Peace Garden to get redesign

March 15, 2013
By

EGLESTON SQ.—The Ecumenical Social Action Committee, Inc. (ESAC) is hosting two “re-imagining” sessions for a redesign of the Egleston Square Peace Garden at the corner of Washington and School streets.

The two sessions, one planned for March 13, after the Gazette’s deadline, and one planned for Sat., March 16, are aimed at gathering community input for a redesign of the park.

“My vision for the redesign is whatever the community decides is best for them,” ESAC Executive Director Bill Minkle told the Gazette.

Minkle said that ESAC is trying to make park more user-friendly, especially for larger events, and to address any safety concerns community members might have. The park is the main public gathering spot in Egleston Square.

“I’m very much looking forward to this process and do hope that those who attend will be reflective of the diversity of the Egleston Square community and improving upon this community asset,” Egleston Square Main Streets Executive Director Betsy Cowan told the Gazette.

The project does not have a budget yet, as ESAC doesn’t know what the project might entail.

“We’re doing the visioning first, to figure out what we want, then we’ll come up with a plan,” Minkle said.

There will be another community meeting to discuss input from the two visioning events, Minkle added. He said he hopes to have a new design by April and to see the construction under way by June.

“The timeline may be a little aggressive, but I’d really like to see it done by this summer,” he said.

Students at the Greater Egleston Community High School designed the Peace Garden and a mural inside it, which memorialize those who lost their lives to violence on the streets of Boston. The former abandoned lot was part of a community-wide effort in 2002 that involved ESAC, Egleston Square Main Streets, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and other community groups and businesses.

ESAC has a long-term lease from park owner Clear Channel Outdoor, which also owns a billboard on the site, Cowan said. A Gazette call to Clear Channel Outdoor was not returned by press time.

The March 16 redesign session will be held ay 10 a.m. at the Egleston Square YMCA at 3134 Washington St.

More information is available on ESAC’s website, esacboston.org.