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Future of Dartmouth Park Up For Discussion

Landscaping and safety issues to be the focus of Wednesday night meeting.

A meeting to discuss the future of the Dartmouth Pocket Park will be held Wednesday evening at the Haley House, just down the street from the tiny shaded space.

The meeting will focus on landscaping improvements and safety issues at the park, which is owned and managed by the South End/Lower Roxbury Open Space Land Trust. The possibility of forming a "Friends" group will also be discussed.

Measuring a mere seven-tenths of an acre, the Dartmouth Pocket Park is one of the smallest parks in the South End. Instead of flowers, mature trees grow within its boundaries, and a gravel path leads to a lower seating area.

According to one neighbor, who has lived in a condo next door for the past nine years, the park attracts a different demographic than most local gardens, which has led to noise complaints from nearby residents.

"This place is mainly used by homeless and alcoholics," said Pierre Bonin, adding that he occasionally engages in conversation with park visitors and has never experienced a disturbance.

"I've never had a problem in nine years," he said, "but I understand that people could be a little more sensitive."

One thing Bonin does not want to see is disruption of the park's "mini forest."

"I don't want one tree taken down," he said. "This is unique."

Residents are invited to share their opinions and suggestions for the park's future on Wednesday, Oct 6 at 7pm at the Haley House kitchen. Attendees are asked to enter the Haley House building using the Montgomery Street entrance.

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