For Immediate Release
November 04, 2013
Parks and Recreation
For More Information Contact:
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined other dignitaries to unveil an innovative $4 million playground at the Charlestown Navy Yard with “universally designed” equipment for children of all abilities, including unique equipment and landscape features suited to young people with physical challenges. The project includes 63 pieces of accessible play equipment contained in a 15,000 square foot rubber playground area, complete with ADA accessible paths and gathering spaces, surrounded by a new 23,000 square foot boardwalk to the waterfront that is also handicap accessible.
“This playground has been very special to me,” Mayor Menino said to a crowd of more than one hundred children and adults gathered for the event off 1st Street in Charlestown. He added, “This location, adjacent to Spaulding Hospital, the waterfront, and the USS Constitution will make it a destination for all Boston families, and especially for those children who don’t have the physical capabilities to climb stairs, move across high monkey bars, and reach features installed in many other playgrounds. This is Boston at its best – people coming together to improve the quality of life for the residents of our city.”
Liberty Mutual Insurance provided the cornerstone donation of $1 million for the creation and construction of the playground. Financial support also came from the City of Boston Capital Budget, the Highland Street Foundation, the Goldberg Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Herb Chambers, Subaru of New England, and Kavanagh Advisors. “Today is a very special day for us,” said David H. Long, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Mutual Insurance. “Today, our small, yet honorable guests will break in a remarkable place where children of all abilities can play together.”
In addition to state of the art playground equipment accessible to children of all abilities, the playground includes benches, tables, trees, bike racks, fencing, signage, irrigation, lighting, and connection to the Harborwalk linear path system. More than 400 granite blocks were used for construction, some sourced from the original seawall on site. Timbers used for seating were once intended for use as masts during Drydock 5’s shipbuilding era.
Also participating in the celebration were David Storto, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital President, Kristin McCosh, Commissioner for Boston’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Boston Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak, and children from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the Harvard-Kent Elementary School in Charlestown, and Escuelita Borikén in the South End.
A proposal was made recently to the Boston Parks and Recreation Commission by Liberty Mutual and Spaulding Hospital to honor Mayor Menino by naming the new park site after him. At the event today it was announced that the property would be called Thomas M. Menino Park and the new sign for the playground was unveiled.