Year after year Eastie’s parks are in the city’s five-year capital improvement budget. However, each year it seems its harder and harder to finish projects like Memorial Stadium and American Legion Playground and get them over the goal line.
Now with even more park systems coming on line like the Greenway Connector, the city is going to need more funding to get these projects up to the community’s standard.
City Councilor Sal LaMattina may have the answer to maintain current parks in Eastie and plan for future parks in the neighborhood.
Last week’s City Councilor Order filed by LaMattina would link private development money to improving and creating more dynamic parks here and across the city.
Much like Mayor Menino’s executive order requires developers of residential real estate to set aside 13 percent of their units for affordable housing or pay 15 percent of the total project cost into a fund to build affordable housing, LaMattina’s order is in the same vein and targets developers like the ones poised to transform Eastie’s waterfront.
LaMattina argues that Eastie and Boston ‘has one of the most dynamic public park systems in the country’ but they are thoroughly under funded.
Each fiscal year, Eastie’s parks and parks across the city are an afterthought and only get roughly $16 million to keep up nearly 230 parks across Boston.
The shortfall each year means Boston struggles to fix broken parks and playgrounds at a pace it can no longer afford.
It’s no secret parks are under funded in Boston–but they are an important oasis in Eastie for children and families and need our attention.
LaMattina could be onto something with his new order.
Now let’s see if private developers are willing to play ball.