Burnett Street Garden and Park Now Open on Once Polluted Site

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A ribbon cutting was recently held for the Burnett Street Garden and Park, which was funded as part of a community benefits agreement with a developer.

The Burnett Street Garden and Park is located across from 42 Burnett Street. (Photo courtesy Frederick Vetterlein)

The park area includes a walking path with benches, picnic tables, a shaded structure, along with shrubbery, trees, and green space. The community garden has 28 raised beds, including four ADA raised beds, with a water supply and stone dust paths. In total, the park has 11,600 sq. ft. of park space, 2,800 sq. ft of garden space, and is located across from 42 Burnett Street.

The park was funded as part of the community benefits agreement from a nearby project at 3521-3529 Washington Street, the Flanagan and Seaton Development Project by SSG Development and Construction. There are multiple projects within that parcel, including residential housing, a multi-use building, and the Extra Space Storage Facility, which has taken over maintenance of the park.

Frederick Vetterlein was the co-chair of the Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) for four years, and told Jamaica Plain News that during that time SNA engaged SSG Development regarding community benefits. The garden and park are the first benefits to be created.

The opening of this new green space marks the completion of 10 years of work and effort to make it possible to use the old Flanagan and Seaton site when it had previously been considered one of the most contaminated sites in Jamaica Plain. Significant environmental remediation was necessary to reduce the contamination within the soil at the site, which was due to past industrial use, according to the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA).

“With all the development going on in Jamaica Plain and Boston in general, I was thankful that the SNA and BPDA had the foresight to include much needed open and green space into this development plan 10 years ago,” said JP resident Beth Abelow, and board member of Burnett Street Garden and Park. “I hope this will continue to serve as a model in new developments along Washington Street and that the BPDA and the state will look for ways to connect these green spaces to increase community access to them."

In addition to the community garden and park, the community benefits agreement also included a community room in the self-storage building, and the funding of multiple neighborhood murals.

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