By Tom Nash
The Board of Aldermen expressed frustration last week at the state’s lack of care for the park space it owns in Somerville, suggesting wealthier communities get better treatment.
The state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation is responsible for recreation areas around the Mystic River and Foss Park, in addition to Dilboy Field and Alewife Brook Reservation. At the board’s March 25 meeting, aldermen said they are tired of the areas being ignored.
“As far as I'm concerned, they maintain none of it,” Ward 1 Alderman Bill Roche said. “It doesn't get cleared unless we call.”
Other aldermen expressed concern as well, noting the state began caring for Foss Park only after heavy advocacy from neighbors. Ward 4 Alderman Walter Pero said residents crossing over the Mystic River into Medford can’t understand why Somerville’s side isn’t kept clean, while Alderman-at-Large Dennis Sullivan said his walks around the Mystic are memorable for the trash he encounters.
“It’s disgusting, quite frankly,” Sullivan said. “We shouldn’t be having to call to tell (DCR) to cut the grass.”
Ward 7 Alderman Bob Trane added that last summer’s Little League games were hampered by grass too tall to play in.
Roche put in an order asking the city’s public works department to obtain the Department of Conservation of Recreation’s schedule of clean-ups statewide.
“I expect it to be followed,” Roche added. “If we were in Wellesley or Waltham, we wouldn't be putting theses orders in. It would be done automatically.”