In these times of budget cuts, news about parks often includes staff reductions and broken equipment and infrastructure.
But this week, the city of Boston opened a new 1.74 acre green space behind the Honan-Allston Branch of the Boston Public Library.
The land, given to Boston by Harvard University, was once Charles River marshland and later became the site of the McNamara Concrete Co.
The park has tiered areas for reading and small classes, a hill with views of Allston and Cambridge and a quarter mile of paths that weave through largely native trees. The park is also green – in the recycled sense: It reuses salvaged fill, collects rain water from surface runoff to seep back into the ground, and Harvard has pledged to organically maintain it for the next decade. There is even a fountain that re-uses salvaged granite lions’ heads.
The park planning and design team included the landscape architectural firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc., Harvard, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority and used community input to create the park. In May 2008, nearly 500 community members shared ideas with planners and designers, and 20 additional meetings, working groups and sessions gave residents input into the final design.
“I want to thank Harvard for working with the community to transform what was a vacant industrial site into a beautiful new sustainable park that will be treasured by Allston residents and the entire city for years to come,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement.
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