Following the completion of the East Boston Little League season, the City of Boston began construction on the $3 million project to rehab Noyes Park in Orient Heights, one of the neighborhood’s largest, public open spaces that hosts numerous sporting events. Construction crews were busy all last week removing Noyes’s old fencing, stone walls and other park features to make way for the city’s ambitious park restoration project.
The city received a $400,000 PARC (Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities) grant that will help the city defer some of the costs associated with the Noyes Park renovations. However, the project was suppose to begin in the early spring but the grant was stuck in limbo because the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs required additional language to the grant request. The state sent word back to the Walsh Administration that additional language needed to be added that would “permanently dedicate Noyes Playground for park purposes”. The Council voted unanimously in favor of adding the ‘clarifying’ language to the PARC request and subsequent release of the funds by the state.
Construction should take about a year to complete. A ribbon cutting is planned for spring 2019 before the Little League season gets underway.
Following a series of community meetings in Eastie last year, residents and the city agreed upon a final design for Noyes Park.
The plan that the city came up with is to reconfigure the largest of the three baseball diamonds and shift home base over towards the basketball courts behind the Marty Pino Center. This shift allows enough room to add a fenced in regulation Little League field in some unused dead space at Noyes Park.
The current Little League Field on Saratoga Street would be converted into a multi-use, astroturf field for both softball and soccer.
There was some concern in the past, especially from coaches and organizers of East Boston Girls Softball, that sharing a field with soccer would lead to scheduling conflicts that sometimes arise at other multi-use fields in Eastie. City officials have assured softball organizers that both softball and soccer would be seasonal and require permits from the city to use the field. Softball would use the field from spring through fall and once soccer season starts in the fall it would be used primarily for that sport. City officials have pointed out at past meetings that scheduling conflicts exist now between Little League and Softball because softball games can not be played at the same time as Little League’s senior league games given the current configuration of the park. The new design would allow softball, senior league as well as Little League games to all be played on three separate diamonds all at the same time. Right now only two baseball games can be played at once at Noyes Park so the city feels its a better use of the space.