Visit Ronan Park for the best Harbor views

In my humble opinion, Dorchester’s best views of Boston Harbor are not found along the HarborWalk or beaches, rather it is the inland Ronan Park, situated close to the top of Meeting House Hill and commanding sweeping, panoramic vistas of the Harbor and its islands. On any given summer night, you may have noticed the ball field lights as you gaze up from the Xway or Morrissey; however the baseball field is just one of several well-used amenities found at this multi-terraced gem of 11 acres.

As you enter this City of Boston park from Mt. Ida Road, you are immediately drawn to the vast Harbor views in the distance and the IBEW turbine and the Rainbow Tank in the foreground. Here you are also drawn to a beautifully landscaped Garden of Peace that is bursting with annuals, planted and lovingly maintained to remember one of the founding members of The Friends of Ronan Park, John Beresford. An engraved plaque describes peace as not being something you need to escape to, but rather something you need to find within you.

Up to your left is one of the highest elevations in Dot, and this area contains a new tot lot and is also the location for the movie nights, which run at dusk in August on select Fridays. As you meander down the central pathway, you’ll pass the full-sized basketball court on your left, while the ball field is on your right. At the end of this path, where it meets Juliette Street, is the location of the soon to be built Ronan Dog Park.

Working with the MSPCA, the Friends have raised well over $200,000 for construction and are seeking sustaining funding of $7,500 for sanitizing and upkeep. Paige Davis has been leading this effort because she sees it as yet one more way to activate the park and looks forward to the MSPCA bringing their spay wagon and performing other vaccinations once the dog park is completed.

On one of my recent visits, The Friends, led that day by Geoff Doerre, were holding their second annual Kite Festival, which catered to dozens of families and children. I was moved by the generosity of one of the FORP members who was personally subsidizing the purchase of kites for families from the hired kite exhibitor. Davida Andleman gave me a quick tour of the recent and upcoming improvements; she asked that I be sure to mention friendsofronanpark.org as that is where you can learn about the park’s history, the FORP, and the schedule of events.

Later that week, I enjoyed a men’s Yawkey League baseball game (which run most summer weeknights) and was excited to see the South Boston team win with a walk-off grand slam! I was impressed to see scores of people enjoying the park under the lights on a beautiful summer evening. Be sure to visit this well programmed gem, which is clearly loved by many, and I’m sure you, too, will agree that the views are unparalleled.

Paul Nutting lives in Dorchester and can be reached at Parksindot@gmail.com.

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