Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park

About the Park

The development vision created by the MHNHS community planning process for the Ledge Site included the transformation of upper portion of the Ledge Site into a new 5.5 acre passive park, originally named Puddingstone Park after the stone quarried from the site.  On November 18, 2006 family, friends and colleagues joined together to name Puddingstone Park the Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park.  The Park is dedicated to Kevin’s passionate leadership as Mission Hill’s State Representative from 1974 to 2002 and to honor his unwavering commitment to the residents and community of Mission Hill.

A Park Master Plan has been created to help guide future improvements. Contributions are welcome from institutions, corporations and individuals. Items available include memorial bricks at the St. Alphonsus entranceway, park benches along a path, trees, and puddingstone rock gardens with shrubs, grasses and flowers. All donations are acknowledged with a plaque on the individual item or on the Donor’s Plaque placed in the Park.

Funds raised from the Annual Mission Hill 5K Road Race, held on the third Saturday in September, are also used to support improvements in the Park.

To become a part of this unique Park and to discuss making a contribution please call Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services at 617-566-6565.

Fitzgerald Park Master Plan.JPG

The Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park, envisioned by the residents of Mission Hill, offers an unique experience. As you approach the Park from St. Alphonsus Street you’re greeted with a landscaped lawn area that includes a bed of annuals, rhododendron, and Spring flowering white fringe trees. You enter the Park under a grand steel archway supported by puddingstone piers constructed from stone from this site. Walking the paths you see boulders of puddingstone surrounded by wild flowers. A gentle path takes you to the top of the park with a lawn area and benches offering you the opportunity to enjoy the dramatic views of Boston’s skyline. Continuing your walk down a winding path you experience the stone walls of the original 1843 stone quarry with fields of poppies on sloping meadows. Your final destination is the retail shops at One Brigham Circle and the grand stair down to Mission Hill’s new neighborhood center connecting you to Brigham Circle and the City of Boston.

The Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park was constructed by the One Brigham Circle development project.  Funding for the Park was provided by the Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust and One Brigham Cirlce LLC. The Park is owned by Friends of Puddingstone Park, Inc., a nonprofit corporation.

Annual Mission Hill Road Race

Mission Hill NHS organizes the Mission Hill Road Race as a fundraiser and a community-building event for the neighborhood. The Road Race begins and ends at the Kevin Fitzgerald Park, and this 5k weaves throughout Mission Hill. Racers can register online before the event, or register that morning with our volunteers. Those who choose to run the race compete for the fastest time in their age group, with all the winners at the end receiving medals. Institutions and organizations compete with each other not for the fastest time, but for the most runners, walkers, and volunteers they are able to pull into the event. The Pudding Pot prize is awarded to the group with the most people participating. After the race is over, Mission Hill residents come together as a community for food, music, and a medal ceremony at Kevin Fitzgerald Park. Participants receive a t-shirt a to show that they completed the Mission Hill Road Race!

Proceeds raised from the Mission Hill Road Race have funded many important and community-oriented capital improvements and programming at the Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park, including stairways, security cameras, dog park, concerts, and even a bee program.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we were not able to have the traditional Road Race in 2020. Instead, we opted to do a socially distanced event where people were able to run or walk the race route on their own schedules and submit photos of their participation. In place of the traditional Race Day T-shirt, those who participated in 2020 were awarded the certificate pictured below.

Why a Yellow Submarine?

Representative Fitzgerald was often known to belt out his own rendition of the Beatles’ “YELLOW SUBMARINE” (“We all Live in a Yellow Submarine...”) as he worked tirelessly on behalf of Mission Hill’s residents. All these years later, we learned just how true these lyrics were, when we discovered that the MHRR route, which so many runners, walkers, and riders have traveled and which so many volunteers from the neighborhood, local institutions and colleges, Fitz family and friends and the City of Boston, have all participated in and supported in his honor, really IS in the shape of a submarine!! How awesome is that?

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From Trees to Bees

It started with bees in order to promote sustainability at One Brigham Circle. The MHNHS board voted to add a couple of hives to the park in partnership with AEW/Lincoln Properties, under the care of the Best Bees company (bestbees.com). Pollinating insects are great for the health of many plants, and essential for most food crops; and bees and other pollinators struggle to survive in an urban setting. So we saw the bees as something that would be good for all the gardens on the hill. We had the added benefit of honey and harvested our first Puddingstone Park Honey in Fall of 2020.
 

With the bees in place we needed to add flowering plants, for a long season of nectar. We started small, adding native plants to the retention basin in the park. Not only did this provide a food source for the bees; it also created a small area that functioned a lot like a bioswale or a rain garden – a low-lying planted area that helps the ground absorb rainwater and prevent unwanted runoff. Here’s hoping that this can serve as a model to promote more bioswales on the hill.

To help with the planting, we got student volunteers from Northeastern University: we also got advice from Chuck Doughty, their head of landscaping. We learned that under his guidance, Northeastern’s campus had been certified as an arboretum; and Mr. Doughty thought we might want to do the same in Fitzgerald Park. That seemed like just the right project: it will add trees to the park, with labels to help visitors identify them, and help us promote the importance of trees and green space in the urban ecosystem.

From bees to an arboretum. Ideas grow just like plants do.

Park Hours

  • Summer:  Memorial Day Weekend to September 30th – 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM

  • All Other Times: 6:00 AM to Dusk

  • The Park will be closed whenever ice or snow is present

  • No Admittance when Park is closed

  • All Dogs must be leashed – please use Puddingstone Dog Park for off leash dog walking

  • Please clean up after your dog

  • Please use the trash receptacles

  • Please walk your bicycle in the Park

  • The following are not permitted in the Park:

    • Alcohol, open fires or barbecues

    • Skate boarding, roller blades and ball playing

    • Motorized vehicles or scooters

    • Vendors

  • Please call 911 for emergency service

  • Take responsibility for your safety and belongings

  • Use of Park is at your own risk

  • Thank you for your cooperation Friends of Puddingstone Park, Inc.

Call MHNHS at 617-566-6565 for more information.

Park Rules and Regulations