DCR funding comes through; more needed

February 6, 2009
By

DAVID TABER

New fence, street-crossing designs planned

PONDSIDE—A new fence will be installed on the Arborway and three pedestrian crossings around Jamaica Pond will be redesigned, thanks to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) allocation of $1.5 million through its Partnership Matching Funds Program.

The funding announcement was originally supposed to come Nov. 14, but was not made until Jan. 27. As the Gazette previously reported, the Arborway Coalition applied for $26,000 through the program to replace a 10-foot-high, 400-foot-long chain link fence on the Arborway median with a 4-foot-tall steel picket fence.

“Its awesome. We are very excited,” Arborway Coalition member Sarah Freeman said of the funding announce-ment.

The grant requires the Arborway Coalition to raise a third of the funding for the project—$13,000. The coalition already has about $8,000 pledged from institutional donors and now must raise the balance by March 9, Freeman told the Gazette. Those donors include the Solomon Fund, Arboretum Park Conservancy, Arnold Arbo-retum, Boston Nature Center, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Ferris Wheels Bike Shop, Jamaica Hills Association, Jamaica Pond Association, Mt. Washington Bank Charitable Foundation, Zoo New England, Arborway Coali-tion and the Jamaica Pond Project.

The plans to replace the fence, opposite the main entrance to the Arnold Arboretum, were developed through a process to improve that section of the Arborway, known as the Gateway to the Arborway. The plan-ning process was funded through a similar grant last year.

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy also received Partnership funding to develop new designs for three in-tersections around Jamaica Pond—the intersections of Eliot Street and the Jamaicaway, the intersection of Kelly Circle and Parkman Drive, and another crossing on Parkman between Jamaica Pond and the Francis Parkman memorial on the other side of the street.

“The project fits in with our mission to improve access to all the Emerald Necklace parks and get people out of their cars and into the parks,” said Julie Crockford, executive director of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

DCR contributed $45,000 to those projects and the Lawrence and Lillian Solomon fund contributed $15,000, Crockford said.

Work on both projects will likely be completed by the end of the fiscal year in June, Crockford said.

She said the Conservancy will host a community meeting to review the design proposals when they are com-plete.

Funding for the actual construction of a signalized intersection at Eliot Street and Jamaicaway was in-cluded in a state Environmental Bond bill, thanks to advocacy by state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez. Crockford said that project may cost as much as half a million dollars. The other two projects will likely carry more mod-est price tags, and the conservancy might consider applying for DCR matching funds to construct them next year, Crockford said.

For information about the Arborway Coalition’s fundraising efforts, contact Sarah Freeman at 524-0602 or Ann Stillman at 524-2387.