By John Lynds
As part of the City of Boston’s three-year Capital Budget, Mayor Martin Walsh appropriated $3.1 million in spending to overhaul Noyes Park in Orient Heights.
The Walsh administration will initially spend $400,000 on design this fiscal year and another $2.7 million on construction at the park following a community process.
According to Parks Department’s Ryan Woods, the city will kick off the community process on Tuesday, March 14 at the Marty Pino Community Center adjacent to Noyes Park at 6:30 p.m.
“We want to kick off the process by meeting with residents and neighbors and hear what they would like to see at Noyes Park and what sort of upgrades would make sense to make it more user friendly,” said Woods.
This, Woods said, could include changing the elements of the park’s playground, courts, baseball fields, updating lighting at Noyes to make this large 8.2 acre neighborhood park more welcoming.
“It’s one of the larger parks in East Boston and this will be a complete rehab of the park,” said Woods. “It is important for residents to come and take part in the upcoming community process because this is East Boston’s park. The Mayor’s philosophy is that it makes no sense for park designers sitting in their officers to make decisions on how they should rehab parks. It also makes no sense to spend $3.1 million on a park that is not what the neighborhood wanted or met the neighborhood’s needs and desires.”
Woods said the meeting on March 14 will be the first on three community meetings regarding the park.
“The first meeting will focus on the budget and the current park conditions like what needs to be fixed,” said Woods. “Then we will go around the room to get feedback from residents on what elements they would like to see at Noyes Park and how space can be utilized better.”
The city will then come back with three designs that includes the different elements based on resident’s comments. The city will then begin to whittle down the three designs to a final design. The final design may includes some aspects of each design and what can be doable within the $3.1 million budget.
“This is the second largest park project the city is doing in East Boston with the first being the LoPresti Park project that cost over $4 million,” said Woods. “It’s not typical for the city to spend this much on neighborhood park projects but Mayor Walsh felt the park was in need of some serious upgrades.”
City Councilor Sal LaMattina applauded the city for earmarking the money to rehab Noyes Park.
“It’s been a longtime since any major upgrades have been done in the park,” said LaMattina. “I remember when they erected the digital scoreboard in the late 1980s but aside from that and some regular upkeep and maintenance nothing has really been done there. I thank the Mayor for putting the necessary funds into Noyes Park so it can become better, more used space, with more programming for the entire community.”