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Petition to name or rename a park or playground

To name or rename a City park or playground, you need to petition the Parks and Recreation Commission. There are some specific steps you must take to make a petition:

Last updated:
Step
1

Please keep in mind

Only the Parks and Recreation Commission has the authority to name or rename a park. Also, not all City parks and playgrounds are eligible for naming or renaming. Examples include all the parks in the Emerald Necklace. Parks and playgrounds named after a person or event are eligible for a renaming every 20 years.

If there is a controversy or conflict about a naming or renaming, the commission will resolve the issue at a formal hearing. The hearing will take place in the same community as the park or playground. The City’s chief landscape architect also must approve any sign placed in a park or playground.

Step
2

Send a letter to the Parks commissioner

Your letter needs to include:

  • a justification for your proposal
  • biographical or historical information about the proposed name, and
  • the relationship between the person and the park you want to name or rename.

You can send the letter to:

Parks and Recreation Commission
1010 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02118

Step
3

Hold a community meeting to discuss the proposal

You need to hold a meeting in the community where the park or playground is located. You also must:

  • notify the Parks commissioner of the meeting at least two weeks before it takes place
  • advertise the meeting at least twice in a local paper
  • hand out leaflets about the meeting to all the homes within five blocks of the park or playground, and
  • let your local public officials know that the meeting is taking place.
Step
4

Submit your information to the commission before your hearing

The commission usually meets on the last Monday of each month. They will send you a date for a proposed hearing in the mail. To make it onto the agenda of that meeting, you need to send the commission this information at least three weeks before the hearing date:

  • Letters of support from local elected officials.
  • A petition that shows support for the naming or name change. This must be signed by more than 50 percent of the residents within five blocks of the park or playground. If it’s a regional park, it needs to be ten blocks.
  • Letters on letterhead from all community groups in the area in which the park or playground is located. The letters must state the opinion of the groups on the proposal. Neighborhood Services can give you more information on area groups.
  • Letters on letterhead from organized groups that use the park or playground. These letters must state their opinion of the proposal.
  • Evidence that you held a community meeting. You must be able to show that you let the Parks commissioner know about the meeting at least two weeks before it took place. You must provide evidence that you advertised the meeting at least twice in a local paper. You also need to show that you handed out leaflets within five blocks of the park or playground, and notified your local public officials.
Step
5

Go to the hearing

If you followed the previous steps, you will then need to present your proposal to the Parks and Recreation Commission at the hearing. If you have any questions, please contact the commission at 617-961-3074 or prc@boston.gov.

Have questions? Contact us:

1010 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE
3RD FLOOR
BOSTON, MA 02118

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