Residents can eye plans for Almont Park changes

Corey Allen, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 22, 2011

Almont Park re-design plan: Click on image to download larger PDF.Almont Park re-design plan: Click on image to download larger PDF.On Wednesday, July 27 at 6 p.m., the city’s Parks Department will host an outdoor public meeting at Mattapan’s Almont Park to unveil the first phase of a planned renovation the park. (Rain date July 29th).

“We’re looking forward to phase one construction beginning in the spring, and next week’s meeting is designed to review the master renovation plan and this first phase,” said Sherri Geldersma, Design and Construction Project Manager at Boston Parks and Recreation. Last week, Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak joined City Councillor Rob Consalvo, Walter Apperwhite from Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s office, Geldersma and residents to look at the plan in lieu of this upcoming meeting.

Earl Faulk, a member of the Colorado St. Citizens Group and a grandfather of a Malik Sanon, who has played for the Mattapan Patriots since he was seven and will age out of the program after this year, has been involved in this process since its inception. Faulk wishes that his grandson could have seen the fruits of his grandfather’s labor as a player, but he is keeping the faith for the next generation.  

“I just hope that these little ones now get to play their home games on their home turf,” said Faulk. Currently, the Mattapan Pop Warner team plays at the Reservation Road field in Hyde Park.

Jim Clark, a member of the Mattapan Street Neighborhood Association, has been pleased with the transparency of the process.

“You’ve got to bring projects to the community for open discussion,” said Clark. “Before, most of those things were done at City Hall, or wherever they were done at, and they come out and give it to you on a platter; nobody was really happy with that.”

City Councillor Rob Consalvo, represents the Almont Park area, said that getting this done park was a clear demand from his constituents.  

“This is a victory for Mattapan and the residents,” said Consalvo.

Gareth Kincaid, head of the Colorado Street Citizens group, is happy that something is happening.  Pushing for improvements all over the neighborhood, Kincaid knows the community is in an uphill battle, but he is embracing that challenge.

“The bumble bee isn’t supposed to fly, but he doesn’t know any different,” said Kincaid, who has championed this section of Mattapan that he calls “Shangri-La.” “Because of the shape of his body and aerodynamics, according to the scientists and the big wheels; just like some of our neighborhoods, like Mattapan, but we’re making it fly.”