(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)
The Boston Parks Commission voted Monday to rename the Cronin/Wainwright Park located in Codman Square after Dr. Rev. Bill Loesch, a social activist in the neighborhood and longtime advocate for the park.
After heartfelt testimony from Loesch's family and community members, the commission unanimously supported the renaming of the park along with a request for funding to build a memorial to Loesch.
“I really had nobody step up for me,” said 51-year-old Dorchester resident Daryl Golston at the hearing. “This man did that for me and showed me more love than my family. He showed me there are some good people in this world.”
Cynthia Loesch, the daughter of the reverend, also testified before the committee about why her father deserves the honor.
“He has lived in front of that park for 30 years and dedicated his life to the park and this community,” said Loesch, a 26-year-old law student at Northeastern University. “We hope this helps continue his name and what he stands for and instills the values he has into the community that surrounds the park.”
Charles Titus, the association commissioner on the Boston Parks Commission, also threw his support behind the renaming.
“I’ve known Bill for the better part of my life and I think he’s been a tremendous citizen who has impacted so many lives,” said Titus.
The park was originally named after James L. Cronin, a Dorchester resident who was killed in action in World War I.
Rev. Loesch has lived across from the park for close to 30 years and has been instrumental in the neighborhood, advocating for its residents and even marching alongside Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.
Currently the 2.24-acre park is being renovated and is expected to be opened in June of this year.