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Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy

Restoring, Maintaining and Enhancing the Southwest Corridor Park

The Parkland Management Advisory Committee (PMAC)

About
Meeting Schedule and Locations
History of the SWC
Organizations involved with the SWC Park

Roxbury, photographer unknown
Roxbury, photographer unknown
The Parkland Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) was created during the Southwest Corridor Park planning process, in the 1970s, with input from the State Legislature, MBTA, and citizens. For more than thirty years PMAC has been an active player in the management and oversight of the park. It is the voice of the people to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and approves changes to the park prior to DCR's action.

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 jhunkel@aol.com


PARKLAND MANAGEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (PMAC)
MEETING SCHEDULE

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.



Locations:
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 jan.hunkel@gmail.com


A BRIEF HISTORY of the SOUTHWEST CORRIDOR PARK

Just imagine all of the Southwest Corridor Park—the open green spaces, the urban forest purify-ing 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 high-way, a connector to I-95 and an inner city circumferential. That is exactly what the planners en-visioned 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 Ja-maica 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 ef-forts 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, construc-tion 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 in-cluding 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 sta-tions. 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 high-way 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 em-brace 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, bas-ketball and tennis courts, and open space for running, scrimmage games or other spirited activi-ties. 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 Committee (PMAC)
PMAC, created during the planning process, in the 1970s, with input from the State Legislature, MBTA, and citizens, has been an active player in the management and oversight of the park: it is the voice of the people to the DCR. Meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month, and rotate between the three sections. During the first part of the meeting public safety issues are discussed with the police, and community concerns round out the meeting. Contact: Janet Hunkel, President jhunkel@aol.com.

The Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy (SWCPC) The Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy is a nonprofit, 501(C)3 organization with a mission is to restore and enrich the park. The Conservancy leads fundraising for the park, frequent volunteer days and volunteer events and coordinates a network of volunteers who maintain gardens and landscaping in the park as park stewards. You can help with a tax-deductible contribution or volunteer to help maintain the park. Contact: Franco Campanello, President fcamp195@gmail.com.

Carleton Court Dog Park
The dog park was initiated, designed, and financed by dog owners. It is a lively, fenced in site where dogs can socialize and play off-leash. It is located at the end of Holyoke St., between Dartmouth and W. Newton Streets. Contacts: Marcia Sassoon mfsassoon@yahoo.com or Jamie Demas jdemas@bedfordstmartins.com.

The Community Garden Council
The Community Garden Council deals with concerns related to the eleven community gardens. Contacts: Tracey O’Brien Tracy_O'Brien@facing.org, Betsy Johnson betsy@bgjohnson.com.

The Mission Hill Basketball and Tennis Courts Project
Roxbury residents are coordinating with DCR to provide sports lights on the three basketball and two tennis courts, located on the deck between the Ruggles and Roxbury Crossing Stations. Contact: Matilda Drayton at matilda_drayton@hotmail.com.

Bike and Pedestrian Paths
Path users monitor the use and maintenance of the paths, and make recommendations for improvements. Contact: Jeffrey Ferris at jeffrey@ferriswheelsbikeshop.com.