Letter to the Editor

Why Charlestown Is in Need of a Waterfront Park on Pier 5

To the Editor,

Traversing the Navy Yard on a daily walk for the past few months, gives me the opportunity to reflect and think about what makes this place special.

The people, whether from Charlestown, Boston and beyond, or the visitors from around the world are drawn here for the waterfront experience, the vistas, the historical landmarks, “Old Ironsides”, the harbor activity, or just to walk and take in this wonderful place. Visitors are happy to share their joy and excitement about being in Boston, all positive.

We, who live in Charlestown are blessed.

On the other hand, this has not been a very good summer for the residents with the challenges we’re facing. The unusually hot summer, limited tree canopy, and our community pool closed for the 5,000 children who live here, has made for a less than enjoyable summer. Their usual water recreation and go to place to cool off is non-existent.

Trying to get some respite in the Navy Yard is daunting. Currently there are two blighted piers closed and inaccessible for any type of recreation, passive activity, for walking or to just take in the harbor views.

Walking the boardwalk is dangerous as the boards are decayed, causing one to not take their eyes off where their feet land as falling is a consequence leading to injuries. A matter of time before the city is faced with a lawsuit regarding injuries sustained trying to go for a simple walk. For safety, I recommend walking on cement if available.

At one time a walk on the public space on Pier 6 was a great destination to take in the harbor views and find some tranquility the water offers. We are not able to do that now as a billionaire’s super-yacht is tied up for maintenance blocking air, light, views and access to our harbor. How can this be? Who gives permission for this yacht to block our public viewing access to the harbor, and be there for a good part of the summer? Who owns the water sheet? Where are the rental fees going? Why is this allowed in the first place? 

The community of Charlestown should not tolerate this private taking of our public asset. There are 20,000 current Charlestown residents, and with the new developments and proposals, our population will increase to 33,000 residents in one square mile, which further limits our open space use. Where can people go for their mental and physical health? To get a breath of fresh air, to see Nature and blue sky, and to be inspired to see our city skyline and open harbor?

We have an opportunity to keep Pier 5 as a public, a green, open waterfront and climate resilient space for all of Charlestown. Please visit www.Pier5.org to learn about the efforts being made.

Please sign our petition https://bit.ly/3zV5k0n. We ask for your help.

Ann Kelleher

Pier 5 Association

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