The Neponset River, one of the three major tributaries into the Boston Harbor, has like most American waterways suffered from industrial overuse. Today, the State of Massachusetts, supported by innumerable community groups, activists and local politicians, is highly invested in returning the River Corridor to the public realm and reactivating it for recreation, alternative transportation, and ecological balance. Spanning a 4.5 mile stretch of the Neponset River, the target master plan area included a wide range of conditions from isolated natural areas to more densely developed urban neighborhoods. Despite these conditions, the River is largely hidden from view.
To redress this issue, the master plan includes a continuous riverfront path, recommendations for public/private partnerships to develop new open space, improved riverfront access, canoe landings, and designated conservation areas, as well as a wide range of recreation opportunities for the adjacent neighborhoods and region. The public involvement component of the project included a series of public workshops and a widely-distributed newsletter.
Construction of the first phase of the multi-use path, the Neponset River Esplanade, designed by CSS, was completed in 2010.