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Letter: Community Meetings Needed to Review Franklin Park Action Plan Details

Last updated on February 13, 2023

The following letter was sent to State Senator, State Representatives, City Councilors, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council, Franklin Park Coalition, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and press regarding the recently released Franklin Park Action Plan.

Dear Mayor Wu, Rev. White-Hammond, and Commissioner Woods,

We respectfully request that you hold a series of community meetings to present and review the Franklin Park Action Plan in manageable but detailed sections, to answer questions and make clarifications about vague language in the plan.

We appreciate that there is an online comment form and that the comment period has been extended to March 3. In recent weeks, hardcopies of the plan were also put in selected libraries for people to review, but this is not a robust enough community feedback process for such a large and impactful plan for Boston’s biggest park. A completely unidirectional input process has been set up that does not allow for people to ask questions or have plan language clarified.

Just as notices/sandwich boards were placed in the park and community workshops were held to solicit input for the plan, the same onsite information-sharing methods should be utilized in the park itself now that the plan is available for review. If someone who uses the park everyday didn’t attend a press conference or isn’t on the Franklin Park Coalition’s email list, they may not even know the plan is done and comment period open. As an example, we walk in the park every day and in the last few days have mentioned the plan to people we’ve met who clearly use the park frequently — walkers, birders and nature photographers. None of the people we spoke with had even heard about the plan being released.

The Franklin Park Coalition generously organized an informational/feedback meeting about the Action Plan last week, and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy is doing outreach as well, but it is not their responsibility to answer questions and solicit input on the city’s behalf.

With so much money at stake ($23 million), and significant potential impacts to the park, its inhabitants (birds, animals etc), park users, and park neighbors, it is your responsibility to be as informative and as accessible as possible for their questions and concerns.

Would you please host public meetings and extend the comment period to allow for a more robust community process?


Jennifer Uhrhane and Jonathan McCurdy

Jamaica Plain