Last week, I participated in a public meeting at the East Somerville Community School to discuss preliminary design concepts for the renovation of Draw Seven Park along the Mystic River by Assembly Square. The meeting was organized by the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and was led by DCR Commissioner Leo Roy and his staff.
Right now, Draw Seven is a dilapidated and underutilized park, so this is an exciting opportunity to create a multi-use athletic field and enhanced recreation space while working to fulfill a key element of DCR's Mystic River Master Plan. The proposed renovation will also link the Mystic River Greenway Paths, restore the river edge condition with a living shoreline, improve the fishing dock area, and incorporate native landscape plantings and park furnishings.
As with any public project of this magnitude, several programatic and design decisions will have to be made. That is why I am encouraging everyone to review the design concepts and consider participating in DCR's public comment and feedback process. If you have comments or suggestions for the project design, you may click here to submit your feedback online. You may also direct written comments to the following address:
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Office of Public Outreach
251 Causeway Street, Suite 600
Boston, MA 02114
The deadline for all comments is Monday, February 26, 2018. At the meeting last week, DCR indicated that they will consider all of the public comments before moving on to further design work. Please note that public comments submitted to DCR may be posted on the DCR website in their entirety, and no information, including contact information, will be redacted. Also, if you wish to subscribe to a DCR general information or project-related listserv, please contact DCR’s Office of Community Relations at 617-626-4973 or email Mass.Parks@state.ma.us.
After collecting public comments this month, DCR plans to continue working on a further iteration of the design, and once the next stage of the design is completed, DCR has promised to do another round of public meetings and public comments. Ultimately, the hope is to begin construction on this new waterfront park in 2019.
In addition to sending feedback to DCR, I also encourage constituents to contact me directly with any thoughts or concerns about this project. As always, I can be reached via email at Mike.Connolly@mahouse.gov.
Finally, I am happy to report that my office is also working on two other, related improvements for this area: a bike/pedestrian bridge across the Mystic (from Draw Seven Park to the Wynn Resort location), along with improvements to the I-93 Kensington Underpass to help ensure these waterfront amenities are more accessible to East Somerville residents.