Menino Park in Navy Yard Transferred to Parks Department

May 25, 2018
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The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) has approved the transfer of Thomas Menino Park and the adjacent Drydock in the Navy Yard to the Boston Parks Department, along with a $37,500 activation payment.

The BPDA approved the transfer of its property at Thursday’s Board meeting, with the Boston Parks Commission already voting to accept ownership. The transfer from BPDA came with the promise of five annual payments of $7,500 for maintenance and activation.

“Reflective of the BRA’s concentration upon its core activities of development and planning, the agency has sought to transfer ownership of the Park to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department for long-term stewardship and programming,” read a memo to the Board. “In order to facilitate the transfer of the Park and to support what will become an important part of waterfront programming for both the public and Spaulding patients, BRA staff has negotiated an agreement whereby financial assistance for these efforts and maintenance of the Pier 10 improvements, to be done over and above Spaulding’s ongoing activities, will be provided.”

The payments will come from the BPDA’s Historic Monument Area Funds, which it said was a great way to activate a very visible asset.

“Over both the immediate and long term, an active and vital Menino Park at Yard’s End of the Charlestown Navy Yard can reasonably be expected to add to the overall value of the Navy Yard, one of the BRA’s most highly visible assets,” read the memo.

Of key notation is the inclusion of Pier 10 as part of the transfer. Pier 10 was improved somewhat for Sail Boston 2017 last year, but neighbors have routinely called for a real activation of the pier and drydock. The transfer to the Parks Department could be the impetus for that.

The parcel now known as Thomas M. Menino Park in the Charlestown Navy Yard has been owned by the BPDA since the 1970s. While a patient at the nearby Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, former Mayor Menino envisioned the potential of this nearly one-acre plot of land as a place of respite and strength for recovering patients. Working from a plan by Spurr, Weston and Sampson’s design studio, BPDA staff and the general contractor completed the transformation of the Park in November of 2013.

The Park itself is currently maintained by Spaulding for limited maintenance activities, such as cleaning, emptying trash barrels, snow removal.