On Friday, June 19, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Esplanade Association celebrated the opening of the newly restored Hatch Shell Oval Lawn on the Charles River Esplanade.
On hand for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting were Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, DCR Commissioner Carol Sanchez, State Rep. Jay
Livingstone, President and CEO of Santander Bank Roman Blanco and Esplanade Association’s Executive Director Tani Marinovich.
The historic renovation was made possible by an initial gift from Santander Bank who donated $100,000 to the project. It was through their immediate commitment and the successful public-private partnership between the Esplanade Association and the DCR that the extensive project was completed in just 18 months despite the record-breaking snow.
“The Hatch Memorial Shell Oval Lawn revitalization project is an excellent example of government working with private partners to provide a valuable product to the Commonwealth’s citizens,” Beaton stated.
Over the years, constant exposure and overuse had placed a toll on the Hatch Shell structure and surrounding area. In response to the pressing need to restore and repair this vital area in the Esplanade Association raised the funds, estimated at $700,000, and in partnership with the DCR began the work in the fall of 2013 to renovate the Hatch Shell grounds.
“With the trees and flowers in full bloom along the Esplanade and just in time for the Fourth of July, we are thrilled to be able to reopen the Hatch Shell Oval Lawn for the public to enjoy,” Marinovich said.
“Public-private partnerships, like this one, provide excellent opportunities to improve and enhance our state’s natural resources in a way that will encourage citizens to get out and enjoy the outdoors,” Carol Sanchez said in a statement.
The Hatch Shell is the iconic city landmark that unites and enriches the Boston community with vital arts, culture and much-needed green space. The Oval Lawn in front of the Hatch Shell has long been home to some of the city’s most well-attended, and often free, concerts and performances.
“As we look out over the new lush green grass of the Hatch Shell Oval Lawn, what can only be seen is the beautiful result of all the hard work and commitment of so many that were involved in making this historic project a reality,” Marinovich added.
The renovations included Hatch Shell Oval Lawn being recomposed with a uniform drainage system, and an environmentally responsible state of the art irrigation system that will provide water both to the new, high-use turf and to the soil to help it resist compaction. In addition, electrical and mechanical conduit hooks were installed to Improve and modernize infrastructure for music and video performances.