New Park on Children’s Wharf Will Honor Martin Richard
A patch of land on the waterfront, next to the Boston Children’s Museum, will soon transform into a park that will honor Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
The announcement came this morning from the Richard family, Mayor Marty Walsh, and Gov. Charlie Baker.
“These things don’t happen by accident. We are grateful to all who are involved, working together to turn an idea into reality,” said Martin’s father Bill Richard. “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.”
Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates, an acclaimed landscape architecture firm whose previous projects include the arrival landscape outside of the Boston Children’s Museum and a garden at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, will design the park with input from the community.
Fundraising is underway, with contributions already received from P&G Gillette, the Highland Street Foundation, and the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation.
The property on Children’s Wharf is currently owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, but will be transferred over to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to serve and be protected as a permanent public open space.
Carole Charnow, president and CEO of Boston Children’s Museum, said that the museum and its Fort Point neighbors have been trying to convert the property into a park for two decades.
“The opportunity to honor young Martin Richard adds a more meaningful dimension to this vision,” she said in the press release. “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.”
Groundbreaking for the new park is scheduled for spring 2016, and the opening is expected in 2017.
The Children’s Wharf project joins other memorials for Boston Marathon victims in the Boston area, including a Martin Richard statue at Bridgewater State University, a granite sculpture at MIT in honor of Officer Shawn Collier, and a peace garden in Medford in honor of Krystle Campbell.