Roxbury Houses Numerous Public Parks and Gardens

Written by Stephanie Pagones

Stephanie Pagones
BU News Service

Some Roxbury residents said the neighborhood’s parks offer an escape from the business of the neighborhood, and parks are especially busier during the summer.

Roxbury parks, such as Marcella Park (shown above) and Franklin Park, located on the border of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, offer a variety of activities and terrains for children and adults alike.

Marcella Park, located on Highland Street, features a tennis court, a basketball court, a baseball diamond and a jungle gym.

While Marcella Park was virtually empty Monday, Roxbury resident Daniel Simpsons, 59, who had been walking in Franklin Park at the time, said Marcella Park is much busier during the summer and when the children are not in school. For that reason, if he had any suggested changes for the City of Boston, Simpson said he had only one: “If they had the power to give us some more summertime [to spend in the park].”

 Franklin Park is located at the border of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

Franklin Park is located at the border of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

Simpson, who had been in Franklin Park at the time, said the parks offer various programs for children for tennis and baseball, to name a few.

“As long as it’s nice out, I’m here,” Simpson said.

Though summer has gone, Simpson still walks through Franklin Park regularly. Franklin Park, which encompasses 485 acres, features the Franklin Park Zoo, a 10,000 square feet space featuring more than 100 species of animals; the William J. Devine Golf Course, the second oldest golf course in the nation; White Stadium, tennis courts, basketball courts,  and a jungle gym, to name a few amenities.

Franklin Park offers basketball courts, as well as other amenities.

Franklin Park offers basketball courts, as well as other amenities.

“Even though we are close to civilization, it’s so tranquil,” he said. “Once you get inside, those trails, it’s like you’re not even in a town area. It’s real nice.”

Simpson also said he feels safe in Franklin Park until it gets dark, when he said the park, like any park, can be more dangerous for anyone.

Roxbury houses more than fifteen public parks and gardens, including Franklin and Marcella Parks, throughout the neighborhood. Although each offers different terrains, Franklin Park is the largest by far, and features many spaces not found at other nearby green spaces.

Yvonne Jones, of Roxbury, who would not divulge her age,  said that while she visits other parks at times, she spends four days per week in Franklin Park.

“If I had to choose, this would be my park of choice,” she said.

While she said litter and is not usually an issue, Jones recalls filing complaints with the city in the past over issues dealing with fallen trees and snow build-up.

“They can’t be everywhere, but they come out and they clean it,” Jones said.


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