Next to Mattapan Square—the bustling center of one of Boston’s largest Black and Caribbean communities, a ribbon of forest follows the banks of the Neponset River. For decades, a long, stone barrier has walled off residents from the river, impeding recreational use, attracting illegal dumping, making people feel unsafe, and depriving the community of the many health benefits that come from local access to nature.
The Trust for Public Land is working with the Edgewater Neighborhood Association, local conservation partners, and public officials to connect the local community with its riverfront, give voice to residents’ vision for the future of their waterfront, and advocate for better access and care of the public lands along the Neponset. In March 2021, the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation announced that the Commonwealth will work with an Edgewater community advisory committee to design a new park experience along the Neponset, with construction anticipated to begin in Spring 2022. Residents will have better access to the riverfront and a new path to explore the river.
In order to help ensure that the community’s needs are heard, The Trust for Public Land has teamed up with the Edgewater Neighborhood Association to develop an illustrated community activity book, which offers fun ways for neighborhood residents to share their vision for the riverfront. If you’re a resident, we want to hear from you!