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Franklin Park to see renovations to entrances, cross country track, and walkways

Posted by Patrick Rosso  March 20, 2012 03:25 PM

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An image of all the entrances to Franklin Park.

Those who enjoy Franklin Park could soon see some renovations coming to their beloved neighborhood park.

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department held a public meeting Monday night, to highlight changes it will make to the park’s entrances, cross country track, and walkways.

“They’ve [consultants with the Parks Department] inventoried conditions in the park and now we want to open it up to the community to see what their inventory is,” said Margaret Dyson, director of Historic Parks for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

The department has approximately $300,000 in this year’s Capital Budget to spend on the renovations, and many who attended Monday’s meeting at the Franklin Park Clubhouse were eager to see the much-needed upgrades to their park.

“We need the resources in this park to be well taken care of for the people who use it,” said Christine Poff, director of the Franklin Park Coalition. “It’s an institution that’s valuable and we want to make sure the priority goes to those who use it.”

The renovations, which officials said they expect to begin in the summer, will make improvements throughout the 527-acre park, from accessibility of entrances to filling potholes and erosion control.

While the conversation Monday revolved around the renovations specific to the entrances, cross country track, and walkways, residents also called on the department to meet with residents about general maintenance and other concerns.

“I know a lot of residents don’t feel safe in Franklin Park [at night] because there aren’t enough lights and cameras,” said Martin Booth, 24, a member of Project RIGHT. “How come you are not focusing on safety and only paths?”

Many agreed with Booth’s comments. Dyson said that while she is aware of other issues in the park the money is to be used for the renovations.

Even though numerous issues within the park were highlighted by residents, many were just happy to see some small, but much needed changes happening.

“Money is money and any fix is great,” said Andrea Howley, chair of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s Parks and Open Spaces Committee.

Dyson said the department will be back before the community in four to six weeks to discuss the final locations of the renovations.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)

Residents Kalimah Knight, Jett Thomas, George March, and Robert Red, discuss where they think renovations need to be made.

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