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Esplanade, Eliot Memorial revitalization aided by $1 million donation

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  December 5, 2011 03:05 PM

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(Photo by Johanna Kaiser for boston.com)

Renovations to the Eliot Memorial on the Esplanade will benefit from a $1 million donation given to The Esplanade Association.


Sprucing up Boston’s Esplanade might be easier now that the organization that helps care for the park has received a $1 million grant to help maintain and revitalize the landscape.

The Esplanade Association announced Monday it received the money from a donor who wished to remain anonymous. The will help re-landscape the Eliot Memorial area on the Esplanade and improve the park’s landscape overall.

“The size and nature of the award are a wonderful vote of confidence in our work and our vision for the Esplanade,” Margo Newman, chairwoman of the Esplanade Association’s Board of Directors, said in a statement.

The association has been working the the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation to redesign the landscape around the Eliot Memorial. A recent presentation proposed to repair the lawn, plant new trees and shrubs, install an irrigation system, add benches and seating, improve pathways, and add a lockable gate and stairs to the Community Boating dock.

That project has an estimated cost of $350,000 to $550,000.

The donation was given in memory of the late Francis W. Hatch Jr., an environmentalist who served as a state representative in the 1960s and 1970s. He authored the state’s 1965 wetlands protection law, known as the Hatch Act.

“This very generous gift will be used by the Esplanade Association to help make the Esplanade greener and healthier as well as increase the organization’s capacity to engage a broader community in efforts to improve the park,” Sylvia Salas, the organization’s executive director, said in a statement.

The Eliot Memorial’s revitalization project is part of the association’s Esplanade 2020 study, which recommended and prioritized a number of park improvements.

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Kaiser can be reached at johanna.yourtown@gmail.com.

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