Tuesday, January 12, 2016

City of Somerville, Massachusetts
Denise Taylor
dtaylor@somervillema.gov (o) 617-625-6600, ext. 2103 (c) 857-523-9905
Jackie Rossetti
(o) 617-625-6600, ext. 2614 (c) 857-636-2396
JANUARY 12, 2016
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City’s Largest Open Space Renovation Project Folds 6 Projects into 1 including
1.26M Gallon Stormwater Management System to Reduce Area Flooding New, Expanded Multi-Use Schoolyard
Enhanced Open Space and Natural Grass Multi-Use Field
Community Activity Corridor with Adventure Play Area, Parkour/Skate Park Area, Basketball Court, Exercise Nodes, Community Gardens & More

New Off-Leash Dog Area Upgraded Softball Diamond
SOMERVILLE–After three years of community discussions and public design process, the resulting final plans for the renovation of Lincoln Park will be presented to the community at an open house on Monday, Jan. 25th (details below). The renovation of the 6.6 acre park, the 2nd largest city-owned park, will comprise six projects in one, including:

Stormwater management: A 1.26 million gallon, underground stormwater management system that will reduce the runoff that contributes to flooding in the Union Square area; Schoolyard Upgrades: A new, expanded and enhanced multi-use schoolyard with outdoor classroom, upgraded play areas, vegetable gardens, rain gardens, multi-sport court, and more;

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The design was developed by Weston & Sampson’s Design Studio, Spurr, an award-winning landscape architectural and engineering services firm responsible for the design of a number of Somerville Parks including North Street, as well as Albion, Grimmons, and the Quincy Street Open Space, which all won awards.
“Our community has spoken up loud and clear that we need both more open space and more high quality open space, which is why we have renovated or built 31 parks and open spaces in just the last eleven years. But to continue to meet our growing needs and long-term goals, we need to pick up even this fast pace,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “The Lincoln Park project will do just that by moving forward what is essentially five important park projects at once as well as a critical stormwater management project that will benefit all of Union Square. I want to thank the community for the valuable input they had in the planning process.”
Central Field to Be Natural Grass; Fields Master Plan to Address Long-Term Needs
After extensive deliberation and community feedback both for and against synthetic turf for the central playing field, a design featuring a natural grass playing field was selected. To adhere to best practices for natural grass playing fields, organized field use will be reduced to Argenziano School recess as well as limited light use for younger youth sports.
To accommodate displaced sports during construction, the City is working with both Tufts University and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to make alternate fields available. Short-term plans include regrading and reseeding of Draw 7 Park and use of Tufts fields. Additional projects, including a potential new turf field at Tufts, possible turf installation at alternate City or State sites, and additional field space in the Union Square revitalization area will be integrated into a long-range Fields Master Plan to address long-term field needs.
“There was a compelling argument for a natural grass field at this particular park, but we also have significant and growing needs for field time for youth and adult sports. To maintain the health and well-being of our community, we must ensure those needs are met,” said Mayor Curtatone. “For this reason, I have directed our planning staff to develop a formal Fields Master
Expanded Green Space: Enhanced passive green space as well as a natural grass multi- use field and more than 150 new trees;
Community Activity Corridor: spanning an adventure play area with everything from traditional swings to a splash pad, exploratory sand play, and tree house-like play structures, as well as a parkour and skate park space, passive seating, a basketball court, picnic area, outdoor exercise equipment, and community gardens all connected by tree- lined walkways;
New Dog Area: Small off-leash area with dog run;
Upgraded Softball Diamond: Improved field with increased buffer to nearby residences.
Plan with community input that will build on our ongoing fields planning. That plan will guide our rethinking of both our existing fields as well as the development of new fields.”
Proposal Submitted to Board of Aldermen
A proposal has been submitted to the Board of Aldermen for the estimated $9.4 million in funding that will be required to cover construction of all six components of the Lincoln Park project. Approximately $2M of the total funding is needed to construct the 2-acre underground stormwater holding areas. When accounting for size, the remaining average of roughly $1.48M for each of the five park project areas compares favorably with the average park renovation cost of roughly $1M in recent years. As noted, Lincoln Park is 6.6 acres, while, for example, North Street Park, which was recently completed at a cost of $1M, is 0.3 acres.
If funding is approved, the project will go out to bid with a projected construction start date of either June 2016 or June 2017, depending upon several factors. Construction is expected to take roughly one year (barring unexpected weather or other disruptions) with additional time required to rest the grass fields so that root systems are established before use.
“For generations, this park has been an important gathering place for neighbors and families. I’m thrilled to see that it will not be simply updated but that it will be transformed to the open space jewel that it should be, with features to meet so many varied community needs,” said Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston. “Just as important, flooding in the Union Square area is a very real concern, and this is a good start toward reducing the stormwater load on the system and providing our residents some relief. I’m heartened that the City recognized the need to renovate this park not just from above, but also from below.”
Upcoming Meetings
Lincoln Park Project Plan Community Open House
6:30-8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, at the Argenziano School, 290 Washington St.
Weston & Sampson Park designers and City park planning staff from the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development will host an open-house, drop-in meeting for residents to view the plans, ask questions, and engage in discussions with friends, neighbors and the project team.

Fields Master Planning Process
Watch for announcements of the kickoff meeting soon. Subscribe to the City newsletter produced by our ResiStat program at www.somervillema.gov/newsletter to get an email reminder once the date is set.
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