On Tuesday, October 24, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department hosted their first community meeting to discuss proposed improvements for Langone & Puopolo Parks on Commercial Street in the North End.
The city has budgeted about $4.5 million to rehabilitate the park facilities. The current production schedule estimates design plans for the new park will be established and finalized by the end of next year. Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2019.
The project aims to reinforce existing elements of the parks, such as the playground, basketball court, baseball fields, softball field, bocce, so that they are performing at a higher level. Some additional opportunities for development at the site include, expanding walk-able access to the park and harbor, introducing efficient lighting options, addressing sea-level rise, and finding better ways to incorporate land that is currently not in use.
Tuesday’s meeting kicked off the public engagement portion of the project. After a historical presentation about the progression of the park, those in attendance were invited to share their thoughts on the site’s existing conditions and potential improvements. The conversation generated several new ideas, such as adding bathrooms and storage areas to the park, creating dugouts/shaded areas on the playing fields, expanding the baseball field to standard size, and setting up more park attractions for older residents in the area, to name a few.
The project team from the Parks & Recreation Department said they will incorporate key takeaways from the meeting into their design plans and present design alternatives at the next meeting, hopefully to be scheduled before the end of the year.
In anticipation for the next meeting, the project team encouraged community members to review other waterfront parks like LoPresti Park in East Boston, Menino Park in Charlestown, and additional parks in other cities for more insight into possible design options.