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Franklin Park Playground to Receive Upgrades After Youth Vote

City youths determined how to spend $1 million of the city's capital budget.

Credit: Youth Lead the Change: Participatory Budgeting Boston
Credit: Youth Lead the Change: Participatory Budgeting Boston

The Franklin Park playground and picnic area is set to receive infrastructure upgrades and repairs after it was among several projects to win a "Youth Lead the Change" budget initiative. 

As part of the effort, youths from around the city were instructed by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh's Youth Council how to create guidelines from the voting process and to develop a ballot, which included 14 different projects. 

Polls were subsequently set up at local train stations, youth centers and school buildings and youths determined how to spend $1 million of the city's capital budget. More than 1,500 eligible votes were cast by Boston residents aged 12 to 25 years, according to city officials. 

"I was extremely impressed by the projects that made it onto the ballot," Walsh said in a statement. "The winning projects will make positive and meaningful change in the lives of Boston residents throughout the City. The City budget is not taken lightly, and these young people were dedicated and passionate, becoming a driving force in the way our community process is run. This is only the beginning, and I look forward to seeing all of the great things our young Boston leaders have lined up for the future."

Voters selected up to four projects on the ballots, which were divided into the categories of streets and safety, parks/environment/health, community and culture and education. 

The Franklin Park playground and picnic area project will include infrastructure upgrades and repairs to the American Legion Picnic Grove playground to better serve children with disabilities. Renovations will include the following:

  • Installation of exercise equipment for park goers of all ages (pending community and landmark approvals)
  • Swings, modern slides, monkey bars, a jungle gym and go-green exercise equipment. 
  • Benches positioned closer to play area; parents will be able to monitor children. 
  • The resurfacing of playground foundation; softer grounds for safety purposes. 
For more information, visit facebook.com/youthleadthechange.

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