New Two-Acre Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. Park Opens in East Cambridge

The City of Cambridge has announced the opening of the new Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. Park in East Cambridge, located on Rogers Street between Second Street and Third Street. The opening of the park is a milestone in the City’s efforts to simultaneously design and construct three new parks in the East Cambridge neighborhood. The dedication ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 2 at 10 a.m.

Through a unanimous vote of the City Council, this new two-acre park is named for City Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., a lifelong resident of the East Cambridge neighborhood. Councillor Toomey has served in public office for over 35 years as a member of the Cambridge School Committee, a Cambridge City Councillor, and a State Representative.

“I'm very humbled and honored for the recognition of service and the opportunity I've had to serve the Cambridge community,” said Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. “The opening of this beautiful park is the culmination of neighborhood residents' advocacy for open space, the hard work of my fellow City Councillors and City officials, and the donation of this land from Alexandria Real Estate. This is a grand achievement for East Cambridge and our community as a whole.”

“The City has a longstanding commitment to ensuring access to high-quality open space throughout the city,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “This stunning new park, which was once home to low-rise manufacturing buildings, is the result of the years of planning and community input. Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. Park is an amazing amenity for the East Cambridge community and the city, and it will serve as a vital neighborhood and civic gathering space. This park is a fitting tribute to Councillor Toomey for his decades of public service and lifelong commitment to East Cambridge.”

The new park features a play area designed for children of all ages, including a tot area with animal play sculptures and water and sand play areas near the Rogers Street edge of the park. A gradually sloping paved pathway winds up the constructed hill on the eastern portion of the park, where children and caretakers will find a variety of play features: basket swings, a wooden climbing structure, and slides embedded in the hillside beneath a shade structure.

The top of the hill features a whimsical playhouse modeled after a piping plover designed by the playground equipment creator MONSTRUM, which specializes in artistic playground designs.

The park also includes a newly constructed dog run, replacing a temporary facility that operated on the site prior to park construction.

A large open-air green is located at the center of the park, consisting of a flat area for field sports and a sloped lawn that can serve passive uses, or double as a sledding hill in the winter. There are three picnic areas located off of the park pathways and benches throughout the park. The park is extensively planted, with over 150 new trees as a part of this project, and planting areas are lined with boulders donated to the project by DivcoWest.

The park project also includes notable infrastructure features that will provide benefits to the wider community. One such feature is a charging and storage area for electric park maintenance equipment that made creative use of the newly-constructed hill. “The Department of Public Works is committed to deploying efforts to reduce the city’s environmental footprint in our park maintenance—not just for Toomey Park, but in other parks in the eastern part of the city as well,” said Public Works Commissioner Owen O’Riordan. “Having the necessary infrastructure to support green initiatives built into the project from the beginning will facilitate our crews' abilities to conduct park maintenance while reducing our carbon footprint.”

The park also features an extensive subsurface stormwater infiltration system. During large storm events, stormwater from the park and surrounding streets are diverted to this system, which is designed to capture and infiltrate over 76,000 gallons of water, helping to improve water quality by reducing runoff during storms.

 “It’s not often that we are able to build a new park from the ground up in Cambridge, and the team and community embraced the opportunity to make Toomey Park a space that both supports our work on resilience and sustainability and emphasizes creating spaces for neighbors to play together and connect with each other,” said Assistant City Manager for Community Development Iram Farooq. “This is truly a community effort. We’re excited to celebrate the new Toomey Park with neighbors and community members.”

Publicly accessible restrooms are available at the 75 Binney Street building across Rogers Street from the park. Metered parking is available on Second Street or Rogers Street. The park is open from dawn to dusk. The design of the park was led by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

For more information on Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. Park, visit, www.cambridgema.gov/toomeypark.

Page was posted on 9/20/2021 11:54 AM
Page was last modified on 9/20/2021 11:55 AM
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