Latest News (April 2008)
2004 Greenway Festival
Neponset Trail Map
Neponset River Masterplan
Crossing Granite Avenue
BNAN Neponset Page
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Division of Urban Parks owns much of the shoreline as the Neponset River Reservation, including an abandoned railway line which has become the ISTEA-funded Neponset Trail, a rail-trail from the mouth of the estuary at Tenean Beach in the Port Norfolk neighborhood of Dorchester, through the Pope John Paul II Park, along a salt marsh, then parallelling the "High Speed Line" trolley toward Mattapan, as part of the Lower Neponset River Masterplan.
Pope John Paul II Park, next to the Southeast Expressway on the estuary of the river, which contains 1/4-mile of the Trail, opened on May 1, 2001. The rest of the trail, downstream to Port Norfolk and upstream to Central Ave. in Milton, had to be cleared of contaminated soil which was found along much of the railroad right of way. Construction went out to bid in April 2001, and bids were received by May 2. Construction started in September 2001, and by January 2002, the trail was paved except for a stretch along the salt marsh. Paving of that segment, with a permeable pavement resembling crushed stone, was completed during the second week of October 2002. The last piece of this segment, a traffic light where the trail crosses Granite Ave., was completed by the fall of 2006.
An extension along the river all the way to Paul's Bridge in
Readville at the southern edge of the city is currently being planned by
the Department of Conservation and Recreation. On Earth Day 2008, Governor
Patrick announced that construction would soon begin on the "Neponset
River Esplanade," from Mattapan Square to Paul's Bridge, the plan for
which was completed in June of 2006. The segment from Readville to
Mattapan between the Truman Parkway and the Neponset River is under
construction in the fall of 2009 (see photos).
Here is the latest plan, as of June 15, 2006 as a 1,470,966-byte PDF file.
Another future extension along the harbor almost to Columbia Point, where the Neponset estuary becomes Boston Harbor, would have run from Victory Road in Dorchester to Morrissey Boulevard on an easement between the Boston Gas tank and the Southeast Expressway. It was designed and funding came through in the fall of 2001, but post-9/11 security concerns about the trail being too close to a gas transmission facility cancelled the project for the foreseeable future.
A path along the Mother Brook, a major tributary of the Neponset in Dedham and Hyde Park, has been studied, but is not going to happen soon.
The Neponset River Watershed includes all or portions of the communities of Boston, Canton, Dedham, Dover, Foxboro, Medfield, Milton, Norwood, Quincy, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, and Westwood.
The Boston Natural Areas Network (formerly the Boston Natural Areas Fund) and The Trust for Public Land had sequential 4-year and 3-year grants to develop community support and a vision for a greenway in support of the MDC's (and now DCR's) ongoing projects. The BNAN continues to work to build public support for a greenway from the mouth of the river in Dorchester, through Mattapan and Milton to Readville, Boston's southernmost neighborhood.
Last updated December 3, 2009