Greenway Celebrates 10th Anniversary this Summer with “The Auto Show”

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Executive Director of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy Jesse Brackenbury joined the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) at their June meeting to share details about summer events and installations happening on the Greenway.

The Greenway is celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer! In celebration there will be several interactive installations in the parks. Watch Brackenbury’s full presentation in the video above and follow along with this summary.

The Rings Fountain was repaired this winter and was also upgraded to include colored lights that illuminate the fountain.

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The public art exhibit this summer, harkening back to the days of the elevated highway, is “The Auto Show.” Part of this is Chris Labrooy’s photo installation at the North End parks. There is also an augmented reality installation. Download the app and, at sixteen locations along the park, you can hold up your phone to see a historical image.

At Parcel 12, the undeveloped ramp parcel near the Armenian Heritage Park, the Conservancy has planted a wildflower meadow. Unfortunately this parcel doesn’t have any irrigation or electricity (although Brackenbury expressed hope that it will in the future), so the Conservancy came up with this sustainable approach of wildflowers to bring some color and beauty to this area.

In the southern portion of Parcel 12, behind the fence closest to the Armenian Heritage Park, the Conservancy has installed beehives, helping to pollinate all the gardens on the Greenway and in the nearby neighborhoods.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) does have an obligation from the Big Dig to cover the ramps in each of the ramp parcels, including Parcel 12. They don’t have the money to do this, so it has not moved forward. Brackenbury said the Conservancy will be putting out a request for ideas of what residents would like to see at Parcel 12 in the short-term.

The Greenway has 453 events annually including 133 free fitness classes this summer. See all the events on the Greenway Calendar.

Questions from the audience begin at 11:08 in the video.

Chairman of the Alliance of Downtown Civic Organizations (ADCO) Ford Cavallari asked about the rebar that is sticking out of the ground at Parcel 6, which is the parcel near Haymarket. MassDOT has said there is a stabilization project that needs to happen there, but this is becoming more expensive the longer they put it off.

Another question was raised about the sides of the Greenway and whether the Conservancy has any control to create welcoming entrances to the Greenway from the neighborhoods. Specifically, there used to be trees along the Cross Street sidewalk by Fulton Street that were recently removed.

Brackenbury explained that the State controls these sidewalks. They are supposed to be turning them over to the City, but first the City has required that MassDOT repair these public walkways. Four trees were recently put in at Dewey Park by South Station and Brackenbury is hopeful that this is the start of tree re-planting. The Conservancy is trying to advocate for the trees, but it’s complicated. The Conservancy has also been asking MassDOT to transfer the property along the sides of the Greenway with a small amount of funding to the Conservancy. The Conservancy has gained control of some areas, but it’s a slow process.

One attendee suggested the developers working on the Government Center garage should be contributing money to supplement the projects MassDOT cannot fund.


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