Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Unveils Improvements to Pilgrim Memorial State Park Ahead of Quadricentennial

For immediate release:
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Unveils Improvements to Pilgrim Memorial State Park Ahead of Quadricentennial

Olivia Dorrance, Press Secretary

ribbon cutting

plymouthSeeking to continue to improve the visitor experience at Pilgrim Memorial State Park ahead of the quadricentennial 2020 commemoration of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, the Baker-Polito Administration today hosted a ribbon cutting event following the completion of significant landscape improvements at the state park. The $2.3 million landscape rehabilitation project included specific landscape work at South Park, Coles Hill, Portico, North Park, and Pilgrim Mother Garden, as well as park wide improvements, including the refurbishment of all benches and trashcans, and removal of dead and hazardous trees and tree pruning.

“The improvements to Pilgrim Memorial State Park will not only provide immediate benefits as we near the quadricentennial anniversary of the pilgrims landing at Plymouth rock, but will also preserve the state park for generations to come,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Baker-Polito Administration is proud to protect the park’s important natural resources, and the cultural and historic landmarks that have become an important part of the United States’ history.”

Improvement work at specific locations of the park include:

  • South Park: winter storm repairs, bench and seating installation, driveway paving work, grass and shrub planting, rain garden and irrigation installation, pathway relocation and paving, sidewalk curbing, and ADA complaint parking space creation.
  • Coles Hill: rebuilding of the lower staircase, refurbishment of a historic light fixture, repaving of  pathways, repairing of irrigation, planting new loam and seed, and repointing the Water Street retaining wall.
  • Portico: railing repairs, restoration of decorative medallions, reinforcement of bulkhead to contain sand around Plymouth Rock, pebble flooring restoration, seaward facing wall repair and repointing, and low plantings installation.
  • North Park: pathway repaving and curb resetting along sidewalks, parking pullout repaving and catch basin replacement, ADA compliant parking space creation, and expansion of the plaza at the bathroom building.
  • Pilgrim Mother Garden: the replacement of pathways with ADA accessible surfacing, and restoration of historic plant and grass plantings with new irrigation.

“Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration for investing in the improvement of Pilgrim Memorial Park as part of the Plymouth community’s efforts in advance of the 2020 commemoration,” said State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “This project will not only protect this beautiful public space but will provide an outstanding location to welcome visitors and residents to Plymouth’s revitalized waterfront for years to come.

The next phase of the project will focus on the rehabilitation of the bathrooms at the park. Work includes repairs to the roof, siding, gutters, and downspouts of the building. New windows, bathroom fixtures, insulated doors, and a bubbler/bottle fill station will be installed. The bathroom will also have new partitions and counters with epoxy flooring. Work is expected to begin in winter 2019 with a projected completion during spring 2019 and an estimated cost of $550,000.

“We are grateful to DCR and the Baker-Polito Administration for their commitment to these improvements in the heart of our waterfront,” said State Representative Matthew Muratore (R–Plymouth). “As we begin to welcome the millions of visitors for our 2020 Commemoration, it’s important to have infrastructure improvements so tourism and our economic prosperity can continue to thrive beyond 2020.”

“The beautification of the Plymouth Waterfront will make it easier to facilitate events and will accommodate larger groups. The Town of Plymouth is very appreciative of the work done by DCR this summer,” said Chairman of the Plymouth Board of Selectmen, Kenneth Tavares.

In 2016, DCR began work on the Pilgrim Memorial State Park 2020 Improvements Project. The agency first repaired and conducted conservation efforts to the stone sarcophagus on Cole’s Hill, a National Historic Landmark containing the first cemetery used by the Mayflower Pilgrims. The following year, DCR made repairs to the National Monument to the Forefathers, and to the iconic Plymouth Rock. Additionally in 2017, DCR managed conservation efforts of the statues and bronze plaques of Wampanoag Chief Massasoit and Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford. In total, the Baker-Polito Administration has invested approximately $3 million for improvements made at Pilgrim Memorial State Park in preparation for the 2020 celebrations.


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Unveils Improvements to Pilgrim Memorial State Park Ahead of Quadricentennial

Department of Conservation & Recreation 

DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.