Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy
The Parkland Management Advisory Committee (PMAC)
Roxbury, photographer unknown.
SWC Path Survey: A PMAC bike-pedestrian path committee has conducted a survey about use of the SWC path, with 595 responses. Responses were very thoughtful, and provided insight into ways of improving bike-pedestrian culture and long-term and short-term enhancements to the path system. Read a summary of survey results. Next steps include working with DCR on stenciling/striping on the path; working with the city of Boston on some small changes to traffic signals; some surface improvements and other short-term and long-term enhancements. As we share survey results, we will continue the dialogue about building and maintaining a positive bike-pedestrian culture.
Meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00, and rotate between the three sections of the park: at 70 St. Botolph Street in the Back Bay/South End; at the Boston Police station on Washington Street in Jamaica Plain; and at the Boston Police Headquarters at 1 Schroeder Plaza on the corner of Ruggles and Tremont Streets, near Roxbury Crossing. The first part of the meeting is focused on Public Safety. Police from the State, MBTA, and the three Boston Districts meet with the community to discuss safety issues and resolve solutions to problems.
The second part of the monthly meeting is Community Concerns. During this part of the meeting, the DCR park manager reports on the schedule for the month ahead, and the DCR and community discusses any concerns related to management of the park.
Contact: Janet Hunkel, President firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to be added to the email list.
PARKLAND MANAGEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (PMAC)
Meetings start at 7:00 PM with the Public Safety portion; Community Concerns start at 7:30 PM and finish about 8:30 PM. They are held on the first Wednesday of the month, with some exceptions, and the venue rotates between the three sections of the corridor. Meeting agendas and reminders are available via email and on the SWCPC Facebook page.
South End/St. Botolph - 1st Floor Community Room
St. Botolph Elderly Housing
70 St, Botolph St.
The closest T station is Back Bay
Metered parking on Huntington Ave.
Jamaica Plain - 1st Floor Conference Room
Boston Police Station
3347 Washington St.
The closest T station is Green St.
Parking is available on Washington St.
Roxbury - 2nd Floor Conference Room,
Boston Police Station
1 Schroeder Plaza, Corner of Ruggles and Tremont Sts.
The closest T station is Ruggles
Parking is available in the Police lot. As you approach the gate press the buzzer, and the officer at the front desk should allow you access into the lot.
For any questions please contact Janet Hunkel, PMAC President, at email@example.com
A BRIEF HISTORY of the SOUTHWEST CORRIDOR PARK
Just imagine all of the Southwest Corridor Park—the open green spaces, the urban forest purifying our urban air, community gardens, dogs frolicking in their own park, kids challenging their abilities at the skateboard park, spray pools—imagine, instead, pavement: a twelve-lane highway, a connector to I95 and an inner city circumferential. That is exactly what the planners envisioned in the 1960s. As this so-called transportation and urban development improvement went into action a massive swath of land cut through cohesive neighborhoods in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. Fortunately residents from the South End, Fenway, Cambridge, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods united in peaceful protests. Their mission was clear--STOP I-95 PEOPLE BEFORE HIGHWAYS--and their actions were bold. They painted this motto on the granite embankment of the railroad right-of-way, they lobbied, they protested, they marched to the State House, and they demanded a stop to highway construction in Boston and Cambridge. Their efforts resulted in not only a moratorium on the highway construction, but also a dramatic change in federal policy, whereby a proportion of highway money was re-allocated to build mass transit. Adversity morphed into opportunities: improved mass transit, economic development, construction jobs, community participation, and the park that connects the neighborhoods.
Unique to transportation planning, in the 1970s, was the inclusion of community input in the planning and design. For the better part of a decade, dedicated residents attended hundreds upon hundreds of community meetings, held by the MBTA’s SWC Project Office. The community made a broad and deep imprint on the corridor: from design of the T stations and the park, to including minority-owned design and planning firms, requiring local residents and minorities be hired for construction jobs, and establishing community guidelines for the future development of the bulldozed land. This brand of successful community involvement was built into the long term management and oversight of the park thanks to the State Legislature and the MBTA. In the 1970s they established the Parkland Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) to continue the community involvement in the park management. PMAC continues in that role to this day.
In 1987 the park was completed and the Orange Line was relocated from an elevated structure (the El) on Washington St. to the rail right-of-way between the Back Bay and Forest Hills stations. Additionally, the upgraded commuter rail and Amtrak service resumed. Residents and public officials were proud to be part of the first ever change of public policy, from major highway construction to mass transit and community development.
The Southwest Corridor Park: 'Many Neighborhoods, One Park' The adjacent South End/St. Botolph, Fenway, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods embrace a diversity of cultures and ethnicities. Over 130,000 people live along the corridor and it is estimated that one million people use the park.
Woven throughout the 52 acre are common uses, such as the bike/pedestrian path, tot lots and community gardens. The park’s signature Sycamore Poplar tree follows the park’s spine throughout the 4.7 miles, as do the Dogwood and Crab Apple trees, rhododendrons and other indigenous plantings. Collectively they clean our air. Various design elements conceptually link the park between the Back Bay and Forest Hills Stations. The granite embankment-previously the community’s canvas to protest I-95--now serves as edging and seating. The Orange Line physically links the different neighborhoods, and each of the eight stations forms a distinct, unique hub for the surrounding neighborhoods. A quarter of the railroad and transit tracks are covered, providing noise attenuation for adjacent housing, as well as additional parkland in densely populated areas. The numerous recreational facilities include tot lots, spray pools, basketball and tennis courts, and open space for running, scrimmage games or other spirited activities. Spontaneous Celebration’s annual Wake Up the Earth festival, on the first Saturday in May, infuses creativity and delight into the parkland, and truly does wake us all up to the pleasure we value in our park and diverse urban neighborhoods.
ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED with the SWC PARK
The Parkland Management Advisory Board (PMAC) is the voice of the community to the DCR in the management and oversight of the park. At monthly meetings we discuss public safety issues with the police and community concerns. Schedule and more information at: swcpc.org/pmac.htm. Contact: Janet Hunkel, President firstname.lastname@example.org.
PMAC’S Ad Hoc Committees:
—Bike and Pedestrian Paths reviews policies and practices to improve the use and maintenance of the paths. Contact: Jeffery Ferris at Jeffery@ferriswheelsbikeshop.com
—Greenway Extension is planning the use and design of the MBTA “urban wilds” land, in the Stoney Brook neighborhood, which will become part of the park. Contact: Fred Vetterleina at email@example.com
—The Community Garden Council manages concerns related to the eleven community gardens. Contact: Tracey O’Brien at Tracy_OBrien@facing.org
The Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy (SWCPC) is a 501(C)3 organization, whose mission is to restore and enrich the park. You can help their work with a tax-deductible contribution, or as a volunteer to maintain the park. Contact: Franco Campanello, President at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://swcpc.org.
The Festival Garden (affiliated with SWCPC) is an urban agriculture project that grows food, available for all, in common space gardens in Jamaica Plain. Contact: Jenny Jones at email@example.com
Jackson Square Neighbors provides programs for children in the Lorber Playground and for building an inclusive neighborhood. Contact: Janet Hunkel at firstname.lastname@example.org
JP Skateboard Park is located at Stoney Brook. This park provides boarding and other sports opportunities for people of all ages. Contact: Nick Murray at email@example.com
The Mission Hill Basketball and Tennis Courts project increases sports opportunities for the youth living in the area. Contact: Matilda Drayton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Carleton Court Dog Park is an off-lease park in the South End, which is maintained by volunteers and funded through users’ donations. Contact Jamie Demas at email@example.com