In this day and age social media is often the place where people collect news and share information but oftentimes the news and information shared is not based on facts or correct information.
By the time facts correct the misinformation, rumor and innuendo has already spread like wildfire.
One such incident occured last week when a group of misinformed residents took to social media to accuse Mayor Michelle Wu of ‘killing’ the Piers Park Phase III project because she has informed the state that Boston would be withdrawing the city’s downtown waterfront municipal harbor plan. This plan will be replaced, according to Wu, with a plan that more specifically incorporates equity and resiliency.
All some residents had to hear were the words ‘harbor’ and ‘withdraw’ and jumped to the incorrect conclusion that this would somehow stop the hard work the community and the Trustees of Reservations have engaged in for the past two years on the Piers Park Phase III project. These same residents took to Facebook to spread a falsehood that Wu’s decision would ultimately kill the project and asked for others to join the fight against Wu’s decision.
However, the city’s withdrawal from the waterfront municipal harbor plan has nothing to do with the Massport-owned parcel along Eastie waterfront that will be the site of the new waterfront park.
Nick Black, Director of the Waterfront Initiative for the Trustees, had to set the record straight with some and reported that the project is moving forward as scheduled.
In fact, at a community meeting Monday Gabriela Ramirez, who has been providing regular updates for the Trustees to community groups, reported that a community design review will be held on February 16 at 5:30 via zoom (https://onewaterfront.thetrustees.org/pp3).
“We’re going to share a new Piers Park Phase III design draft, incorporating community feedback that we gathered throughout 2021,” said Ramirez. “We hope that you’re able to join this virtual public meeting to weigh in on the updated design and continue voicing your ideas and needs for the future East Boston waterfront park. We’re really interested in hearing from the community about what they envision as well as any thoughts or feedback they want to give us.”
The project, according to Black, will go through the final pricing and bids for the project should be sent out this summer with a groundbreaking planned for 2023.
This initial Piers Park III design was created by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc (MVVA) using input from the January 2021 public meetings and from an ongoing online community survey.
MVVA’s rendering features tide pools, grassy lawns, a picnic grove, kayak launch, natural plantings, and a salt marsh.
With the first design draft now published, Ramirez is asking Eastie residents and the general public for their continued comments, suggestions and questions. The input gathered from recent public meetings, as well as from an ongoing online survey and digital bulletin board, will help to inform the next draft of the design.
The online survey can be found at https://onewaterfront.thetrustees.org/survey.
Three years ago, the Trustees of Reservations submitted the only bid to Massport’s call for a private/public partner to come forward and help fund the design and construction of Piers Park Phase III.
The dilapidated pier is adjacent to Massport’s award winning Piers Park and the future Piers Park Phase II project.
The Trustees of Reservations operate 120 miles of protected coastline, which includes over 60 miles of trails, and a bunch of beaches and all sorts of other natural habitats in the state.
Massport has been working with the community and other stakeholders over the last two to three years to build out Piers Park Phase II. It was around this time the Trustees of Reservations started having conversations with Massport about their waterfront initiative.
The Trustees of Reservations spent a lot of 2019 working with Massport and others to investigate the site and understand what the conditions were so theTrustees of Reservations could start to piece together what the possibilities would be for a waterfront park that is active and engaging.