MATTAPAN, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A project to turn a popular community wading pool into a splash pad in Mattapan has been put on hold after objections from the community.
Many Mattapan residents opposed a Department of Conservation and Recreation plan to convert the wading pool at Ryan Playground in Mattapan into a splash pad. State Representative Brandy Fluker Oakley, who represents Suffolk District, said the community was frustrated they were not included in the decision as public places to swim are limited.
"This park over the summer is always crowded, we have a lack of access to pools in general, for those who might not be able to get their infants into swimming lessons the wading pool is a great way to introduce them to water so we want to keep this and we want this here in our community," State Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley told WBZ's Chris Fama.
The community responded to the DCR's plan with significant outcry at a public hearing and through an online petition that has received just under 700 signatures. Concerned residents and community leaders attended a virtual public hearing on October 5 expressing their concerns to DCR officials.
"Our work as residents and constituents isn't done, we still have to show up and make sure that we're making our case known, but I also think it's an opportunity to really think about what this community needs," said State Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley.
In a press release, Representative Oakley said DCR estimated changes will not begin for a year, potentially two, and will include a community advisory board on the design of the project.