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.)

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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.


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7 COMMENTS

  1. 6 Bocce Courts is overkill. We have 3 now, and 98% of the year it’s totally fine. I don’t think we should waste that space for the 1 tournament that gets held a year where the extra lanes could be used

  2. Artificial turf is made up of plastic with a base of ground up tires. Is this what we want for children’s play? It’s slippery and looks grossly perfect. Grass is one of the only natural materials left in the city. Please let the designers, who work in an office building, know your feelings about a plastic playground when you and your family are outdoors. There’s not much time left before they seal the deal.

  3. I don’t think turf is the best idea, but considering how poorly the grounds are maintained on the current baseball/softball fields, it would be a nice alternative. I doubt once the park renovations are complete, anything will change with the upkeep of the natural fields. However, I would be in favor of keeping the little league field as natural grass because I think young kids should learn to play baseball/softball on a natural surface. Converting the larger softball/baseball fields to turf would be aesthetically pleasing and would likely save the taxpayers money in the long run.

  4. Safety has to be the primary consideration for a playground. The open area in A provides more visibility of the play ground. Both easier to watch the child and harder to turn into a secret encampment.

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