Residents Generally Support Plans for DeFilippo Playground

Numerous residents turned out for the DeFilippo playground meeting

Future development of the DeFilippo playground on Prince Street was once again the topic of discussion at a community meeting coordinated by the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

About 30 residents turned out for the third meeting and presented their points of view on what should be done in the well used playground.

An overview, of suggestions made at previous meetings, was presented by Michelle Folts, Assistant Project Manager of Design and Construction office of the Parks Department and Schlessinger Smallbridge.

The current proposal contains a new fenced in Tot Lot with a rubber matted floor, an elderly area, an area for older children, some lighting, two small lawn areas, access changes, benches, game tables and a wish list of other items.

However, everyone at the meeting agreed that the reported drainage problem that residents claim not only place the Tot Lot underwater but fills basements on some Prince Street houses, needs to be addressed and fixed before any of the other parts of the proposal goes forward.

Folts told residents that the “Boston Water and Sewer Department visited the playground recently and did not find any drainage problem.”

She did note that the “City has asked another agency to run additional checks on the drainage issue.”

Folts plans to have another meeting with the Mother’s Group that utilize the playground for additional discussions on the playground’s rehab and then set-up another neighborhood meeting to hopefully finalize the plans.

The meeting will be scheduled in about six weeks when hopefully the drainage issue is resolved.

Reportedly, the actual construction will begin late summer or early fall.

There was also a recommendation that a Friends of the DeFilippo Park be formed.

Folts also mentioned that people can also sponsor a bench with a suggested name on it.

Stuart Rosenburg Chief of Staff for Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo and Boston Police Sergeant Tom Lema participated in the neighborhood meeting.

In a phone interview, Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina, whose district includes the North End, told the Review “he will support whatever plans the neighborhood comes up with.”

Both Senator Anthony Petruccelli and Representative Aaron Michlewitz indicated they would support the community’s wishes as well.

Much of the end of the meeting centered on pet owners not picking up after their dogs leaving a messy and unhealthy situation. Another complaints was dogs not on leashes.

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