Renovation of Davis Square park will create a more active, community-focused park based on public feedback

SOMERVILLE – The City of Somerville held a groundbreaking ceremony at Kenney Park on Friday, Oct. 25th as work commences on overhauling the park and creating a more active, community-focused space for residents.

After two public meetings culminating in a design focused on creativity, the Board of Aldermen approved Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone’s request for an appropriation of $500,000 for the project. All are invited to celebrate as the City breaks ground Friday on the renovation, which will update and improve the park’s play structures, surfaces and plaza while introducing inventive new elements.

The public plaza will be enhanced with a water feature during warmer months that will be converted to a public art space used to display public art in colder weather and for live performances in spring and fall. Café seating and moveable furniture, which are gaining popularity in urban centers, will be brought to the park to invite more residents into this centrally located green space. The basketball court will be resurfaced, and fences and plantings will be replaced. Play structures will also be updated, and the current wood chip ground covering will be replaced with safer, state-of-the-art, poured-in-place rubber playground surfacing. All improvements will meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. The redesign of Kenney Park was designed in-house by City of Somerville park planning staff in collaboration with CBA Landscape Architects as the landscape architect.

“Parks are the living room of a community, where neighbors can relax, meet and enjoy a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Parks invite people out of their homes and into the community. That’s what we love about Somerville and want to see more of—parks, city squares and all common places filled with people, with the so much energy you can feel it in the air. The City has renovated or built more than 25 parks and open spaces in the last seven years, and we will not stop until we reach the goal set forth in our 20-year comprehensive SomerVision plan of 125 new acres of publicly accessible open space that is accessible to everyone.”

“I’m thrilled for Ward 6 residents that plans for upgrading Kenney Park are now coming to fruition,” said Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz. “After soliciting feedback from residents, we have a design that meets the needs of our community and creates a better common area for the neighborhood. It’s been more than 20 years since Kenney Park has been remodeled, and now we are modernizing this public space to make it safer for kids to play in and for families and residents of all ages to enjoy.”

The park is tentatively scheduled to reopen in the summer of 2014.


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