A Year in Maintaining The Greenway

14, Mar, 2017 Gavin Damore

On any given day while walking through our parks, you are likely to encounter a member of our Maintenance team lending their expertise towards maintaining The Greenway.

Our Maintenance team cares for seven water features, acres of specialty paving, complex lighting systems, and more. The Conservancy’s maintenance staff, under the leadership of Superintendent Bob Stigberg, handles repairs, fountain maintenance, vehicle maintenance, masonry, and other skilled tasks. Seasonally, the maintenance team sets out and removes moveable furniture, and supports infrastructure for winter lighting and public art. They also oversee our competitively contracted non-profit partner, WORK Inc., which employs individuals with disabilities. WORK Inc. handles the daily upkeep of our parks, including lawn mowing, litter and trash removal, and snow removal. We continue to provide contracted care for the gardens, fountains, and labyrinth in Armenian Heritage Park. Maintenance works in close collaboration with our Horticulture team, who organically maintain our plants and landscapes.

In 2016, the Maintenance team made fixes and improvements across The Greenway. As needed throughout The Greenway, subsurface drains were cleaned out, defective lighting was restored, and electrical outlets were repaired or replaced. Several new trash receptacles were installed.  Stone, brick and concrete pavers that had become loose were reset. New dehumidifiers were installed in Chinatown Park and Armenian Heritage Park to replace defective ones.


Bruce Carstairs, Maintenance Mason, cuts pavers for the Freedom Trail

In the North End, all the Freedom Trail lights and associated wiring were removed and reinstalled, replacing damaged fixtures, using the lighting manufacturers’ waterproof junction boxes. Roughly forty percent of the Freedom Trail pavers were removed and reset during this project. Stone dust paths were re-graded. Several large stone paving slabs were removed and re-installed in the walkways and fountains. Repairs were made to the Leaning Rail.


Bruce and Leonard, Maintenance Assistant, install the pavers on the Freedom Trail

In the Wharf District, new wooden slats were installed on several of the promenade benches. Extensive repointing of the granite paving was accomplished. All the LED light sources in Harbor Fog were replaced, as well as five Pico light fixtures in the Rings Fountain which is comprised of 60 jets, 120 lights, and 1200 different fittings.


Tom Ball, Maintenance Foreman, making planned repairs to our Rings Fountain

The gravel access road at Dewey Square Park was re-graded as were the stone dust paths in the Fort Point Channel Parks. On Dewey Square Plaza, a bent light pole and fixture was replaced, and eight new bike racks were installed.

In Chinatown Park, a new electrical outlet was installed in preparation of the Make and Take public art piece. Some old deteriorated trash receptacles were removed. The door on the Tunnel Egress Building in Chinatown Park was wrapped. The Maintenance Mason and helpers reset loose beach stones in the Chinatown fountain stream bed. We installed additional cigarette butt receptacles in Mary Soo Hoo Park.

Back at the office, the Maintenance staff replaced the rusted out floors of two of the Conservancy’s Kubota utility vehicles.  This entailed removing all rusted panels, cutting new steel pieces with a plasma cutter, and welding the new pieces into place. Once the new steel was installed, it was primed and then finished with a coat of gray paint to match the original. This work would cost several thousands of dollars per vehicle if the Conservancy hired outside contractors to perform the work.

It truly takes a village to program, maintain and improve the 17-acre Greenway on a daily basis and our maintenance team remains among our most unsung heroes. Next time you see them hard at work in the park, it may well be on one of these many varied tasks!