Charlesgate Park Set to Receive $400,000 in CPA Funds

Mayor Walsh and the Community Preservation Committee last week recommended 56 projects as recipients for the fall round of Community Preservation Act funding. The projects total more than $34 million. The Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood has been recommended to received $400,000 to complete the design for Charlesgate Park, which is a 13-acre historic park that’s part of the Emerald Necklace.

Charlesgate Alliance co-founder H. Parker James said that he’s “excited” about the prospect of this money. State Sen. Will Brownsberger and Reps. Jay Livignstone and Byron Rushing were able to help earmark $250,000 in the budget for Charlesgate Park improvements in December of last year, which James said is already being used.

This and 55 other CPA projects have already been recommended by the mayor, which means the next step is for them to be submitted to the Boston City Council. The City Council has an anticipated vote in March to approve the funding for these projects.

James said that the $400,000 CPA money will be used towards engineering, design, hydrological design, and permitting with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Conservation Commission. “It’s incredibly important,” James said of this preliminary work that must be done before people will start to see results.

He said that once they get the permitting in place, they will implement the project “one part at a time.” He said they are gathering any other public funds they can, and the rest will have to be raised.

“We are going to do it,” James said. “We’re all really excited and working around the clock.”

Charlesgate Alliance has combined efforts with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy on this project, and James spoke highly of Emerald Necklace Conservancy president Karen Mauney-Brodek. “She has added incredible professionalism and leadership to it all.” he said.

“I am proud to recommend these proposals for funding approval, which will support our community in countless ways,” said Mayor Walsh. “Since residents voted to adopt the Community Preservation Act two years ago, we have awarded CPA funding for projects in every neighborhood. We look forward to continuing to use this revenue to build on our work related to affordable housing, historic preservation and open space.”

Other local recommended CPA projects include:

• Back Bay

$420,000 to stabilize, restore, and weatherproof the First Baptist Church steeple.

$200,000 to restore the stairs and fenced-off main entrance of the Arlington Street Church on Boylston Street.

• South End

$400,000 to Union United to complete accessibility features for a community food pantry and meeting space.

$146,000 to Peters Park for the completion of the park renovation, which will include path restoration and athletic features for local youth sports.

$136,500 to Haley House to complete fire safety features in the historic townhouse used for a daily soup kitchen, job training program, and volunteer housing.

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