The City of Malden has received a $400,000 grant for improvements at Devir Park on Fellsway West, the maximum award amount under the state’s competitive Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant program, administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
The grant will be used to revitalize Malden’s largest park to meet today’s needs for the residents of Malden and the many youth organizations that use the 8.1 acre Devir Park every year. The proposed project will provide safe and accessible green space and recreational activities to Malden residents. The project also calls for the planting of more than 60 new trees, more clearly defined park entrances, new accessible walkways throughout the park, an accessible loop walkway with benches and shade trees that will connect various park destinations. Fitness stations will be dispersed along the southern portion of the loop walk. The baseball fields in the western portion of the site will be removed and a new regulation women’s softball field will be constructed. The grassed recreation fields will be expanded to accommodate a regulation high school soccer field and will also accommodate U-8 soccer fields. The playground will be completely replaced with defined areas and new play equipment suitable for ages 2-5 and 5-12 with new accessible, resilient rubber safety surfacing. A new splash pad will also be installed as well as new benches, bicycle racks and lights throughout the park. The improvement project will be accomplished in two phases, the first of which will cost approximately $3 million.
The City of Malden and its stakeholders held several walk throughs and meetings with residents, City Councillors, the Mayor’s office and the Malden Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development which is overseeing this improvement project. There were three highly attended public meetings where residents participated in-person and via zoom and were given several opportunities to give input that helped shape the final master plan for the park.
“This project reinvests in Malden’s largest park by improving this great recreational asset for future generations,” said Mayor Gary Christenson. The City is seeking to combine bond funding with other local and state sources to undertake the first two phases.
“Devir Park has evolved over the years from a neighborhood park to one enjoyed by children and adults from across the City,” said Councillor Paul Condon. “I’m grateful that we have programs like PARC grants and funding sources such as the Community Preservation Fund so that large scale projects like this can become a reality. I want to thank Mayor Christenson for recognizing the value in the project and making a substantial financial commitment to make it a reality. Thank you to co-chair Jenelle DeVits and the Devir Park Revitalization Committee as this project will be a shining example of what can happen when residents and government officials work together.”
"This is a great example of how our community can come together to accomplish a shared goal and I am thankful to the many residents of Ward 2, and Malden at large, that voiced their opinions and provided feedback and support," said Jenelle DeVits.
Shadley Associates, landscape architects and site planning consultants, is currently working on the final design plans for the first two phases.