The Boston Parks & Recreation Department would like to hear residents' opinions about the preliminary designs to give Boston's largest park a major facelift by filling out the Franklin Park Action Plan survey by April 2. The designs were recently presented to the public during two online virtual sessions. The plan was created after three community workshops. Feedback will help project planners refine the plan. The survey is available on the project website FranklinParkActionPlan.com.
For the last two years input from hundreds of Franklin Park users has been gathered through surveys, visions sessions, and more to create a master plan to be used to make the park better for everyone who uses it. The Franklin Park Master Plan team will present a draft Action Plan on March 10, with two identical virtual presentations to accommodate people's different schedules at noon and at 6:30 pm. The city earmarked $28 million in 2019 to remake the park, with $5 million of that to create a maintenance endowment for Franklin Park. City planners worked with landscape architects, planners, ecologists, community engagement experts to create a community driven plan. Planners will share a preview of preliminary design ideas for Franklin Park and there will be opportunities for feedback.
Jamaica Plain and surrounding neighborhoods in southwestern Boston have the highest tree canopies in the city. Generally speaking, the tree canopy is the part of the city shaded by trees. The city recently released a tree canopy assessment for 2014-2019. This year's worth of analysis is from high-quality, high resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) images captured during airplane flyovers of Boston, according to a press release. Boston's Parks and Recreation Department commissioned the report to understand which areas have the most potential for increased tree cover, and analyze how the city's canopy cover has changed.
This summer's Mural Crew employed triple the amount of youth for the program's 29th year, with 27 youth participating in this year's program. The city decided to increase the amount of Boston high school students for the program to provide more teenagers with a safe, in-person experience to create large-scale public art projects throughout the city, according to a press release. This year's crew included teenagers representing 12 different local high schools from 10 neighborhoods. "This summer we got to make new forms of art in the woods that pushed our thoughts and conceptions of art, and allowed us to experience something new," said Jamaica Plain's Jon Lopez-Wilen, a junior studying illustration at Lesley University, who has worked with the Mural Crew since 2015. Earlier in the spring, there was a tremendous surge in the use of Franklin Park, and with the Mural Crew being based out of the city's Parks Department farm in Franklin Park, they took inspiration from the amount of socially-distanced space within Franklin Park.
The majority of people who've made their way through Franklin Park in the last week or so probably don't know about two haunting things recently discovered in the recreational haven. On Aug. 29, two people who were magnet fishing in Scarboro Pond off a bridge pulled up something heavy -- a firearm. Boston Police met Park Rangers and the two people who fished out the gun, which was loaded and covered in muddy gunk, according to BPDnews.com. Due to the mud, the make and model were not immediately identified, and the firearm was given to the BPD Ballistics Unit for further investigation.