Through collaborative work by the Chelsea City Council alongside the Department of Housing and Community Development, two new public parks will be developed in Chelsea.
The City recently completed the acquisition of two parcels of land at 15 Eastern Avenue and 212 Congress Avenue that will serve as the sites for the future parks. These two spaces will increase the network of public and accessible open space for all residents in Chelsea, according to city officials.
The site on Eastern Avenue overlooks the Chelsea Creek and is approximately one acre in size. The park will rest on the waterfront alongside the Chelsea Street Bridge. The Department of Housing and Community Development will work with the Mystic River Watershed Association, GreenRoots, and the Nature Conservancy to involve residents in the design process of the park.
A neighborhood park is the vision for the future of the 212 Congress Avenue site. Over the past year, the space was beautified through the efforts of GreenRoots as well as the City of Chelsea. Its future will see the public space develop into a park that will provide a variety of recreational opportunities, mitigate poor air quality, and offer a cooling space during the summer months.
“This piece of property is incredibly important. It is in one of the hottest neighborhoods, and as we all know, Chelsea is an environmental justice community and we have some of the hottest neighborhoods in the entire Greater Boston area,” said GreenRoots Executive Director Roseann Bongiovanni when the City Council voted to accept the donation of the Congress Avenue land last November.
Bongiovanni noted that even within the heat island of Chelsea, there are some neighborhoods that are hotter than others.
“We have been monitoring this piece of land and this block and this whole area with our partners at the Boston University School of Public Health and the City of Chelsea,” she said. “We have mapped the entire city and shown that this is one of the hottest areas.”
The creation of green space at 212 Congress is part of an integrated implementation of a “cool block” approach GreenRoots is taking that includes the planting of street trees in the neighborhood, the implementation of a white roof on the Boys and Girls Club, and the transformation of 212 Congress Ave. into a new green space.