Roxbury HSP


The Roxbury Heritage State Park Signature Park Project is one of six urban park projects that have been identified as priorities. These projects will help revitalize urban neighborhoods by opening up or upgrading green spaces for outdoor recreation and by rehabilitating historic community landmarks.  The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is working with state agencies, municipal governments, and local community leaders to implement these projects.


The purpose of the Roxbury Heritage State Park Project is to create an inviting landscape and resource center where the community can learn and celebrate the rich and diverse history of Roxbury. With this in mind, DCR has established preliminary goals and objectives for the project through conversations with community leaders and stakeholders:

  • Celebrate the rich and diverse history of Roxbury
  • Make improvements to the Dillaway- Thomas House and increase its use by the community
  • Restore and interpret the historic landscape
  • Include the community during all phases of planning and construction.

The scope of the project involves engaging stakeholders and community partners to:

  • Develop interactive exhibits in the Dillaway-Thomas House on Roxbury’s rich natural, cultural, and social history
  • Revitalize the landscape and make overall improvements to the park, removing  invasive vegetation that blocks the views of the Boston skyline. Upgrade and renovate the Dillaway-Thomas House, as necessary.
  • Consider the feasibility of the creation of an archealogy lab and public archaeology program to engage area youth.


Roxbury HSP Project


DCR considers public participation crucial to ensure that that the public needs and input are considered in a project. This process provides not only for the exchange of information, but for opportunities for collaboration, as well.  Most importantly, it builds the public’s trust in the agency.  

DCR is committed to involving the community during all phases of planning and construction of the Roxbury Heritage State Park Project.  To that end, DCR has developed a robust community planning process to identify critical issues and opportunities related to the project and to assist in the development of new concepts and ideas to revitalize the property and improve visitor services.   In addition to targeted stakeholder meetings, the community planning process will involve three hands-on public workshops.  The plan also includes holding informational sessions at major project milestones and communicating directly with the community through electronic media. Meeting materials and PowerPoint presentations will also be made available through DCR’s website.

DCR is also committed to promoting minority and local workforce participation during the construction phase and has established the following hiring goals for the project that exceed statewide benchmarks:

  • At least 20 percent of the total amount of construction contracts awarded for this project will go to minority-owned businesses.  (The statewide goal is 10.4% combined for minorities and women.)
  • At least 35 percent of the total work on the project will be completed by local, minority workers.  (The statewide goal is 15.3%.)

If you have questions or comments regarding this project, or wish to be added to an email listserve to receive project updates, including information about local and minority workforce participation, please email, noting “RHSP” in the subject line, or write to the DCR Office of Public Outreach, 251 Causeway St., 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02114.



December 19, 2013:  Announced $2 million investment in the park during an event at the Dillaway-Thomas House.

February 4, 2014:  DCR awarded the project design consultant contract to Clarendon Hill Consulting, LLC (CHC), a woman-owned planning and project management firm.  Clarendon Hill Consulting is a multi-disciplinary team consisting of community engagement specialists, landscape architects, architects, an exhibit designer, interpretive planner, and ethnographer to design and oversee construction of landscape improvements and interpretive exhibits, the creation of an archeology lab, and associated building improvements at the Roxbury Heritage State Park.

February –March:  DCR worked with CHC to facilitate a series of targeted meetings with stakeholders and community leaders.

March 24, 2014:  DCR hosted the first public workshop to refine project goals and identify critical planning issues and opportunities. Workshop presentation and materials can be found at the DCR Public Meeting Information webpage under Materials from 2014 Past Meetings.


April 21, 2014 - Patriots Day  Concepts presented at the Dillaway Thomas House
April 24, 2014Public Workshop #2, First Church in Roxbury
Public Feedback on project alternatives
May 29, 2014Public Workshop #3, Location TBD
Public feedback on preferred project alternatives
June 2014Final design begins
August 2014Project goes out to bid and construction begins
December 2014Project substantially complete