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Smith Family Foundation donates $3M to create park honoring Martin W. Richard

May 25, 2016

Parks and Recreation

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Parks and Recreation

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced this week that the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation will make a $3 million gift for the park being constructed along Fort Point Channel in honor of Martin W. Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings. 

“We are deeply honored to help bring this gift of a world-class park to Boston in memory of Martin Richard,” said Susan Smith, co-chair of the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation. “Martin’s Park at the Smith Family Waterfront will transform an underutilized public space into a vibrant, universally accessible park and playground that we hope will delight children and families for generations to come.”

Martin's Park at the Smith Family Waterfront is currently being designed by the landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates, who also designed the Smith Family Waterfront Plaza in front of the Boston Children's Museum, Maggie Daley Park in Chicago, and Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York. A fundraising effort is currently underway for the park, which is expected to be fully designed in 2016 and constructed in 2017. 

“Martin's message of peace and love of life serves as an inspiration for all of us,” said Mayor Walsh. “I thank all of our partners who have contributed to this important initiative, and especially the Richard family, whose strength and commitment to bettering our community exemplifies the spirit of our city.”

Additional sponsors include P&G Gillette, Fidelity Investments, Mayo Capital Partners LLC, John Hancock Financial, Highland Street Foundation, the Connors Family Foundation, Sherry and Allan Leventhal Foundation, and the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation. 

The project address is 64 Sleeper Street located between Seaport Boulevard and Boston Children’s Museum, just south of the Moakley Bridge on Fort Point Channel. The design, construction and maintenance endowment of this universally accessible park is estimated to cost $10 million.

The parcel is currently under the ownership of the MBTA which will transfer ownership to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department with long term maintenance of the park supported by a maintenance endowment.  The MBTA will perform remediation work by the start of park construction and will ensure project compliance with all DEP regulations.

“We are honored to make this land available and be a part of this wonderful new space where children, their families and the people of Boston can honor the life of a truly remarkable child,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  Additional City-owned property will be assembled to establish the permanent park boundary for the nearly one-acre park.

The youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, Martin Richard was eight years old.  In the days after the attack, a photo of Martin holding a handmade poster that read “No more hurting people. Peace” was shared over the Internet and made many see Martin as a symbol of peace.  This gesture of love came to define Boston’s response to the bombings and inspired the work of the One Fund and One Boston Day.  Martin’s message continues to be an active catalyst of change for Bostonians and beyond.

About The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation (www.smithfamilyfoundation.net)

The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation is committed to effecting permanent positive change in the lives of the residents of Greater Boston, particularly individuals and families in economically disadvantaged communities. Today, three generations of the Smith family oversee the Foundation, stewarding nearly $15 million annually in grants aimed at promoting greater health, educational attainment, and economic mobility.