Open year-round, dawn to dusk. Formerly used as a landfill and a drive-in theatre, the site of Pope John Paul II Park was once a barrier between the people of Dorchester and the Neponset River waterfront.
The park now re-connects area residents to the resources of their unique and delicate river estuary by offering picnic facilities, soccer fields, play areas, paths for walking, restored salt marsh, and extensive plantings of native trees and shrubs. The DCR's restoration of the formerly degraded, contaminated site has also benefited area wildlife: black ducks, mergansers, teal, Snowy Egrets, and Great Blue Herons, have been spotted at the park since it opened in June, 2001. Future improvements to the park will add restrooms, a fishing pier, a ranger station, and a link to the DCR's bike path network.
The Quincy RiverWalk, part of the Neponset River Reservation, provides a 2 mile trail along the Quincy side of the Neponset River Estuary, from the Gazebo at Adams Inn to Squantum Point in DCR’s Squantum Point Park. Both of these terminuses provide spectacular views of the estuary and, in the case of Squantum Point, of the City of Boston. Further additions to the Quincy RiverWalk are still being planned (as of Sept. 2014).
MBTA: Take the Red Line (Ashmont branch) to Fields Corner. The #202 bus route passes by two of the park's entrances: at Neponset Circle and at Hallet Street.
By Car: Take I-93 South to exit 12, Rt 3A South and merge onto Gallivan Boulevard (MA 203). The entrance is located on Gallivan Boulevard. A second entrance is located on Hallet Street.