Braintree's Monatiquot Riverwalk project has been selected for a technical assistance grant by the National Park Service, which should help the town transform an unused industrial property and connect it to commercial and recreational areas along the river.
U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch and Mayor Joseph Sullivan recently announced the award for the Braintree project, one of only two accepted this year in Massachusetts, according to a statement from Lynch's office.
"Once again Congressman Lynch has advocated strongly for Braintree,” Sullivan said in the statement. "This Riverwalk project will be a great recreational asset to our East Braintree area and protect our waterfront for generations to come."
East Braintree has been the focus of a major push for redevelopment and revitalization lately, with ongoing or planned projects at , and the on Allen Street.
With that in mind, local officials, landscape designers and neighbors came together earlier this year with an eye on the waterfront, starting with the Monatiquot River and heading out into the Fore River. Their goal, which received an injection of support from the in June, is to connect the neighborhood and create a hub of environmental, cultural and economic activity.
A preliminary plan produced by Gamble Associates and Shaffer & Associates shows a proposed path combining with existing walkways to provide walking areas for residents through East Braintree/Weymouth Landing, down Commercial Street, along the river paralleling Allen Street, back to the street to go around the yacht club and reconnecting at Watson Park and heading out to Smith Beach.
"The National Park Service is proud to support such capable partners and eager to help contribute to enhancing the Monatiquot Riverwalk in Braintree," said Charlie Tracy, director of the NPS River & Trails program in Massachusetts. "We were especially impressed by all the support letters we received from the community."
Added Lynch, "I congratulate Mayor Sullivan and the Town of Braintree for all their hard work in securing this technical assistance through such a competitive process."
This year, 52 projects in the Northeast region were selected to receive technical assistance from the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. In 2011, program efforts helped over 175 communities leverage $1.65 million in funds for targeted projects.