By Phil Orlandella
Members of the project team that have been assigned to the Paul Revere Mall (Prado) improvement project held their second and last community meeting before the final bid for the development of the historic Freedom Trail leading to the Old North Church and the Copps Hill Burial Ground, a stone throw away from the church.
For some time, North End residents, along with neighborhood groups and organizations have requested that several repairs be made throughout the Mall where thousands of visitors pass through and the local community enjoys for recreation, events and other neighborhood activities, including the two local schools, St. John and Eliot.
Many residents turned out for the public meeting with the Parks Department and its project team that clearly advised them of what the plan could be and listened to suggestions from the community.
Discussions at the meeting included: drainage, brick replacement, repairs to the fountain and benches, better lighting, tree pruning, soil replacement, access to vendors, bike stations, clogging problems, historic amenities, plaques and other related issues and/or concerns.
While residents appeared to be pleased with the $2 million-dollar project, they expressed that they do not want vendors or bike stations in the mall. The placement of tables and chairs throughout the park was also opposed by residents.
The pruning and soil treatment for the trees in the mall was deemed a must by those in attendance. They also supported new lighting, fountain repairs, new access points, repairs to benches, cleaning of plaques, the drainage plan, brick replacement, signage, the Freedom Trail markings and trash and recycling barrels on the sidewalks on public streets.
Funds for the project comes from the City of Boston Capital Budget ($1,300,000) and the White Fund ($700,000).
The Project Team consists of Allison Perl, Manager, Boston Parks Department. Michelle Jacques-Yarde, Outreach Coordinator, Parks Department. Nick Zick, Principal Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture and Maria Lanza, Representative Neighborhood Services, a North End resident.
Depending on how fast the White Fund is approved a project start date will be approved sometime in 2018.