throughout the park, five accessible tables and chairs, two pieces of exercise equipment as requested by the community, two regular and two accessible swings, a roller slide accessible via ramps to the top,one wave climber, and the accessible carousel. Additional improvements include trees, shrubs, mulch, and a refurbished entrance archway.
The Parks Department partnered with the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) to arrange transfer of an adjacent parcel of land with a vacant building on the lot. DND demolished the building and transferred the parcel to Parks to increase the footprint of the site, which almost doubled the size of the park bringing more space for Roxbury families to relax and play.
Learn more about the City's capital projects at budget.boston.gov/capital-projects.