Boston Parks & Recreation hosted their third and final community meeting this week to discuss improvements to Langone & Puopolo Parks in the North End. At the meeting, representatives from the Parks Department shared their design recommendations for the new parks, shown below, and listened to the resident feedback that followed. (Click images to enlarge.)
The final park concept will likely be a combination of both plans noted above, although preference voiced at the meeting is to modify elements with Plan B as the blueprint.
The department noted that in each plan they are working to design elements with climate issues in mind so that the park will be more resilient in future storms. For instance, the fields and bocce courts will be engineered with proper drainage and park features will be built at a higher elevation to prevent significant flooding. Additionally, although not yet noted in the design plans, the department is looking for a place to include public restrooms.
Perhaps most notably, when those at the meeting were asked to respond, significant debate broke out surrounding the idea of synthetic turf over grass on the multi-use field.
Those in favor of the synthetic turf argued that it would allow for less park maintenance, resulting in more play time, and that it would allow people to play soccer in an area they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Those questioning its use expressed concerns regarding the smell, potential health threats and safety, cleanliness, as well as whether or not the demand for soccer really exists, but ultimately, the Parks Department reiterated that the turf for this field is the best option for the area.
In addition, residents commented on the issue of a potential increase in double parking once the park is complete, as well as the relocation of the playground, which had been problematic in earlier years.
The Parks Department explained they will be taking the feedback into consideration when composing the final plan, which they hope will be ready for construction some time next Spring. Review the entire meeting presentation here.