Dukakis Sends Gov. Baker Letter Urging Leadership for Franklin Park

Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis recently delivered a letter to Governor Charlie Baker calling for leadership and a coordinated vision as it relates to the redevelopment of the Shattuck Hospital site in Franklin Park. In the letter, he outlined how the Commonwealth’s decision to redevelop the site contradicts the Baker administration’s stated priorities “for open space, climate resilience, and natural resource conservation.”
Governor Dukakis states that, “rather than engaging community members and thinking holistically for the neighborhood and Greater Boston’s needs, the Commonwealth has decided to move forward with a plan to demolish the outdated building, which sits on parkland, and lease the land to a private developer.”
Shattuck Hospital, now slated for demolition, currently occupies 13 acres of parkland, a site that was taken from the community in 1949 and, over the years, has joined other sites that reduced Franklin Park’s free and public green space by roughly 200 acres. Now, the Commonwealth proposes a new plan: a 99-year lease for a private developer to build housing for the formerly homeless. Housing for the formerly homeless is extremely important; however, the Commonwealth did not evaluate alternative sites, conduct a feasibility study, involve the many of the communities around the park, nor provide any state funding for the new facilities. This new plan requires numerous legal waivers, and the housing, if all goes according to plan, may take five years to build and does not include supportive services in the latest proposal.

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Letter: Redevelopment of the Shattuck Campus Urgently Needed

We are a group of concerned Boston residents and housing, homeless, public health, climate justice, faith-based leaders and activists writing to urge you to support the Commonwealth’s Preliminary Project Proposal for the redevelopment of the Shattuck Campus as presented in April 2021. When the state conducted a comprehensive planning process in 2019, stakeholders from the surrounding neighborhoods, community groups, greenspace advocates, housing, and health care groups came to consensus on a Vision Plan. The Vision Plan includes behavioral health services, the shelter, and 75-100 units of supportive housing. The Plan also includes integrating the campus with Franklin Park and including components that will be accessible to the community, such as a public restroom, community garden or a child care center. In the six months since the Shattuck Campus Redevelopment was approved by the state, the city’s desperate need for supportive housing has only become more dire.

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Outdoor Class: Introduction to Animal Tracking in Franklin Park on Oct. 23

Wonder what marks and signs are left behind by wild animals in the Emerald Necklace? What animals live in the parks we share with? Now you'll learn how to track them! On Saturday, October 23 from 10 am to noon, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy presents an "Introduction to Animal Tracking" class. In this fun guided walk through Franklin Park, we will look at animal tracks, scat and other signs they leave behind, and learn how to identify which animal left them.

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Forest Bathing Walk

Experience the healing benefits of The Emerald Necklace on a “Forest Bathing Walk” through Franklin Park. Immerse yourself in the “Wilderness” of Franklin Park with Tam Willey, a forest therapy guide. Listen to the migrating birds and explore the textures of the puddingstone in this urban woodland as we slow down and awaken our senses. Forest Bathing, inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, is a restorative sensory exploration that supports health and healing for all beings. From increased cerebral blood flow to stronger immune defences, come discover for yourself what happens when we unplug, slow down and open our senses to notice more of our natural surroundings.

Emerald Necklace Conservancy Planted Trees in Franklin Park in Honor of Arbor Day

In honor of Arbor Day the Emerald Necklace Conservancy planted 10 trees in Franklin Park. Arbor Day is the last Friday of April, and the Conservancy got ahead and planted the trees one day earlier. Joining Erica Holm, Field Operations Coordinator at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, was Boston's Tree Warden Max Ford-Diamond, Andy Balon from Bartlett Tree Experts, and Mango, their furry helper! A total of 10 trees in the under-treed area between White Stadium and the Overlook Ruins in Franklin Park were planted: a Princeton elm, two black tupelo, two red maple, two eastern hophornbeam, two swamp white oak, and a tuliptree. Please visit emeraldnecklace.org/ylp-plants-trees for more information.

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