With Death of the Olympic Bid, Franklin Park Coalition Urges Community to Support the Park Renovations

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Rendering of equestrian and pentathlon facilities for Franklin Park in Boston 2024's '2.0' plan

Boston 2024

Rendering of equestrian and pentathlon facilities for Franklin Park in Boston 2024's '2.0' plan

A community organization that speaks for the preservation of Franklin Park has called on the community and Boston 2024 to ensure efforts to revitalize the park continue even after the death of Boston’s Olympic bid.

Since Mayor Marty Walsh refused to sign the Olympic agreement that put taxpayers on the hook for cost overruns, the U.S. bid will likely go to Los Angeles, WGBH reports.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Franklin Park Coalition said Boston 2024 could “repair their reputation” by working with the community to leave a legacy that “creates goodwill and greater opportunity for future park-goers.”

“The city, state, foundations and corporations who worked together on the Olympics bid should remain focused on opportunities to invest in our city,” said the Coalition in a statement, “including Franklin Park.”

By working in concert with Franklin Park-goers, Boston 2024, the Coalition said, could show that residents—not the monied elite—are the true catalyst for community investment.

As the bid evolved, Franklin Park was slated for various improvements, such as better transportation to the park, re-paving, a swimming pool and renovations to White stadium, according to a statement by the Coalition.

Anita Morson-Matra, who serves of the Coalition's board of directors, said that Franklin Park is unique for its size and location--its 520 acres border Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and Dorchester. She said the Olympic bid gave the city a good reason to plan crucial development projects.

"It was a great opportunity for us as an Olympic contender," said Morson-Matra. "And even though the Olympics aren’t happening, it was an opportunity to plan some improvements around the city."

The Coalition hopes a communal effort by residents and institutions alike can ensure the plans do not fall by the wayside.

"The Olympics bid may be over.  But the chance for serious, community-driven investments in our city, including Franklin Park, is far from over," the Coalition’s statement read.