GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES INCREASED INVESMENTS FOR ROXBURY HERITAGE STATE PARK IMPROVEMENTS
$2M in improvements include archeological conservation lab, community history resource center
BOSTON – Thursday, December 19, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced investments in the rehabilitation of Roxbury Heritage State Park and a resource center at the historic Dillaway-Thomas House, furthering the Patrick Administration’s commitment to parks and open space in urban neighborhoods.
“Across the Commonwealth, we are investing in green spaces in urban communities to provide an oasis and a gathering place in our neighborhoods,” said Governor Patrick. “Today’s investment will create opportunities for Roxbury residents and park visitors to enjoy open space and learn about the rich history of their community for generations to come.”
The revitalization project will use $2 million in capital funding to make improvements to encourage public use and make the park family friendly. Restorations include landscaping, installation of park amenities, parking lot improvements and the removal of invasive vegetation blocking skyline views of Boston.
A portion of the capital funding is allocated to creating a community history resource center and archaeological conservation lab at the Dillaway-Thomas House. Working with local partners, the Patrick Administration’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will develop interactive exhibits to demonstrate the cultural, social and economic history of Roxbury and keep the rich history of the area alive for generations to come.
“These investments will help to restore the park and deliver on its original purpose, to provide a place for families and visitors to recreate and explore all that the Roxbury community has to offer,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan. “The Patrick Administration has made historic investments in open space, making Massachusetts a better place for our children and grandchildren.”
“These state funds will help make Roxbury Heritage State Park more inviting with upgrades to its landscaping, access and other amenities,” said Congressman Mike Capuano. “The restoration of the Dillaway-Thomas House will further enhance the park’s appeal with resources to help visitors learn more about Roxbury’s rich history, architecture and culture. With this project, Massachusetts is enhancing valuable green space while at the same time showcasing the history of the community.”
“As the State Representative for the area, I know and love the rich history and culture of Roxbury,” said State Representative Gloria Fox. “Now because of this investment to the Roxbury Heritage State Park all of Roxbury will have more access, visual pride, and a resource center where they can learn about the richness of their community and its history.”
The rehabilitation of Roxbury Heritage State Park is a project under Governor Patrick’s Signature Urban Parks initiative. Under this initiative, Governor Patrick recently announced capital funding for park projects in Chelsea, Fall River, Pittsfield, Springfield and Brockton. Roxbury Heritage State Park is one of nine Heritage State Parks across the Commonwealth that serve to celebrate a community’s heritage and attract neighbors and tourists to historically significant areas. Roxbury Heritage State Park was added to the Heritage State Park system in 1984. The Dillaway-Thomas House serves as the headquarters for the park and is one of the oldest surviving structures in Roxbury, built in the mid-18th century. The newly established resource center will allow the Dillaway-Thomas House to serve its intended purpose when the park was established in 1984.
The Patrick Administration’s commitment to preserving or creating open space in urban communities has led to the building or renovation of 170 parks. These parks and open spaces are within a ten minute walk of 1.5 million residents – about a quarter of the Commonwealth’s residents.