Improvements completed to parks in North End, Dorchester, and South Boston
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department today announced the completion of improvements and reopening of three parks, Langone Park and Puopolo Playground in the North End, Garvey Playground in Dorchester and Flaherty Park in South Boston. Representing a combined $21.9 million in renovations from Mayor Walsh's Capital Improvement Plan and Community Preservation Act funding, the parks' reopenings will increase open space in three of Boston's neighborhoods. Additionally, Langone Park and Puopolo Playground was designed with climate resilient features embedded throughout the project to protect the area from projected sea level rise and increased storm events, as planned in Coastal Resilience Solutions for Downtown Boston and North End, advancing progress of Mayor Walsh's Climate Ready Boston.
"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Boston has remained committed to ensuring that our city services, projects and priorities remained ongoing as we responded to the public health crisis," said Mayor Walsh. "At a time when open spaces are so critical to our residents' mental and physical health, I am glad to reopen three parks across our city, in addition to others we were able to renovate and improve earlier in the pandemic. And, I am proud of our construction that builds resiliency into our coastal Langone Park and Puopolo Playground. This is vital as we face the effects of climate change."
LANGONE PARK AND PUOPOLO PLAYGROUND
Langone Park and Puopolo Playground are located in the North End. Located on Boston Harbor, these projects are a critical component of Climate Ready Boston, the City's initiative to build climate resilience to flooding, stormwater, and extreme heat. Highlighted in the most recent Coastal Solutions Report, this is the first project within the Boston park system to integrate the standards set forth by the City of Boston's Climate Resilient Design Standards and Guidelines for Protection of Public Rights-of-Way.
In collaboration with other city agencies and stakeholders, the Parks Department built an integrated seawall internal to the park, with overlooks and seating on an elevated boardwalk, which can be raised in the future to increase flood protection. At completion, the project expands recreational opportunities, raises the level of the athletic fields out of the flood zone, elevates the harborwalk by four feet, and makes the sea wall more structurally sound. Resilient solutions identified through Climate Ready Boston are part of and strengthen the strategies outlined in Resilient Boston Harbor to increase access and open space throughout Boston's 47-mile shoreline while better protecting the City.
The design incorporates structural elements including ground improvements, micro piles, and lightweight soils to elevate the park up to seven feet without affecting adjacent structures, properties, and the existing seawall. The project also implements stormwater and infrastructure protection strategies to allow for programmed flood pathways and faster recovery of the park and neighborhood after storm events. Other park improvements and amenities include a high-performance natural turf Little League baseball field, a multisport synthetic turf field, a universal access playground, a memorial garden, bocce and basketball courts, and plaza spaces allowing for expansive harbor views, access to the water's edge, and an open and inviting connection to the neighborhood. When weather permits, the bocce courts and non-turf playing field will be officially opened for public play.
The project was funded with $14.3 million from Mayor Walsh's Capital Improvement Plan that includes City bond funds and $95,000 from the City of Boston's Emelie Pugliano Trust Fund dedicated "to maintain and improve the recreational area around and including the municipal pool and bathhouse along Commercial Street in the North End section of Boston," and, in addition, $1 million from the Community Preservation Act.
Garvey Playground in Dorchester
Garvey Playground, a 5.27-acre park, is located at 340 Neponset Avenue in Dorchester. The $5,790,000 project budget was funded by Mayor Walsh's Capital Improvement Plan and the Community Preservation Act.
Improvements to Garvey Playground include age-appropriate play areas for children ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12, including swings and a cooling station. A new artificial turf field can be used for Babe Ruth baseball, men and women's lacrosse, and flag football. The field also features integrated concrete bleachers that fit into the landscape. Other amenities include a new dog recreation space, a field house terrace, and scoreboards and lighting for the ball field, basketball court, and street hockey court. The state-of-the art playground was designed by GroundView Inc. and built by Fleming Brothers.
When weather permits, sealcoating will be completed on the basketball court and street hockey court, and a shade structure will be installed in the spring.
FLAHERTY PARK IN SOUTH BOSTON
Measuring .25 acres, John J. Flaherty Jr. Park is located at 130 B Street in South Boston. Improvements to the park include new play structures, safety surfacing, pathways, site furnishings, passive areas, and landscaping. The $856,000 project budget was funded by Mayor Walsh's Capital Improvement Plan and $94,000 in BPDA mitigation funding from the development of 45 West Third Street.
The existing children's structure was replaced with three new structures. A new state-of-the-art play area for children ages two to five includes a playhouse for young children to explore dramatic play, a circuit track with a foot bridge, and a misting water play area. Additional play structures for children ages 5 to 12 integrate rope elements, climbing entrances, and slides to provide graduated strength challenges for all ages. Other features include a central lawn panel for picnicking and play, an exercise area, tables and benches, and an increase in tree canopy.
Since 2014, the Walsh administration has invested more than $114 million across the city's parks systems, representing some of the most significant parks investments in Boston's history. The Fiscal Year 2021-2025 (FY21-FY25) Capital Plan includes enhanced support to maintain the City's Urban Wilds and Tree Canopy, increasing funding to plant and maintain trees across the city, as well as $36.8 million for new and ongoing open space projects in Fiscal Year 2021.
Langone Park and Puopolo Playground, Garvey Playground and Flaherty Park are three of several parks recently reopened within current public health guidelines in Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and South Boston.