Community Event Notices Photos & Videos

Video: Commissioner Chris Cook Talks About Improving North End Parks

New Boston Parks & Recreation Department Commissioner, Christopher Cook, gave an update to North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) on January 8, 2015. Cook spoke about the “TLC” and infrastructure projects long delayed in the parks and open spaces of the North End / Waterfront. He specifically made that point that new revenue streams will be required in order to complete many projects, with public / private partnerships at the top of the list.

The Commissioner highlighted Friends of Christopher Columbus Park as the shining example of a successful collaboration. He cited FOCCP and its willingness to work with the City as the primary reason why the Christopher Columbus Park is the premier public space in the city that works for both residents and visitors. The Parks Department is now seeking to work with other friends and neighborhood groups.

Regarding the Prado (Paul Revere Mall), Cook said he is hopeful that a landscape designer can be budgeted this year for a major renovation / fix-up of the heavily used square. In the meantime, he said the Parks Department will give extra attention to maintaining the Prado as soon as this Spring, including bricks replacement. The issue of damaging drainage was also raised at the Prado.

Former President of the Friends of the North End Parks, Nate Swain, presented the group with a concept for community gardens at the Gassy, DeFilippo Playground. He shared this image showing potential planting beds at the Gassy that would be filled with resident plantings.

Conceptual diagram of community gardening spaces at the Gassy (Image courtesy of Nate Swain)

Other improvements coming to the Gassy include a pilot dog park this Spring with the support of the Stanton Foundation and RUFF North End. In addition, the wall where the Italian flag colors are located will be refurbished this year in a project sponsored by the abutting “Brinks” parking garage company. In addition, Nate will be painting a mural on the lower level of the flights area.

Cook said he would take a renewed look at adding more park space in response to a question about the major new development in the Bulfinch Triangle. Buildings under construction and on the drawing board will bring over 10,000 residents to the area in the near future. Other than a pier at Lovejoy Wharf, there are no other parks associated with current West End development.

NEWRA volunteer, Robyn Reed, and a few other members have re-started the Parks and Open Spaces Committee. They are seeking more people to join that are interested in improving our neighborhood parks. The committee meets on the first Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m at the Mariner’s House, 11 North Square. See the events calendar for details.