With Protesters Gone, Crews Work To Restore Greenway

Workers use an air spade to aerate the soil in Dewey Square, Sunday. (Kathleen McNerney/WBUR)

Workers use an air spade to aerate the soil in Dewey Square, Sunday. (Kathleen McNerney/WBUR)

BOSTON — A teeming tent city in Dewey Square is gone. In its place is about three-quarters of an acre of dirt.

Crews from the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy moved in just hours after the police arrested 46 protesters and cleared the Occupy Boston encampment early Saturday morning. They started by pumping air back into soil that had been compacted by the weight of dozens of tents over the past 10 weeks, and adding organic compost. On Monday, crews will lay down sod.

Greenway Executive Director Nancy Brennan said she hopes to have the park open to the public by Thursday or earlier.

“Two weeks from now, it will look green. It will be completely open to the public to use for casual enjoyment,” Brennan said. “I’m looking forward to having everybody out here building snowmen soon.”

Brennan said she will have a better idea of the full price tag in the coming days, but estimates the cost will run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Brennan said the space is still central for civic engagement.

“Occupy Boston is a piece of the Greenway’s history, piece of Boston’s history, and it will ever be thus,” Brennan said. “But this is an expression that should be without the limitations of a small three-quarter acre of park.”

She said the entire Greenway, like many public parks, will always play a central role in civic engagement.

Click “Listen Now” for the full conversation with Nancy Brennan.

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  • Gardener Gary

    In two weeks we’ll be post Christmas time… it shouldn’t be “green” there… Why not wait to do this work in the very early Spring?

  • Anonymous

    How much will the repairs cost? 

    Did the occupiers donate any of the money they raised towards the repairs?

    • post doc in Boston

      I totally agree with the Occupy Movement’s ideals and wishes.  However, damaging public land and effectively punishing a municipality with increased work load and expenditure to maintain property is not acceptable and will not lead to a change in equity between the 99% (of which I am a member) and the wealthy 1%.  

      We all pay property taxes which pay for municipal services either directly as land owners or indirectly as tenants.   I wonder if Occupy Boston will raise funds for the repair of public property or pay for police presence and trash removal required during the occupation of the square.

  • P. Owner

    The radio comments by Conservancy Exec. Dir. Nancy Brennan this morning fail to dispel the impression that the Greenway exists merely to be “pretty.”  The rush to repair the Occupy Boston site only reinforces the notion
    that the Gr$$nway is aptly named for one of its leadership’s principal concerns.  As demonstrated by Occupy Boston,  the Greenway could be so much more.  It could be, for example, a space where people exercise their constitutional right to free speech, not just their ability to stroll.  A Speaker’s Corner at Dewey Square might honor the Occupy encampment and allow for the civic engagement role for the Greenway mentioned by Ms. Brennan.  

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