It has been a topic of discussion for years in the North End, what to do with the upper “flights” at DeFilippo Playground (the Gassy)? A neighborhood poll taken in 2011 showed that many residents thought that the upper levels could potentially be utilized as a dog park.
The vision became a reality on May 1st, 2015 with the grand opening of the pilot dog park in the flights of “the Gassy.” Dozens of neighborhood residents took their dog(s) to the park for the opening, excited about a place where they can do their business and play.
The effort took years of lobbying, meetings and months of planning by RUFF (Responsible Urbanites for Fid0) in conjunction with the City of Boston Parks & Recreation Department and funding from the Stanton Foundation.
To prepare for the opening, the group worked with a contractor to clean the upper flights with special soap, hot water power washing, and manual scrubbing. In addition to cleaning, gates were installed, ramps were put in, mulch beds were added along with toys and a fake fire hydrant. The pilot park is expected to last about three months, with a permanent park being considered if the pilot program is successful.
The gates will be opened and locked in the morning and night by volunteers, who will be being administered by RUFF members. The lock and unlocking schedule will be based on the usage during the pilot program. Based on feedback and experience by RUFF and the Parks Department, the pilot program will be used to ascertain whether a permanent dog park should be funded going forward.
Photos from the grand opening below:
Photos by Conor Finley