At a recent community meeting, the Trustees of Reservations unveiled a landscape architect firm’s first draft of the future Piers Park III park design.
This initial design was created by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc (MVVA) using input from the January 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, Managing Director of the Boston Waterfront Initiative for the Trustees, Nick Black 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.
“Right now we want to know what would attract you to this future waterfront park, what features of this first design do you like, and what’s still missing?” said Black. “From the start our goal has been to create a park for, and with, the community so it’s critical to hear different voices and incorporate public feedback into these designs. We expect this design process to continue throughout 2021, as we move into gathering ideas and presenting options for park activities and programming.”
Black said that poll questions and a Q&A session generated lively discussion during the recent public meetings where the first design was released. Participants asked questions ranging from the climate resilience of the future park to the size and height of the landscape, and whether a ferry stop might be an option.
Black said feedback on the first design will continue to be gathered throughout the spring and early summer, with additional public meeting dates being announced in the coming weeks.
“We hope to hear from a wide selection of people interested in this park,” added Black. “We want this to be a gathering place for families, and a favorite space for Bostonians—a world-class destination on our beautiful harbor and a real community resource for the neighborhoods behind it.”
Two 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.
At a community meeting last week, Gabriela Ramirez introduced herself as the new Piers Park III Community Outreach Coordinator. Like Black, Ramirez encouraged residents to take the project survey.
“We are using the survey for community input and we’re still interested in gathering the community’s thoughts, feedback and question (on the first design),” said Ramirez. “ If you have not responded, please do so and, if you can, share the survey with your friends and your neighbors. We want to make sure that the designer has as much of the community’s input as possible. This will be our park and the Trustees really want to see what the community wants.”
Ramirez also reported that the Trustees will be hiring 12 high school-aged youth for their Boston Waterfront Ambassadors Summer Program.
“It’s a seven week paid job for youth ages 15 to 18,” said Ramirez. “The program runs from July to August and will be both virtual and in person. These Ambassadors will learn about the waterfront in East Boston and across the city and they’re going to be working on the Piers Park III project and engaging with the community.”