Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Parks Commissioner Ryan Woods announced this week the unveiling of recent improvements in Dorchester Park located at 2180 Dorchester Avenue.
During the first week of November the City of Boston reopened the George Wall Playground following $626,000 in renovations funded by Mayor Walsh’s Capital Improvement Plan and Youth Lead the Change, the Mayor’s participatory budget for accessible equipment that gives young people power over one million dollars of the city’s capital budget. Dorchester Park is one of several Boston Parks and Recreation Department facilities reopening this fall within current health guidelines. Other renovated parks opening this year are in the neighborhoods in Hyde Park, Mattapan, and South Boston.
“We are investing in parks citywide as part of Boston’s plan to provide quality green spaces for all residents and play spaces for the children of our city,” said Mayor Walsh. “Families are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines and enjoy fresh air at the improved Dorchester Park playground before winter sets in.”
The design retains the large climbing structure central to the playground while two age-appropriate play structures were replaced with new state-of-the-art equipment for children ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12. The project includes four bays of swings, but the bays are separated and rearranged with a single bay of swings with two toddler bucket swings. A separate bay of swings features three belt swings, an ADA-compliant bucket swing, and a “Friendship Swing” that allows two children or a parent and child to swing together. An ADA accessible drum set adds another play feature to the playground.
In response to requests from the community to emphasize the connection between the playground and nature a curved path now leads users through the play area. The path connects to a mulched surface around a climbing rock. Children no longer need to traverse the area behind the swing bays to get to this exciting nature play. This not only encourages children to reach out beyond the manufactured play area, but it keeps them safer and out of the swing area.
The Parks Department also added a wooden play frame encouraging children to reach further into the natural areas and engage their creative play. New site furnishings include benches and an ADA accessible community picnic table.
Since 2014, the Walsh administration has invested more than $115 million across the city’s parks system, representing some of the most significant parks investments in Boston’s history. The Fiscal Year 2021-2025 (FY21-FY25) Capital Plan includes enhanced support to maintain the City’s Urban Wilds and Tree Canopy, increases in funding to plant and maintain trees across the city, as well as $36 million for new and ongoing open space projects.
For current social distancing guidelines in City of Boston parks please visit www.boston.gov/news/coronavirus-covid-19-updates-boston-parks-and-recreation.
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An outdoor drum set is one of the new play features at Dorchester Park.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department recently reopened the playground at Dorchester Park following $535,000 in improvements including site furnishings and a variety of state-of-the-art play equipment.