Buttonwood Pond welcomes swan paddleboats

New Bedford, Massachusetts— The City of New Bedford and La Gondola, Inc. launched swan paddleboats at Buttonwood Park’s pond today, offering a fun new recreation activity to one of the city’s most historic and cherished parks.

Buttonwood Pond is now home to six swan paddleboats, which will officially open for rides tomorrow, Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The boats are operated by La Gondola, Inc., which since 2004 also operates swan paddleboats at Roger Williams Park in Providence, R.I. The company’s owners and operators, Allen and Cynthia Days, approached the City about establishing a swan boat concession in New Bedford at Buttonwood Park, and have worked with City departments to plan the program and tailor it to the City.

“We are very pleased to welcome La Gondola and their swan paddleboats to New Bedford, and we thank Cynthia and Allen Days for their interest in bringing their paddleboat business to the city,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “The swan boats are a great new addition to Buttonwood Park that will provide residents and visitors with a unique new opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the park, an historic and beautiful New Bedford landmark designed by the highly respected landscape architect Charles Eliot of Olmsted, Olmsted and Eliot in the late nineteenth century.”

Cynthia Days, who owns and operates La Gondola, Inc. along with her husband Allen, said, “Buttonwood Park provides an ideal setting for swan paddleboats. It offers good, wholesome entertainment for families as well as a relaxing setting for couples.”

The white swan boats can easily be operated by just one person and can accommodate up to four passengers, depending on size; life jackets will be provided. Swan boat service will officially open for rides this Saturday, April 14. Operating hours will be weekends, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m, April 14, 2018 through September 30, 2018, and daily during public school vacations, weather permitting. Ride rates are $5 for children and $10 for adults, with a portion of the fees going toward improving and maintaining open water habitat, maintaining water quality and providing safe recreational access to the pond. Page 2 of 2

About Buttonwood Park

A 97-acre multi-use park, Buttonwood Park was initially planned in the 1890s by Charles Eliot of the famous landscape architectural firm of Olmsted, Olmsted and Eliot. Comprised of both active and passive recreation areas, with forest, fields and a large pond, it is also home to one of the finest small zoos in the country. Retaining its historic landscapes, the park is a National Historic Register District, and has evolved to meet the needs of the community; with ball fields, tennis courts, a universal accessible playground, a community center, library, and walking paths, and brand new basketball courts that are a major attraction.

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