The long campaign by residents of Dorchester’s Port Norfolk neighborhood and fellow advocates (including NepRWA) to turn a fenced off industrial site into a beautiful public waterfront park has come to fruition.
On May 6, community members and an impressive cast of dignitaries were on hand for the dedication of Senator Joseph Finnegan Park. Commonly known as the Shaffer Paper Site, the property had been used for a variety of industrial purposes since the mid 1800’s.
The the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation acquired the property in 1986, and it has been largely mothballed and fenced off since.
Totaling 15 acres on the Neponset River Estuary, near Taylor and Walnut Streets in Dorchester (MAP), the new park makes a wonderful addition to the Neponset Greeway. It provides sweeping views of the Neponset Estuary looking toward Quincy and the Quincy RiverWalk, near the Mouth of the Neponset River, just downstream of Pope John Paul II Park. The Neponset Greenway trail passes through the new park on its way toward Tenean Beach and the Boston Harbor Walk.
On hand for the event were Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, MA Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy, along with Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Representative Dan Hunt, and City Councilor Frank Baker – along with many members of Joseph Finnegan’s family.
Also on hand for the celebration were many of the local advocates, as well as NepRWA Board Members Martha McDonough, Jerry Hopcroft and Rory McGregor.