Boston, MA– The mayor's office announced a $28 million revitalization of Franklin Park, the largest park in Boston. After selling the Winthrop Street Garage to developers (who intend to build a $1.6 billion high rise), the mayor has decided to invest those funds into the park.

"I'm excited to celebrate the master plan of Franklin Park and the renovations that will help Franklin Park reach its full potential as Boston's largest park, and one of our cherished green spaces," said Mayor Walsh. "Thanks to the sale of the Winthrop Street Garage, we will have $28 million to invest in preserving and improving this park for our residents, and for future generations to come."

The park was designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted and commissioned in the 1890s in response to the challenges associated with increasing urban density. The park is also a geographic meeting point for several of Boston's largest neighborhoods including Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Roslindale, and Jamaica Plain. Currently, it has a golf course, a cross country running course, the Franklin Park Zoo, a small stadium for athletic use, as well as many trails and woods.

"This is a generational opportunity to protect and enhance the public health benefits of our beloved park, while also developing creative new opportunities in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department," said Franklin Park Coalition executive director Janna Cohen-Rosenthal. "We were impressed by the selected team's collaborative approach, dedication to the community process, and design expertise. We are very excited to begin work on this project."

The city has picked the Cambridge-based landscape architect group Reed Hilderbrand to lead the project. They have designed multiple award-winning public parks, such as Long Dock Park in Beacon, New York, and Repentance Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Franklin Park isn't the only park in Boston that will be looking better in the coming years. Another $28 million from the sale of the Winthrop garage will go to improvements to the Boston Common in anticipation of its 400-year anniversary in 2034.

With spring on its way, investments in our outdoor public spaces sounds like great news for Bostonians.

Image via Wikimedia Commons