Emmanuel and City of Boston to Renovate Clemente Field
February 06, 2009
Emmanuel College has established a partnership with the City of Boston to upgrade Roberto Clemente Field, a city-owned field located across the street from the Emmanuel College campus. This comprehensive restoration will result in a brand-new facility that will benefit the Fenway neighborhood and Boston Public Schools, as well as serve as the new home field location for Boston Latin School and Emmanuel College athletic teams.
“The partnership is particularly important in these difficult economic times and we appreciate Emmanuel’s willingness to assist. This will provide a terrific state-of-the-art field for Boston Public School children, the neighborhood and Emmanuel,” said Boston Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak.
The renovation will include an upgraded 120,000 sq. ft. NCAA-regulation synthetic turf field, a three-lane rubberized all-weather track, practice facilities for expanded track and field events, new MUSCO lighting, scoreboard, spectator stands and benches for handicapped seating. With the planned removal of the southern spectator stands and planting of new trees, community members will be able to enjoy additional green space for picnicking and quiet relief, in addition to an enhanced view of the winding Muddy River. The renovation project is supported in part by a grant from the Yawkey Foundations.
“Emmanuel College is pleased to partner with the city on the renovation of Roberto Clemente Field,” said President Sister Janet Eisner, SND. “Emmanuel has a long tradition of giving service to the wider community, and we hope that this renovation will enable more members of the Boston community, including our students and our neighbors, to appreciate and use this historic treasure.”
“The Trustees of the Yawkey Foundations are pleased to be involved with this worthwhile project. Renovating Clemente Field is consistent with the Yawkey legacy of supporting and celebrating quality youth and amateur baseball and softball programs throughout the region,” said James P. Healey, President and Trustee of the Yawkey Foundations.
Clemente Field is located in the Back Bay Fens area of Boston and is part of the city’s 1,100-acre chain of parks and waterways known as the Emerald Necklace. Designed in the late 19th century by Frederick Law Olmsted, the Emerald Necklace was meant to serve the city as a place for both relaxation and recreation. At the foundation of his plan to develop the Back Bay Fens was a desire to eradicate the pollution plaguing the area, all the while remain true to “both the character of the land and the needs of the growing population.”
Although over time the area has undergone change, most notably through the damming of the Charles River in 1910 and the addition of new features designed by landscape architect Arthur Shurtcliff, Olmsted’s vision of creating a park that meets the needs of its owners, the people of Boston, remains strong. It is hoped that through this new partnership between Emmanuel College and the City of Boston that the current renovation will preserve the park to be utilized by generations of city residents to come.
For the past 20 years, meanwhile, the Emmanuel College softball team has called Clemente Field home. The Saints’ soccer and track and field teams also use the field for daily practice. For many team members through the years, Clemente Field has not only had a significant impact on their development as athletes, but on their experience as Emmanuel College students as a whole. The College community looks forward to the restoration of the facility and its enhancement to the neighborhood of the Fenway.
Construction will begin in mid-March and is to be completed this summer. Residents of The Fenway may obtain a copy of the construction schedule through the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.