As part of Imagine Boston 2030, the city held a meeting last week to gather feedback from residents on what they want for the future of Franklin Park. But don't worry: If you couldn't attend the meeting, there is an online survey you can fill out. The Feb. 16 meeting was organized by the city as part of its Imagine Boston 2030 initiative, in conjunction with the Boston Parks and Recreation departments and the Franklin Park Coalition. Representatives from the Emerald Necklace Conservancy were also in attendance and tweeted a photo of the meeting showing it was a packed house.
It was glorious mild spring Thursday at Schoolmaster Hill in Franklin Park for the Third Annual Fairy House Building Workshop sponsored by the Boston Parks Department and the Franklin Park Coalition. Over a hundred boys and girls scampered over the drumlin collecting branches, leaves and cones to build houses for the magical woodland creatures that reappear in the springtime in New England fields and woods. Storytelling and books from Read Boston and the MassHort plant education tent were also on hand as well as face painting. The workshop showed kids of all ages how to have fun simply using natural items that are just lying around on the park floor under trees and shrubs.
More than 100 people turned out Wednesday to honor the 10-year tenure of JP's Christine Poff as executive director of the Franklin Park Coalition. Poff stepped down from her longtime post in the fall, but Wednesday's party marked a homecoming as a roomful of folks who love the city's largest park celebrated her energy and accomplishments. "She's done incredible work as head of the Franklin Park Coalition," said Mayor Marty Walsh, who brought with him as a gift a reproduction historical map of the mammoth park that connects JP, Roxbury and Dorchester. Walsh and others cataloged Poff's series of accomplishments, ranging from reinvigorating youth programs to pushing City Hall to invest in Franklin Park. She saw to the re-invigoration of the Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park concerts and performances and revived the Kite & Bike Festival, among many other efforts.
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.
Grab the popcorn, as they say, and tune in to Thursday night's debate between those who aim to bring the Olympics to Boston and those fighting tooth and claw against the idea. Here's a reminder of what's on the table for Jamaica Plain under the current plan. The debate airs on Fox 25 at 8 p.m. Thursday. You can also catch it on the web here or here or over the radio on WBUR. Here's a primer on the debate from WBUR.