The North End Parks on the Greenway will be the beneficiary of $400,000 in dedicated 2015 grant funding from the Mass. Cultural Council to the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. At a community meeting this week, the Conservancy presented plans for a broad range of fixes and improvements for the North End Parks including the renovation of the Parcel 8 (north parcel) boxwood garden beds and new benches (think swings!). Also new this year, the Conservancy is taking on the care of six small parcels of land, some in and around the North End. The timeline below summarizes the presentation shown in the meeting video.
(00:00 in video) NEWNC Greenway Board Member, John Pregmon, welcomed attendees and introduced NEWRA Greenway Board Member Robyn Reed along with the Conservancy staff.
(01:20) Greenway Conservancy Executive Director, Jesse Brackenbury, outlined the 2015 North End Park improvements including maintenance, new furniture and a renovation of the Parcel 8 boxwood garden beds.
(08:00) Greenway Conservancy Superintendent Bob Stigberg reviewed park maintenance items such as repairs to the Freedom Trail lights, pergola support posts, bollard lighting and the fountain leak on Parcel 8.
(14:10) Swings are coming to the North End Parks. Eight of the 21 benches to be replaced on the North End parks will be slider-type swings under the pergola. The new benches will be installed on both Parcels 8 (north parcel) and 10 (south parcel).
(15:52) The most visible changes to the North End Parks will be the complete renovation of the Parcel 8 boxwood bed gardens. Conservancy Superintendent of Horticulture Stu Shillaber reviewed the goals of this major project. Last year, the Conservancy began renovating the pergola garden beds. Subject to future funding, a similar renovation is planned for Parcel 10 boxwood beds.
The new boxwood beds on Parcel 8 were coordinated with renowned landscape designer Lynden Miller who has completed award winning gardens at the New York Botanical Garden and Central Park.
Conservancy horticulturist Darrah Cole described how the renovation will create a more welcoming experience with 4-season interest including new vertical elements and trees. Landscape contractor, A. Bonadio & Sons won the competitive bid for the work that will begin this Spring. A unique approach to minimize disruption will include a conveyor belt system.
Work toward the renovated boxwood beds, maintenance and benches will begin in April 2015 with a target completion date in late June. The Conservancy has included a month-long fallow period to help clear out an invasive weed from the garden beds.
(37:45) Exec. Director Brackenbury detailed the $400,000 budget of which $175,000 will cover the Parcel 8 boxwood gardens with $95,000 going toward the new benches. Future fundraising will be needed to fund the Parcel 10 boxwood beds ($200,000 estimated cost), sidewalk slab repairs ($20,000) and additional skateboarding deterrents ($45,000).
(44:20) Steve Anderson, Dir. of Park Operations, explained the Conservancy’s early plans to take on six smaller parcels surrounding the existing Greenway parks. In the North End, the new areas include the planting beds along Cross Street where the Tony DeMarco statue now stands and the lawn in front of the Tunnel Administration building on the corner of North Street. Parcel 2, a small triangular plat adjacent to the West End will become the most northern part of the Greenway. Among early priorities, irrigation fixes and improving soil health are at the top of the agenda for the new lease parcels. In addition, the Conservancy will look to replace dead trees and prune existing ones.
(53:00) Charlie McCabe, Dir. of Programs, shared plans for this year’s programming on the North End Parks. Coming up this Spring will be a new installation of The Fence on Parcel 12, complete with a North End series as part of the Flash Forward Festival. Other 2015 programming will include free fitness classes, community events and potential music concerts.
(59:30) Questions and General Discussion – Among a broad selection of topics discussed were MassDot plans for the covering the ramps on Parcel 12 and “what to do with the pergola“.
Please view the video above for the full meeting presentation and discussion.