Imagine Boston 2030 calls for the City to strengthen Boston’s existing park system and invest in new open spaces. Through the use of Winthrop Square proceeds, City capital dollars, and leveraging external funds, Mayor Walsh plans to carry out early actions to implement Imagine Boston 2030’s Open Space goals, including investing in Franklin Park as a keystone park for the city, completing the Emerald Necklace, and restoring Boston Common to its full vibrancy.
Franklin Park renovations are already underway with investments in its pathways and a commitment to caring for its tree canopy. Mayor Walsh has also committed to a $28 million investment funded by the sale of the Winthrop Square garage to renovate Boston’s largest park, which borders multiple neighborhoods. These improvements, combined with the master planning of Moakley Park, serve as anchor projects to launch the City’s efforts to complete the Emerald Necklace. Originally envisioned by the Olmsted Corporation in the 1890s, the completion will be a community-led and modern interpretation of a green street, which increases connections in underserved areas of our city. Mayor Walsh has also committed $28 million from the Winthrop garage sale to augment the current historic levels of investment in Boston Common to fully renovate America’s First Park. This investment will ensure future generations will enjoy the park in its full vibrancy.
In addition to the major initiatives outlined in Imagine Boston 2030, Mayor Walsh’s FY19-23 Capital Plan continues investments to ensure Boston’s open spaces are among the Nation’s most accessible and equitable. In an extension of the City’s commitment to the usage and safety of the Emerald Necklace, the Parks and Recreation Department is designing a $4.8 million project for pathway improvements around Jamaica Pond. From the annual lantern parade, to the thousands of children who learn boating, to the walkers and joggers enjoying the 1.5 mile loop for recreation, Jamaica Pond is a singular urban park experience. Across town, a renovation of Paul Revere Mall in the North End will soon be underway and will ensure this historic park is a welcoming and inviting place for residents and visitors. The Paul Revere monument, along the Freedom Trail, is one of the most photographed sculptures in Boston. This renovation project, funded in part by the City’s George Robert White Fund, will include restoration of the fountain and monument, accessible pathways, landscaping, and utility work.
Ninety-seven percent of Bostonians live within a ten-minute walk of a park, but those spaces are only truly equitable if they serve the diverse needs of all our residents. Mayor Walsh recognizes the need for inclusive design and has created robust budgets for park renovation projects at Martin’s Park in the Seaport, Smith Playground in Allston, McConnell Playground, Garvey Playground, and Harambee Park in Dorchester. In addition, the FY19-23 plan proposes new investments in athletic field lighting and playground improvements in more than a half dozen locations. The Capital Plan also supports an increased investment totaling $950,000 in the renovation and renewal of playing courts (basketball, tennis, and street hockey).