Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation Launches Commonwealth Places Campaign to Transform Doyle Playground
$6,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative
May 2, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008
Erica Schwaz, Southwest Boston CDC, 617-364-7300 x27
MassDevelopment and the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation (SWBCDC), a nonprofit that works in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood, today announced a new Commonwealth Places campaign, a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The SWBCDC’s campaign will help transform the underused former Doyle Playground into a new neighborhood park. The park will provided space for cultural performances, neighborhood association meetings, cookouts, yoga classes, teen gatherings, playtime for youth, and enjoying views of the Neponset River.
“Flexible community spaces are crucial for economic development at the local level, providing opportunities for a range of neighborhood-based uses,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “SWBCDC puts commercial growth of neighborhoods like Hyde Park at the forefront of its mission, and we’re pleased to support its work at the former Doyle Playground to achieve that goal.”
Founded in 2001, SWBCDC works to create and preserve affordable housing, strengthen the commercial base of the neighborhoods, ensure access to good transit and green spaces, and develop local leaders whose voices are not otherwise heard. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation owns the one-acre site and has helped volunteers with community cleanup. With support from the Solomon Foundation, residents are working with a professional landscape architecture team to finalize the park design.
“Green spaces and a nice park can boost the morale of the neighborhood. A lot full of weeds does the opposite,” said Arielle Chanelle, a lifelong neighbor of Doyle Playground. “That's why this project is so exciting. I live right next to this site. I played in the playground as a kid and I remember when the playground was taken away. That was almost 20 years ago. Now neighbors are coming out to work together to turn this site into a neighborhood park. Getting a mural and some seating into the park is an important first step for the neighborhood. I know our community will come through to help raise these funds.”
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $6,000 by June 6, 2018, at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate at patronicity.com/project/doyle_playground_transformation_1#!.
Commonwealth Places is a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and Patronicity that leverages public support for placemaking projects through crowdfunding and a matching grant from MassDevelopment. The program engages residents in the development of strategic projects in their towns and cities. In June 2017, MassDevelopment announced $1 million in funding for the second year of the program, which has supported successful campaigns across the Commonwealth, from Northampton to Hyannis. Communities, nonprofits, and other entities can learn more about these successful projects, donate to ongoing campaigns, and apply at massdevelopment.com/commonwealthplaces.
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.