Report on Feb. 2 joint meeting of the Conservancy Board of Directors and Greenway Leadership Council

2, Feb, 2010 Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

The Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy Board of Directors and the Greenway Leadership Council met today for a joint public meeting at the Conservancy’s new headquarters at 185 Kneeland Street, Boston.  The agenda and highlights of each item are presented in this post. And, as seen below, there will be further postings on some of today’s meeting topics in the days ahead.


1. Harbor Islands Park Pavilion

First on the agenda was a presentation on the Harbor Islands Park Pavilion. Tom Powers (President Boston Harbor Island Alliance) and Bruce Jacobson (Superintendent Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, National Park Service) presented the plans for a federally funded Harbor Park Pavilion to be built on Parcel 14 of the Greenway at Long Wharf, across from Christopher Columbus Park.  The pavilion will serve as the main downtown gateway to the Boston Harbor Islands national park area and provide visitor information. Pending final federal approval, construction is scheduled to begin in April 2010 and end in December 2010. The promenade, the western walkway of the park, and the Greenway carousel will remain accessible to pedestrian traffic during construction.  The Conservancy Board of Directors voted to approve the lease between the Conservancy and the National Park Service and approved the construction and operations agreement between MassDOT and Island Alliance, Inc. Visit the National Park Service website for more information and images of the pavilion.

2. Greenway Leadership Council

Next on the agenda was Ann M. Thornburg, chair of the Greenway Leadership Council, who presented a debrief on the council’s first six months. Moving forward, the group is committed to thoughtful introspection, soliciting direct feedback from public with “transparency” as a best practice for communication and accountability, looking at other public and private park tools and methods, creating an agenda for 2010, and overall creating a substantive and valued role.

3. 2010 Activities and Priorities

Nancy Brennan (Conservancy Executive Director), Steve Anderson (Conservancy Director of Park Operations) and Tom Smarr (Conservancy Superintendent of Horticulture) presented the Conservancy’s 2010 priorities under the theme of care, connection and comfort and touched on the following topics and updates:

  • Maintenance – continuous improvement of snow removal; adding skateboarding deterrence in primary areas by late spring; fountains operating in May
  • Horticulture – improvements and renovations are planned across the park. Highlighted for discussion were improvements in the south end of North End Parks, Wharf parks (including transplanting material disturbed by Harbor Pavilion construction), all Dewey Square Parks, and in the southern section of Chinatown, as well as an expansion of our volunteer program. Stay tuned tomorrow (Feb. 3) for a subsequent blog post with more in-depth reporting on our horticultural improvements.
  • Seasonal improvements – adding furniture and shade, WiFi, and park concessions as community input, approvals, and funding are complete.
  • Community outreach and public activities – Greenway activities planned for 2010 grouped under a “Parks in Motion” theme; includes a city-wide event (Mother’s Day weekend) and regular on-going programs.

4. Process Steps re: Dewey Square and Fort Point Channel Parks

The final agenda item of the meeting was presented by Linda Jonash (Greenway Director of Planning and Design) and covered the soil findings and initial concepts for park improvements to the Greenway parcel between Congress and Pearl Streets (formerly referred to as Parcel 21), now dubbed the Fort Point Channel Park south. This topic deserves in-depth coverage and will be the subject of a series of forth-coming blog posts. The first to be posted (by Friday, Feb 5.) will be specifically about the below-ground conditions found in Dewey Square/Fort Point Channel Parks that will need to be fixed.