- Department of Conservation & Recreation
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates the Opening of the Jamaica Plain Skate Park
Olivia Dorrance, Press Secretary
BOSTON — Continuing its investments to improve park infrastructure and provide unique recreational assets in urban communities, the Baker-Polito Administration yesterday announced the completion of the Jamaica Plain Skatepark within Southwest Corridor Park in the City of Boston. To celebrate the opening of the park, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Jim Montgomery joined local officials and members of the community on Monday for a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome the public to the new facility.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how important local parks and outdoor recreation are for urban communities and young people across the Commonwealth,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Investing in local parks like the Jamaica Plain Skate Park advances critical priorities for the Baker-Polito Administration, and we are grateful for the strong partnerships with Converse and local community groups that helped bring this project completion.”
The new community skate park, located at the site of a former street hockey rink that had fallen into disrepair, is the culmination of efforts initiated by the skateboarding company Fancy Lad Skateboards, and supported by the Park Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) and the local community.
Work on the Jamaica Plain Skatepark was first initiated in 2015 with a $75,000 Partnership Matching Funds (PMF) award to Converse. The total project cost was $600,000 with DCR providing $525,000 of funding. The project consists of the conversion of an existing street hockey court into a 4,000 sf skateboard park. Improvements of the site include:
- Resurfacing of the area;
- Construction of concrete ramps;
- Drainage improvements; and,
- Installation of furnishings, fencing, and related site work.
“Serving as a popular gathering place, the Jamaica Plain Skatepark within the Southwest Corridor Park is an important urban recreational area for the community and region,” said DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “The completion of the new skatepark is yet another example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to enhancing the Commonwealth’s cultural and recreational resources, and today’s ribbon cutting serves as a great example of these efforts.”
“As the City of Boston continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever we need safe places for recreation. This park will provide residents in Jamaica Plain and across the city with a new space for joy,” said Boston Mayor Kim Janey. “I want to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Commissioner Montgomery and all community partners for their commitment to this project.”
"I am excited for the re-opening of this space where members of our community can find time to get outside and enjoy themselves in our neighborhood. Providing safe and well-maintained spaces for everyone to enjoy themselves in a way that also balances the needs of the broader community is another step towards living together well,” said Representative Liz Malia (D-Boston).
"Fitness in community is one of the trademark pleasures of living and working in Jamaica Plain. I am so grateful to our community activists, and to DCR, Converse, and Wheels of Steel for their work and commitment to renovating our skatepark, a place where art, sport, and togetherness flourish,” said Representative Nika Elugardo (D-Boston).
On August 12, 2021, DCR celebrated the completion of a new playground at Pope John Paul II Reservation located at DCR’s Neponset River Greenway in Dorchester. The new $600,000 playground replaced the Park’s outdated playground built in 2001, and is providing children and families in the area and surrounding communities with an engaging outdoor recreational resource
“This is so much more than just a skatepark to so many young people in this community. This space will truly help change people’s lives,” says Rob Collins, Converse Marketing Manager. “Thanks so much to the DCR for the partnership and support on making this incredible an idea a reality.”
Fancy Lad Skateboards, a critical partner in support of the project, was founded by Nick Murray. The Boston-based company designs skateboards, merchandise and adventurous skateboarding videos.
“The Fancy Lad crew started building ramps at the underutilized street hockey rink in 2012,” said Nick Murray, founder of Fancy Lad Skateboards. “It’s so gratifying, every day we see very experienced skaters and pre-schoolers sharing the space. I really would like to thank Janet Hunkel and the rest of PMAC for supporting this project for all these years, and Raul Silva at DCR for seeing it through.”
In June 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration re-filed its plan to immediately put to use part of Commonwealth’s direct federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support key priorities including housing and homeownership, economic development and local downtowns, job training and workforce development, health care, and infrastructure. As part of the Administration’s proposal to jump-start the Commonwealth’s economic recovery and support residents hardest-hit by COVID-19, such as lower-wage workers and communities of color, Governor Baker would direct $900 million to key energy and environmental initiatives, including $100 million for parks, recreation, and open spaces.
These funds would support investments in public lands, as well as lands specifically conserved for public access including parks, lakes, rivers, trails, beaches, fishing piers, boat ramps, and other waterways. Funding would be dedicated to projects that expand, enhance, and modernize the Commonwealth’s park facilities to steward and conserve natural resources, and to improve the resilience of natural and working lands, plants, and wildlife in the Commonwealth.