The April 14th meeting of the Greenway Leadership Council (GLC) included updates on a number of issues.

Greenway Parks update:

  • Spring cleanup is currently going on. The parks sustained less damage during the winter than expected. The Greenway Conservancy (GC) will be replacing dead trees throughout the corridor. The GC is considering a horticulture website to alert users what is blooming at particular times in the year.
  • In the North End Parks, the triangle on the south part of Parcel 10 will be an area of rework and fix-up. The GC will also look at the vines that were supposed to grow on the pergolas and consider alternatives that may provide some shading sooner than what exists today. The shrubbery around the pergola area will also be cleaned up.
  • Fountains along the Greenway will be operational by mid May or earlier.
  • Skateboarding deterrents are expected to be installed along the granite blocks in the next 4 weeks.
  • Botanica: The revolving metal art sculpture near the Rowes Wharf plaza will return on April 22nd after being damaged in a recent wind storm.

Food Vending – In response to its RFP, the GC has received 23 proposals from 19 respondents. The GC is interviewing and negotiating with potential vendors. At the recent community meetings, the GC received 39 comments on its food vending plan mostly regarding locations, food types and cleanliness concerns. One change on the North End parks is to relocate the vending site to the west side of the Freedom Trail. Other comments included concerns regarding obstructing views, support for neighboring restaurants and ethnic choices and a variety of sizes, such as child-size ice cream.

Programming – The feedback from the community meetings demonstrated support for:

  • fitness activities
  • more fall and winter activities
  • informal enjoyment
  • formal activities are ok, as long as don’t dissuade informal use; family games in the North End were used as an example
  • charitable walkathons were an issue of debate (GC currently co-sponsors the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Research)

Showcase EventMothers Day, May 8th, in partnership with the Boston Ballet (More information)

Earth Day Concert – Wharf District Parks – “They Might Be Giants” (More information)
April 22nd, 12 – 3 (Immediately after the unveiling of the Freedom Trail Map on Cross Street)

3rd party events – The GC expects community groups to start applying for more events now that the season has arrived.

May 3rd
– Harbor Island Pavilion ground breaking

Signage – The GC plans to install 3D signage along the corridor this summer

Chinatown Parks, including a proposal for Mary Soo Hoo Park – The BRA presented its plans for Mary Soo Hoo Park and an update on the development at 120 Kingston Street. Details are posted on the GC’s website: Work in Progress Chinatown projects presentation (pdf). Despite being only a conceptual design without a firm budget (~$500,000), the BRA said that bids will go out as soon as June 2010 for the Mary Soo Hoo Park. Funding is coming from the BRA and public mitigation funds set aside after the Big Dig.

A GLC member raised the question why Mary Soo Hoo Park is being fast-tracked with public funds when the fully designed and funded Armenian Heritage Park has yet to break ground. There was no update provided on the status of this Parcel 14 project.

Park Use & Event Guidelines – In answer to a question regarding the unapproved status of the Greenway Parks Use and Event Guidelines, Executive Director Nancy Brennan said that MassDOT was busy and approval was expected shortly. This is counter to public statements made by MassDOT that the guideliness will not be approved.

The next Greenway meeting will be on May 4th at 6pm at the MetroCenter, 101 Federal Street (4th Floor). This will be a joint meeting between the GC Board and the GLC.

On a separate note, the Globe editorial staff wrote another “How to Fix the Greenway” piece today.

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