JP Slated to Receive $498,000 to Build Playground Adjacent to Mildred Hailey Apartments

By Lauren Bennett

Mayor Walsh and the Community Preservation Committee last week recommended 56 projects as recipients for the fall round of Community Preservation Act funding. The projects total more than $34 million. Jamaica Plain has been recommended to receive $498,000 to build a new playground adjacent to the Martha Eliot Health Center, the Mildred Hailey Apartments, and Jackson Square shops.

“I’m over the moon that it was funded at nearly $500,000,” City Councilor Matt O’Malley said of the playground. He told the Gazette that he believes it would be “something that will be so well used by our neighbors at the housing development.”

He said he wanted to thank his office for playing a leading role in this project, as well as their partnership with Wendy Polanco and the rest of the Mildred Hailey tenant task force.

O’Malley is proud that this playground will “bring people from all walks of life,” and said that it “will be a welcome respite for the young and young at heart.”

The playground will feature play spaces for children, as well as gentle exercise equipment for seniors, and O’Malley said he is excited to see the diverse age groups that will take advantage of the new space in the community.

O’Malley added that the current proposal is to name the playground after Gerrod Brown, the 16-year-old boy who was shot and killed at Mildred Hailey in 2017. “It’s such an amazing tribute to him and this wonderful life that we lost far too young to be able to have this really wonderful community space and this really wonderful community named in his honor,” O’Malley said. He added that the tenant task force has been supportive of this, as well as his own office and Brown’s parents.

“This is going to be a great addition to our community,” O’Malley said.

This and 55 other CPA projects have already been recommended by the mayor, which means the next step is for them to be submitted to the Boston City Council. The City Council has an anticipated vote in March to approve the funding for these projects.

“I am proud to recommend these proposals for funding approval, which will support our community in countless ways,” said Mayor Walsh. “Since residents voted to adopt the Community Preservation Act two years ago, we have awarded CPA funding for projects in every neighborhood. We look forward to continuing to use this revenue to build on our work related to affordable housing, historic preservation and open space.”

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