Keith Park Redevelopment
The City of Brockton has received PARC Grant from the Commonwealth to help fund the final design and construction of an extensive renovation of the George E. Keith Park. Originally acquired by the City in 1952, it is a 1.5 acre passive recreational park. It is managed by the Brockton Parks and Recreation Department. The park’s current configuration dates to about 1950’s, and very few of the facilities have been upgraded in the intervening 60+ years. As a result, the park’s facilities are in various states of disrepair, making it a magnet for graffiti and illicit behavior. The park also inadequately serves the needs of Brockton’s current population, which has changed dramatically in the last few decades. The City has been financially unable to make improvements to any park. However, the neighborhood’s depressed land values and issues with crime combined with its close proximity to downtown makes investment in amenities here a foremost City priority.
The park currently serves as a passive recreational area containing predominantly lawn areas with sloping terraces. There is a tree-lined, bluestone-paved promenade that leads to a monument to honor George E. Keith. The remainder of the park contains walkways, period lighting and benches. The overall condition of the park is; the perimeter of the park is lined with various stone walls, chain link and historic character fence and a limited number of street trees. The park is located in a dense residential neighborhood that is well served by public transit but few other public amenities. Two Brockton Area Transit (BAT) bus routes serve the park.
The proposed project is to renovate the park to better serve the needs of the diverse community, while respecting the historic character of the park. The park will be upgraded to improve the accessibility and walkability of the off-street sidewalk network. The park design process will include public input sessions with the Keith Park Neighborhood, a designated Minority Environmental Justice Community and Brockton Redevelopment Authority reinvestment area. After extensive public outreach, which will include leveraging social resources in the Cape Verdean and Haitian community, the City will host two planning charettes, which will include translation, to incorporate the wishes of all stakeholders in the redesign of Keith Park.
Improvements are anticipated to include: tree replacement and increased tree canopy, improved sidewalks and paths, replacement benches, memorial fountain restoration, gazebo bandstand, accessible parking, improved lighting, trash receptacles, and other features desired by the community. A preliminary plan was developed; however, a revised design will be developed to incorporate public input.