After years of wear and tear at the Bay Village Park at the corners of Charles Street South, Melrose and Fayette Streets, residents are looking for a source of funding to spruce up this hidden gem in the heart of the neighborhood.
At the Bay Village Neighborhood Association’s (BVNA) executive board meeting on Monday, April 2 it was announced that the merger of the Friends of Elliot Norton/ Bay Village Parks with the BVNA has been finalized.
In an effort to show some well-needed love towards the parks, the executive board voted to support sending an application to the Browne Fund for $40,000 to update and improve upon certain elements within the Bay Village Park.
“I’ve been taking care of the park for the last 25 years and the park needs help,” said Thomas Kauycheck.
The project will work with a landscape architect, artist, historian and the Boston Parks Department to restore the park.
Work includes redeveloping the water feature into a fully functional recycling water fountain to add beauty and serenity to the park while conserving on water, which currently goes down the run off drain and is lost.
Also, the application asks for retouching of paint on the current iron boundary fence, and replacing the black box source of irrigation for the park that is showing signs of deterioration.
Other work includes introducing a source of electricity into the park. Currently, power is accessed from the nearby church but in the past if no one is there it has presented a problem with lighting the annual Christmas tree in the park.
Improvements will also include tilling and replanting of current beds, which will preserve some plants but remove detrimentally invasive plants, which over the years have taken over the park. There will be treatment of brick surface pavement to inhibit growth of weeds between bricks.
The Bay Village Parks group would also like to see iron or metal backless, segmented benches.
Lastly, there will be placement of a bronze or brass plaque into the surface brick pavement of the park detailing a complete history of Bay Village and its noteworthy inhabitants.
Bay Village Park came about as a result of restructuring part of the neighborhood in the late 1960s by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. It was once part of the street Broadway, which ran roughly from where the Emancipation Statue is in South Boston.
The portion of Broadway between Melrose, Fayette and then Carver Streets was one of these parcels without a clear designation. Through the lobbying efforts of the neighborhood the space was created into a park.
It originally was made up of a lot of brick pavement and had three trees and raised planting beds. But through time the site began to deteriorate. The Browne Fund previously supported Bay Village Park during a prior renovation in 1995, making the park to what it is today.
But now, as another 20 years have passed the park is in need of some serious care beyond what the Friends group and Boston Parks Department can provide on a daily basis.
Sarah Herlihy of the BVNA said that if the Browne Fund doesn’t work out there are other ways to get funding to update the park.
“I’m still hopeful we will get the 212 [Stuart Street development] funds and if we don’t get that we can do a fundraiser,” she said.
Either way, she said, “The park will get the upgrades it needs.”