With the design for Martin’s Park next to the Boston Children’s Museum nearly complete, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department is gearing up to accept bids to build the park in honor of Martin Richard—the 8-year-old boy who was killed in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
“Our goal is late January for the design to go out to bid,” says Ryan Woods, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s director of external affairs.
Being designed by landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.—the same firm that designed the Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City—the waterfront park will include a series of one-story high slides with city views, a water play garden, a group swing and a large wooden play ship. There will also be logs and rocks to climb as well as a performance space and upgraded benches on the Harbowalk along the Fort Point Channel.
Chris Donohue, senior associate at Michael Van Valkenburgh, said a partnership with the Children’s Museum allowed his team to design the park “up and over an existing parking lot, expanding the park boundary.” He said the design will give park users an elevated view of the Boston skyline over Fort Point Channel.
“Together we have developed a plan for an inclusive and accessible destination playground for the City of Boston—one that provides a wide variety of opportunities for creative and dramatic play for children of all abilities,” Donohue said.
The approximately $13 million park is almost entirely funded privately, including funds for maintenance. Donohue said the project is currently about $3 million shy of its goal.
A key organizer of the project is Martin’s father, Bill Richard, who was a vice president at environmental engineering firm EST Associates, Needham, Mass. until last year when he left to focus on the Martin Richard Foundation. Richard, who is a member of the Boston chapter of the Society of American Military Engineers, was also a board member at Resource Options Inc., a placement firm for temporary and permanent construction positions. Richard was injured, along with his wife and a daughter, who lost a leg. Richard could not be reached.
“It has been an honor to collaborate with the Richard Family and the City of Boston in creating a park that celebrates and remembers the lives of Martin Richard and all of those lost in the 2013 Boston Marathon,” Donohue said, adding that park groundbreaking will be in the spring and completion in 2018.
Woods said interested bidders can contact the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s contract manager at 617-635-4505.
Secure donations for the project can be made at the MR8 Foundation website. Donations of $10,000 or higher can be directed to The Fund for Parks & Recreation in Boston 501 (c)3 charitable foundation for Boston Parks) at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston, Ma.