Thursday, January 19, 2012

$500,000 Grant Awarded for Harris Park; Residents Invited to Design Meeting Wed. Jan. 25

Help us go from this...

to this...

Lt. Gov. Murray announced Tuesday that Somerville will recieve a $500,000 state grant to develop the new Harris Park. Residents can help shape the park at a community meeting on Wed., Jan. 25, 7 p.m., at the Cross Street Senior Center, 165 Broadway. Water features? Better lighting? Community garden plots? Your suggestions on how to apply the grant to park design are wanted. Why? Because it's your park.

Park will be Moved to Quieter Location
The current Harris Park sits just north of Broadway on Cross St. in East Somerville with I-93 on one side and a sea of asphalt (the Super Stop & Shop parking lot) on the other. To create a more suitable play space, the City is moving the park just up the street to 15-25 Cross St. The new lot is behind the Cross St. Senior Center and bordered by quiet residential streets.

Community Process Drawing Ideas from All Ages
A community process to redesign the park with residents began in November, with a meeting drawing roughly 50 attendees. Outreach to area teens and children has also yielded creative ideas. Some of the city's youngest residents have weighed in with their wishes for the new park space by sketching their own park designs in art class. The drawing to the right is by art teacher Charlotte Huffman’s students at the East Somerville Community School. It features a lemonade stand and a mattress to catch kids coming off the slide.

Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Alderman Willliam Roche invite you to the second public meeting for the new Harris Park. We will discuss preliminary designs with the landscape architects, GroundView, a firm located in East Somerville. And we welcome your feedback. To view the presentation from the November meeting, please click HERE. For more info, please contact Luisa Oliveira, Senior Planner-Landscape Design, Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning & Community Development, 617-625-6600,

Public Meeting for the NewHarris Park
Wednesday, January 25 at 7 p.m.
at the Senior Center, 165 Broadway. 


  1. since it is by the senior center and East somerville is mostly a portuguese neighborhood I say create some space for Seniors to enjoy activities they would enjoy in their native country and a water, slide, and swings for the young.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Jean. We'll pass this along to the designers. We're soliciting input for the park in four languages, including Portuguese and posted this message to our new City of Somerville Portuguese language Facebook page too (which soft launched this week). Check it out here:

  3. What will happen to the old Harris Park once the new one is finished?

  4. Ron, The old Harris Park is on property that belongs to Stop & Shop and they are still in conversations with the City regarding a possible new use. The City contact for this property will be back in the office on Thursday and I'll follow up with any more details, if available, then. Thanks for asking.

  5. Thanks. Was the street in front of old Harris Park sold to Stop & Shop as well? I notice that it is now blocked off at both ends.

  6. Ron, My last answer needs a correction and I also have more info now. First, the old Harris Park is currently still City property and is not owned by Stop & Shop. However, the owner of Stop & Shop bid on our request for proposals for the property and was selected to buy it, but has not done so yet.

    There is no immediate timeframe for this, and it must be preceeded with a zoning amendment proposal that is still being developed and will include community meetings and input at some point in the future. (I'll be sure to announce any public meetings here and in the ResiStat newsletter.)

    The road is owned by the City, and the barriers were erected some time ago to reduce cut-through traffic through the neighborhood and near the park.


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