Walker Street Park prospects promising

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Two projects in North Beacon Hill, the Walker Street Park and Orchard and the North Beacon Hill Central Park, have scored in the top ten citywide among applications submitted for 2010 Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund grants, with the Walker Street Park achieving the status of “Staff recommended.” Eight North Beacon Hill projects were submitted in April to be considered for the grants. They were among 95 applications submitted city-wide, competing for $7 million in this funding cycle.

This week, Parks and Recreation released the results of the initial staff evaluations of the projects. You can read the criteria they used for scoring the projects here.

The Walker Street proposal is one of only 12 applications chosen as “staff recommended,” with the comment “Staff preference for funding in this neighborhood.” This does not guarantee that the proposal will be funded, but it is a good sign. All the other North Beacon projects, including the North Beacon Hill Central Park, are listed as “Lowest staff-ranked projects.” The Central Park is the highest-scoring project to be ranked as “lowest staff-ranked,” but the comments about it indicate some reasons for this: “Possible conflicts with Neighborhood Plan and City Council desire for increased density here.” Additionally, this would be a high-cost project, as would the Walker Street Park, and both are located in the same sector.

On Monday, June 28, the applicants have the opportunity to present their projects at the Levy Oversight Committee meeting. In September, there will be a public hearing on project prioritization and funding recommendations, and in January 2011, project funding recommendations will be given to the Mayor and City Council. The Council is expected to approve the recommendations in March, and the projects can begin implementation shortly afterward.

Thanks to Andrew Abian for the tip!