‘The People’s Park’: Boston Common to undergo major makeover

BOSTON — A number of changes and upgrades have been planned for Boston Common -- America’s oldest public park.

“Boston Common has always been a park by and for the people of our city...We are now able to augment the current historic levels of funding to fully renovate America’s first public park while preserving its rich heritage,” Boston Parks Commissioner Ryan Woods said in the newly released Boston Common Master Plan.

The plan, unveiled Wednesday by Mayor Michelle Wu’s Office, indicates a major makeover including more seating and the planting of new trees, a revamped Frog Pond Area, new athletic fields and courts, an enclosed dog park, an expanded visitor’s center with more restrooms.

“Known as the ‘People’s Park,’ the Boston Common requires a plan that coalesces many competing needs to create a unified vision that will serve the people of Boston and visitors alike,” an excerpt in the plan stated.

City officials say there are five principals this project aims to uphold during the renovation process:

  1. Support and sustain a park for everyone— all backgrounds and neighborhoods
  2. Strengthen the park’s natural, historic, cultural, and visual landscape character
  3. Expand amenities
  4. Improve safety, maintenance, and management
  5. Improve the natural and physical infrastructure of the Common for quality and resilience

Residents will be able to provide their feedback during a 45-day public comment period that ends on Nov. 30.

Funding for the major overhaul is being pulled from the $28 million sale of the old Winthrop Garage back in 2019.

The changes are expected to be implemented over the course of the next 10 years.

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