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The Park Rejuvenation plan being undertaken by The Friends has three simple objectives:
- 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
- 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
- To generate awareness of and stimulate community involvement surrounding the value of the Squares and the on-going issues of maintenance
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.
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
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
Finally, working in partnership with the members of a community coalition, The Friends plan to execute a sustained campaign of community fundraising.
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
The Friends of Blackstone/Franklin Squares needs your help! From fountains to trash barrels and benches to fences, taking care of the squares takes money. Please make your tax-deductable dontation now.
In the “Designate my Donation” section, please be sure to type “B/FSNA” or "The Friends" to properly allocate your donation.