Comment letter on LAND Grant Application for Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild

This week, we sent a short comment letter in support of the City of Boston’s application for a “LAND” Grant to support the acquisition of 108 Walter Street in Roslindale for an urban wild. Details about the project can be found from the Roslindale Wetlands Task Force; see also this notice concerning a recent public meeting on the project from the Boston Conservation Commission. Our full letter appears below or can be downloaded as a PDF.

July 14, 2020


Kathleen A. Theoharides, Secretary
Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street, 9th floor
Boston, MA 02114

RE: LAND Grant Application for Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild

Dear Secretary Theoharides:  

I write on behalf of WalkUP Roslindale to strongly support the City of Boston’s application for a LAND Grant to support the acquisition of 108 Walter Street in Roslindale (the “Acquisition Parcel”) so that it will become permanently conserved and protected open space as part of the adjacent Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild. This existing urban wild is a 10½ acre, highly valuable inland water wetland and natural area. The now privately-owned Acquisition Parcel would provide a critical public access point and become a key part of the urban wild’s current walking trail system. Accordingly, acquiring this 37,341 sf parcel is critical. It is now for sale on the private market.  The time has come to acquire this key parcel, which Mass Audubon ranked as one of the highest priorities for acquisition and conservation in the 2019 Urban Wild Management Plan.  

Considering WalkUP Roslindale’s mission and approach (described in more detail below), we specifically see the  effort around the Acquisition Parcel as a win-win as it is coupled closely with the proposed concurrent acquisition for approximately four (4) units of affordable housing at 104 Walter Street, which is also for sale by the same owner and, in contrast to the largely un-buildable Acquisition Parcel, consists principally of buildable upland. This would allow the combined effort to accomplish two important goals simultaneously: (1) expanding the existing urban wild, preserving its functionality, and increasing its access; and (2) providing for badly-needed affordable housing in our city and commonwealth.

On the foregoing basis, I wish to reiterate our support for the proposal. Thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely yours,

Robert Orthman

Resident @ 31 Mendelssohn Street, #2, Roslindale, on behalf of the WalkUP Roslindale Steering Group
Ricardo Austrich, Resident @ 843 South Street, Roslindale
Lisa Beatman, Resident @ 180 Mount Hope Street, Roslindale
Lucy Bullock-Sieger, Resident @ 33 Brookdale Street, Roslindale
Benjamin Bruno, Resident @ 27 Colgate Road, Roslindale
Devin Cole, Resident @ 169 Orange Street, Roslindale
Steve Gag, Resident @ 631 South Street, Roslindale
Liz Graham-Meredith, Resident @ 6 Crandall Street, Roslindale
Rob Guptill, Resident @ 44 Birch Street, Roslindale
Margaux Leonard, Resident @ 35 Harding Road, Roslindale
Sarah Lee, Resident @ 65 Cornell Street, Roslindale
Mandana Moshtaghi, Resident @ 12 Arborough Road, Roslindale
Kathryn Ostrofsky, Resident @ 74 Birch Street, Apt. 2, Roslindale
Rebecca Phillips, Resident @ 10 Tappan Street, Roslindale
Adam Rogoff, Resident @ 28 Ashfield Street, Roslindale
Adam Rosi-Kessel, Resident @ 36 Taft Hill Terrace, Roslindale
Rachele Rosi-Kessel, Resident @ 36 Taft Hill Terrace, Roslindale
Adam Shutes, Resident @ 318 Metropolitan Avenue, Roslindale
Laura Smeaton, Resident @ 61 Cornell Street, Roslindale
Mark Tedrow, Resident @ 21 Conway Street, Roslindale
Marc Theiss, Resident @ 55 Prospect Avenue, Roslindale
Greg Tobin, Resident @ 1 Sheldon Street, Roslindale
Nick Ward, Resident @ 35 Harding Road, Roslindale
Alan Wright, Resident @ 98 Birch Street, Roslindale
Rick Yoder, Resident @ 180 Mount Hope Street, Roslindale

Copy: Nathaniel Thomas, EEA Project Manager (
Christopher Cook, Chief of Environment & Energy, Boston (
Aldo Ghirin, Boston Parks Department (
Paul Sutton, Urban Wilds Coordinator, Boston Parks Department (
Ricardo Arroyo, Boston City Councilor, District 5 (
Matt O’Malley, Boston City Councilor, District 6 (
Nika Elugardo, State Representative, 15th Suffolk District (
Michael Rush, State Senator, Suffolk & Norfolk District (
Kathleen McCabe, Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association (
Jim Taff, Roslindale Wetlands Task Force (

About WalkUP Roslindale

WalkUP Roslindale, which takes its name from the international movement to foster “Walkable Urban Places,” is a collaborative group of residents dedicated to making Roslindale the most walkable neighborhood in Boston. We advocate for a dynamic, livable streetscape and we support positive changes to our public and private built environment that strengthen walkability and other forms of active mobility as means toward better personal and public health, safety, social capital, economic development, and environmental sustainability. We are led by a steering group of about thirty residents and have nearly 1,000 additional supporters. More information about WalkUP Roslindale and our initiatives can be found at We recognize that no single group of people can be said to speak for our entire neighborhood – instead, please take these comments as representing the collective support of our steering group members resulting from our mission and principles.

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