The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), alongside Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Greenway Conservancy, held their fourth public meeting to present the preferred design choice for the Parcel 2 park – the Meadow.
Based off feedback from the previous meeting as well as the BPDA’s online survey, officials were able to address the concerns and desires of the community in their preferred design choice. According to their data, the community most desired a park that brought a lot of nature and naturalistic elements to the area such as pollinators, native plants, and seasonal trees. Because of this, the design team decided to proceed with the “meadow” scheme that was presented at the third meeting.
Although community voters were more inclined toward the other two design options that were presented, officials believed incorporating a perennial garden would provide the most greenery and offer more options for seasonality. Officials also stated that the chosen scheme was preferred from an engineering perspective based on the constrictions that were first addressed in the kick-off meeting. With a construction budget of $400K, this design scheme was more budget-friendly by not requiring the amount of soil depth that trees and other heavy materials would need.
For the sake of cost and safety, seating was placed in one area of the park due to the amount of heavy material that would be utilized in that section. The rest of the park will be left open with views of the Custom House Tower from the slightly elevated boardwalk.
Sized for approximately a half-dozen tables with chairs, the seating area will also feature irregular pieces of granite salvaged from the Big Dig stacked to provide another option for seating. Officials believe that using granite from the former seawalls that were cut out during the tunnel’s construction would also tie in the site’s complex history.
Some concerns that were most often raised by members of the community during the design process involved the safety and well-being of those who would visit the park. In order to create a welcoming environment and discourage illegal activity, the design team intends to incorporate uniform lighting throughout the park in the form of integrated lighting in the walls and bollards along the boardwalk. The existing heavy-duty lighting on the site will also remain in place.
Currently enclosed by a decorative scrim that was put in place in August, the site also expects to undergo sidewalk updates in Spring 2020. Incorporating the community’s desire for more nature, the park will feature seasonal planting that will bring color to the park year-round. Design team members also intend to place a bubbler with a dog fountain in the park for those who expressed the desire for a dog-friendly area. Officials expect to hold a fifth meeting in early 2020 to present park updates to the community once construction documentation has been obtained.