For Immediate Release
October 16, 2010
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Today, Mayor Menino joined Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak, local children and residents to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Millennium Park in West Roxbury. Over 16 years ago Mayor Menino began the transformation to turn the landfill into a 100-acre recreational area and natural habitat larger than the Boston Common and the Public Garden combined. The $33 million project, completely funded by state and federal grants, took six years to complete and is widely acknowledged as one of the largest and most successful recycling projects in the state’s history.
"Ten years ago, when we created Millennium Park together, we had high hopes," said Mayor Menino. "We envisioned a park with many uses and we wanted a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to come for a picnic, a friendly ballgame, or some solitude. Today, we can celebrate because what we envisioned as a community has come to be. Young people play soccer; residents go on nature walks to admire the wildlife, flowers and grasses; joggers run around the park to get exercise; and families come for a fun afternoon. Millennium Park is an urban oasis because of its beauty, yes, but also because it improves people’s quality of life in real ways."
The celebration included various activities to showcase what the park has to offer including a treasure hunt, kite decorating and flying, an Adopt-a-Pet presentation with the Animal Rescue League and a bird walk led by the Audubon Birders group.
"In a major city like Boston it takes creative thinking and great dedication to create new parks in a heavily developed urban landscape," said Commissioner Pollak. "Millennium Park is a perfect example of how the community and City Hall came together to turn a landfill into a valuable open space resource. We hear from park users of all kinds ranging from joggers to birders to the youth leagues utilizing our athletic fields and the message they send is that Millennium Park has become an important part of the lives of people of all ages."
Built to satisfy the recreational needs of many, the diversity of Millennium Park is displayed in the number of activities it affords its visitors including:
- more than 25 acres of multiple-use sports fields;
- 20 acres of conservation land;
- six miles of walking, jogging and bike pathways;
- nature trails;
- a children’s play area;
- an amphitheater and outdoor classroom;
- and a handicapped accessible canoe launch.
When the Park opened to the public for the first time 10 years ago, Mayor Menino signed an open letter addressed to West Roxbury residents and placed it in a time capsule to be opened in the year 2050. A segment of the open letter said: "I trust that Millennium Park looks as wonderful to you as it does to us on this day of its dedication ... Hopefully, the only real difference at Millennium Park is that our hopes and dreams have been replaced by your own fond memories. Of soccer games won in the last minute ... Of fishing and the one that got away. Of marriage proposals on the banks of the lazy river, lazy afternoon picnics with young families ..."