The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy is in danger of losing a substantial portion of its state funding but officials are meeting with the hope of maintaining the current funding structure.
According to a front page story in Friday’s Boston Globe, the Greenway could lose 40 percent of its funding which is roughly $2 million of its $5 million budget. The Greenway, a group of parks that extend through Boston neighborhoods including the North End, has become a very popular gathering point for residents, people employed in Boston firms and businesses, and tourists.
Greenway Executive Director Jesse Brackenbury said the Greenway has been meeting with the state to discuss the situation.
“Productive conversations continue with the state and other stakeholders about putting The Greenway on a stable long-term footing,” said Brackenbury. “The Greenway is in asset for economic growth and a destination for Massachusetts residents and visitors. We remain confident of a shared resolution that is good for the park and for the public.”
State Sen. Joseph Boncore, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and State Rep. Seth Livingstone are hopeful that a funding agreement can be reached.
“The Greenway is among downtown Boston’s most vibrant assets,” said Boncore. “Not only it is a stunning green space and public park, but it is has provided economic opportunity for the neighboring communities and business. I hope that all stakeholders will be able to reach agreement to ensure the viability of this park and economic engine for generations to come.”
Michlewitz is proud of the Greenway’s place among Boston’s top attractions and realizes its need for strong support from the state. “As someone who is proud of the what the Greenway has become in just the past eight years, I’m sensitive to the fiscal challenges and I’m open to finding a way to make the Greenway funding more sustainable. But until we have that mechanism to fund the conservancy properly, the state needs to continue to provide monetary help to the park. That’s fulfilling its promises to the communities that dealt with the issues of 16 years of Big Dig construction.”
Livingstone, a resident of Beacon Hill, is also monitoring the issue and looking for a long-term solution.
“I’ll work with Rep. Michlewitz and Sen. Boncore, the city, MassDOT, and The Greenway to come up with a long-term solution so that people can continue to enjoy this great greenspace that we can created in the center of our city,” said Livingstone.