Our Goals

Objectives

The Park Rejuvenation plan being undertaken by The Friends has three simple objectives:

  1. To devise and implement a multi-phased capital improvement plan for Blackstone Square & Franklin Square -
    This plan will derive from the historic origins of the Squares, the evolving needs of the Community and the desire to create a lasting legacy
  2. To forge a community coalition to drive these improvements -
    In addition to The Friends, this coalition will include municipal authorities, special interest associations, local businesses/national businesses with local presence, the press and community residents
  3. To generate awareness of and stimulate community involvement surrounding the value of the Squares and the on-going issues of maintenance

Funding

The Friends will attempt to amass funds from 3 primary sources: A) the University Associates gift, B) public/private endowments and state/federal grants, and C) community fund raising.

A)

It is the intention of the Friends to use the $71,125 from University Associates as seed money to get the project started and, to a certain extent, to provide ongoing maintenance.
Initial outlays expected include:

  • The retention of a consultant to evaluate the fountain recycling project
  • Deliverables: estimated costs, timing, recommended plan of action, etc.
  • The retention of a landscape architect to manage the restoration of the original greenery plan as well as limited improvements to that plan
  • The retention of a professional event agency to conceptualize and execute a bicentennial event commemorating the founding of the Squares

 

B)

Additionally, The Friends plan to approach private & public endowments, and state and federal grant programs, for specific improvements.  Examples of such sources include:

  • The Browne Fund - application for funding to install water recycling system in fountains presently under review by the Fund
  • The Henderson Fund - application for supplemental funding of recycling system
  • The NICE Fund
  • The National Park Service, Department of the Interior (various grants)
  • The Boston Globe Foundation for Restorations
  • The WBZ Fund for the Arts
  • NEFA

C)

Finally, working in partnership with the members of a community coalition, The Friends plan to execute a sustained campaign of community fundraising.

Proposed Improvements

It is the intention of The Friends to solicit input from both a community coalition and neighborhood residents at large regarding possible improvements to the Squares.  What follows is a preliminary list of suggested improvements based on discussions held by the Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Assodation (in no particular order):

  • Install equipment in both fountains to recycle the water
    • Promotes conservation
    • More cost effective
    • Will enable the fountains to be in operation for longer hours
    • May enable the basins to remain full (seasonal)
  • Reset the stone basins surrounding the fountains as needed
  • Improve the walkways through both Squares
    • Resurface with crushed stone (per original design) or some material more aesthetically pleasing than asphalt
    • Install curbing to help maintain integrity of grassy areas
  • Restore original landscape elements and consider new plantings if appropriate
  • Modernize drainage system and/or undertake a regrading project to prevent excessive pooling on grassy areas
  • Install high-end signage at each entrance to memorialize the founding of the Squares (and possibly other historical data)
  • Install more aesthetically pleasing trash receptacles & establish a consistent collection schedule
  • Install more/additional furniture
  • Explore the possibly of creating an enclosed playground for 0-5 year olds in one of the Squares
  • Replace existing iron fences with historically accurate fences