Olympic Gold Medalists Mike Eruzione and Kristine Lilly and Professional Athletes Chris Tierney and Emily Field Join Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for Official Campaign Kick Off
On Monday, March 21st, Mayor Marty Walsh and Olympic gold medalists Mike Eruzione, Kristine Lilly, and professional athletes Chris Tierney and Emily Field gathered with elected officials and civic and business leaders from the Jamaica Plain community to launch a campaign to build the Jackson Square Recreation Center in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. Urban Edge, based in Roxbury, is a community development organization committed to creating and sustaining stable, healthy, and diverse communities in both Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.
Urban Edge has spearheaded the process of building a facility that will provide recreational space and after school activities for children living in the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury neighborhoods. This two-story center will consist of a regulation-size ice rink on the first floor, a turf field on the second floor, and a space dedicated to academics and socializing.
The initial idea for the center came from the community, which recognized that young children living in this neighborhood did not have the same access to recreational facilities as their peers did living in suburban neighborhoods.
At the launch event at the Kelly Rink in Jamaica Plain, Mayor Marty Walsh stated, “I am proud that we are taking an idea from the residents of this neighborhood and partnering with Urban Edge to make it a reality.”
There are 26,000 young people who live within a 1.5 mile radius of Jackson Square, out of which only 10 percent participate in after school activities, mostly due to the absence of a safe, affordable, and accessible recreational space. That is why Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey team, has joined the campaign committee for the Jackson Square Recreation Center. “Their grades get better, they are more likely to stay in school, and, as importantly, they build teamwork skills, which I believe is critical to success. With this said, I am proud to be a part of the Campaign Committee that is working to build the Jackson Square Recreation Center,” said Eruzione.
The overall project cost totals $21.5 million, of which Urban Edge has already raised a little more than half. Still, the organization is seeking to raise the additional $10 million in funding. In addition to the support of the Jamaica Plain community, the project has gained backing from public officials, making this idea one step closer to reality.
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