- Department of Conservation & Recreation
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $1.2 Million for Playing Field Improvement Project at Foss Park in Somerville
Olivia Dorrance, Press Secretary
somerville — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will replace the multi-sports field and field lighting located at Foss Park in the City of Somerville. The $1.2 million project will include synthetic field turf installation, field drainage improvements, and field lighting and pathway upgrades and installation. Construction at the park will begin in the spring and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019.
“The Baker-Polito Administration works incredibly hard to ensure that every region of the Commonwealth has great access to recreational resources,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “We are pleased to make critical investments to Foss Park in the City of Somerville, and once completed the multi-sports field will be a welcome community addition for the public to enjoy.”
Additionally, the DCR and the City of Somerville are currently coordinating a public meeting for later this year regarding future improvements to be made at Foss Park. The public will have an opportunity to provide input as these improvements are considered. Once a date has been finalized, a notice will be distributed informing the public of the meeting.
“I want to thank Governor Baker and DCR Commissioner Roy for recognizing the importance of this facility to Somerville and the Region through both the recent splash pad improvements and now this significant investment in the athletic field,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Our community-based Fields Planning process identified the great importance of both renovating this field and replacing the noisy and polluting gas-fed lighting with proper and permanent sports lights. The Commonwealth’s commitment to providing a modern facility will allow this field to better meet the substantial demands of the local and regional community. We are also pleased that the DCR has agreed to hold a joint public meeting on this news as well as the overall future for the 14-acre park.”
“The DCR commitment to repair this field with an organic based permeable turf field will allow intensive use of this field. It will be accompanied by tree plantings, safer access, and environmental improvements to be designed at a public meeting planned by the city and DCR in December. It should be part of a comprehensive, collaborative, and community-based plan by the city and DCR for all the open space in the city. These parks are a legacy of investment by our predecessors, and we need to continue to preserve and add to our open space,” said Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville).
In 1951, the Metropolitan Parks Commission (MPC), the DCR’s predecessor agency, acquired the land that would become Foss Park from the City of Somerville. The land parcel was dedicated to WWI solider Saxton C. Foss in 1955 by the state legislature. Currently, Foss Park’s multi-sports field’s natural turf is in denigrated condition with drainage issues and dysfunctional light features. The Foss Park playing field improvement project is the latest example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to increase public access within the state park’s system. Last month, the Administration also announced a $1.2 million project to replace the football field and the existing track located at Lake Park in the City of Worcester.
“I am so pleased that DCR is making investments in Foss Park, the largest open space in Somerville and a critical green space in our community with many uses. Securing funding for Foss has been a significant priority for advocates, residents, and the Somerville delegation for several years, and I am looking forward to the upcoming community meeting to hear about residents' ideas for improvements to the entire park space, and discussions of further investments in Foss Park,” said Representative Christine Barber (D-Somerville).
“Foss Park is one of the most important recreational resources in our community, and the Commonwealth’s $1.2 million investment will help make this resource even more useful to the public,” said Representative Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge). “I am grateful to our legislative delegation for supporting this investment in the 26th Middlesex District, and I look forward to working with the City of Somerville, DCR, and local residents as we continue to refine the vision for the park.”
“Since DCR owns and controls most of the public parkland in Somerville, I will be delighted to see how final plans for the long overdue renovation of Foss Park reflect public input and meet community needs for green space,” said Representative Denise Provost (D-Somerville).