East Boston Greenway’s Gove Street Crossing Undergoes a Transformation

The Gove Street entrance of the East Boston Greenway underwent a transformation over the weekend.

On Friday and Saturday an army of volunteers helped transform this section of the Greenway into a vibrant plaza. Volunteers spent two days painting the pathways at the Gove Street entrance, planted flowers, placed adirondack chairs at various locations so visitors to the Greenway could kick back and relax.

The transformation was part of a placemaking ‘pop-up’ by the Friends of the East Boston Greenway.

For over a year Greenway members have been trying to activate this portion of the park system that runs from Eastie’s waterfront to Constitution Beach.

Last summer and into the fall members sponsored live music as well as talking sessions with residents to get feedback on what they would like to see happening more at the Greenway.

Over the winter the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA) kicked off an East Boston Greenway Design Challenge in conjunction with the Friends of the East Boston Greenway’s vision.

BSLA Executive Director Gretchen Rabinkin and the BLSA asked landscape architects to share some designs plans and ideas with the BLSA and the community for both short term and long term solutions for the section of the East Boston Greenway at Gove Street.

The challenge builds upon efforts with several visions for the space as part of the community driven campaign to activate the spot with community events and outdoor music.

The winner of BSLA’s design challenge contest was Tool Design.

Building upon a foundation already laid by community activists, Tool Design took its inspiration for their winning design from ideas floating around the neighborhood as well as some of the events held around the Gove Street entrance last summer.

“We had 35 volunteers over the two days who did a great job painting and planning,” said Greenway Coordinator Michelle Moon. “The response of the improvements to Gove Street crossing have been overwhelmingly positive.”

Moon added there will be music and other events at the location over the next few weeks.

“It was exactly as you had dreamed it would be, but even better,” said Greenway member Jane O’Rielly of the transformation. “Two streams of parents and children going to the two schools in opposite ends of Gove Street. One stream of people and children going toward Porter. Lots of people going to work, especially at the health center. Regular traffic, plus dog walkers—and all of them exclaiming, “Wow! What is this?”  Part of the fun was the surprise. People wonder how it happened, and who did it.  But those who did do it deserve public acknowledgement and praise.”

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