BOSTON, MA: Thursday, December 10, 2015 – Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Governor Charlie Baker and the Richard Family announced a new park at Children’s Wharf honoring Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings. Located adjacent to Boston Children’s Museum, the park will be designed by the acclaimed landscape architecture firm, Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates. The property, currently owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, will be remediated and transferred to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to be protected as permanent public open space.
“These things don’t happen by accident. We are grateful to all who are involved, working together to turn an idea into reality”, said Bill Richard, Martin’s father. “The location, next to Children’s Museum, is perfect. The design will be something special and will attract children, families, and visitors from around the world.”
“Martin’s message of peace and love of life serves as an inspiration for all of us,” said Mayor Walsh. “I thank all of our partners who have contributed to this important initiative, and especially the Richard family, whose strength and commitment to bettering our community exemplifies the spirit of our city.”
“We are honored to make this land available and be a part of this wonderful new space where children, their families and the people of Boston can honor the life of a truly remarkable child,” said Governor Baker.
A fundraising effort is already underway for the park, which is expected to be designed throughout 2016 and constructed in 2017. Early contributors to the park include P&G Gillette, the Highland Street Foundation, and the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation.
The City of Boston looks forward to engaging in a community process to discuss the design of the park with the neighborhood.
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) has completed park designs across North America and has cultivated an expertise in sustainability and waterfront infrastructure. MVVA is well known for making original imaginative and inspiring places for people of all ages. Some of their completed projects include the arrival landscape outside of Boston Children’s Museum, a Garden at the Gardner Museum in Boston, Teardrop Park in Manhattan, NY and Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, NY.
“We are proud to help sponsor a new park that will celebrate Martin Richard’s life while encouraging young children in Boston to build health and confidence through play,” said Kara Buckley, Global Grooming Communications Leader, P&G. “What a perfect tribute for a special little boy.”
“The Richard Family has made a profound impact on the heart and spirit of our city and it is honor to play a very small role in the creation of Children’s Wharf Park honoring Martin Richard,” said Blake Jordan, Executive Director of the Highland Street Foundation.
“For over 100 years, Boston Children’s Museum has been a place of learning, play, discovery, and community for over 25 million children and their families,” said Carole Charnow, President & CEO Boston Children’s Museum. “For two decades, the Museum and its Fort Point neighbors have envisioned a park that would carry this mission from bridge to bridge. The opportunity to honor young Martin Richard adds a more meaningful dimension to this vision. Martin dreamt of a world of kindness and peace, and with Martin as its inspiration this park will be a beautiful, vibrant, and fun destination for all, and a solace to those who seek peace and comfort. We are privileged to help make this dream come true.”