Mayor, Officials Celebrate Reimagined Ashley Park

$1.7 Million Renovation is Latest Investment in Goulart Square Neighborhood

NEW BEDFORDMayor Jon Mitchell and other City officials joined Goulart Square neighbors Monday morning to celebrate the renovation of Ashley Park. The ribbon-cutting ceremony capped the year-long $1.7 million project to reimagine the key public space in the heart of one of the City’s most historic and diverse neighborhoods.

From a new entrance area at the corner of Rivet and Orchard streets to new pathways and enhanced green space, the renovation project is the latest example of the Mitchell administration’s focus on providing safe, well-maintained, and aesthetically pleasing parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities.

The City secured $1.7 million in Community Development Block Grant funding through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development to finance the project.

“The reimagined Ashley Park exemplifies our commitment to high design standards for public spaces in every neighborhood,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “I want to thank our federal delegation for supporting the CDBG program, which helped fund the project.”

Park upgrades include reworked pathways around and within the park, a new prominent entrance at the corner of Rivet and Orchard streets, and new lighting, benches, and landscaping throughout. The underutilized softball field along Orchard Street was replaced with new green space for passive and active recreation.

The completed park will be managed by the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Beaches, and maintained by the Department of Public Infrastructure.

The City’s Office of Housing & Community Development partnered with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Beaches to plan the renovation. Crowley Cottrell, a renowned landscape architecture firm, engaged with neighborhood stakeholders in designing the new park, and local contractor P.A. Landers did the construction work over the last year.

The improved Ashley Park is one of many significant developments in the Goulart Square neighborhood recently. A new elementary school will be built in the coming years to replace the Congdon and DeValles schools, and NorthStar Learning has already broken ground on a new early education center. Additionally, the playground at Ashley Park at the corner of Swift and Orchard streets will be completely remodeled from the ground up over the next year.

“Our team is thrilled to breathe new life into Ashley Park and the beloved Goulart Square neighborhood,” Director of the City’s Office of Housing & Community Development Joshua Amaral said. “This first-rate park raises the quality of life for area residents and will usher in additional community-focused developments in educational, housing, and commercial facilities.”

“Ashley Park is well-loved by the Goulart Square neighbors and residents throughout the South End,” Director of the City’s Parks, Recreation & Beaches Department Mary Rapoza said. “The department is excited to showcase the improvements during out Summer Eats program in the park, and with the activation of the Ashley Park Community Center for youth programming.”