Amanda supports preserving our grass fields in Malden, and supports finding resources to adequately maintain our existing parks and recreation facilities in partnership with our hard-working DPW. Preserving grass helps to clean our air, combat climate change and urban heat island effects, absorbs water, and gives our children the natural, safe playing surface they deserve.
As a member of the Malden Redevelopment Authority (MRA) Board of Directors, Amanda has been involved in plans to upgrade Roosevelt Park adjacent to the Salemwood School since early 2019 when the MRA became the fiscal agent for the project, on behalf of the mayor and city council. The MRA is funding the design phase of a project to upgrade the conditions of the grass field, update an outdoor classroom, fix drainage issues on the site, and potentially redo the nearby tot lot at a future date. Amanda has fought to make sure that, when the project is put out to bid, the specifications will call only for geofill, a non-synthetic alternative to removing grass if the grass field cannot be preserved, and has proposed that the city meet with the field manager at Pine Banks Park, to better understand the work and budget that goes into maintaining and care-taking a large grass field.
Further, in light of the poor community outreach conducted to the surrounding neighborhood and the large stakeholder group that attends and works at Salemwood school every day, Amanda and the board have agreed to vet future project partnerships based on their community engagement plan, and will only vote to project-manage or help fund proposals that are accompanied by an inclusive, data-driven plan to gather meaningful feedback from vulnerable populations.
In Spring 2019, Amanda issued the following statement to Malden News Network in response to questions about the future of Roosevelt Park and the proposal to replace the field’s grass with turf:
Roosevelt Park is an important city asset enjoyed by families across Malden. A site challenged by chronic drainage issues, forcing sports cancellations and indoor recess at the adjacent Salemwood School – even days after it rains – Roosevelt is in dire need of upgrading. While synthetic turf is more resilient and fast-drying than grass, its crumb rubber composition poses concern among some residents who cite potentially adverse health effects.
As a member of the Malden Redevelopment Authority Board, I’ve asked for enhanced drainage and alternative, organic field materials to be explored, such as infill composed of cork, coconut fiber and shells. I believe the added cost of these more natural surface options will address the concerns of our community while ensuring the park and surrounding wetlands remain viable for years to come. Our children deserve this investment in their health and future.
Amanda believes better communication is needed among city officials and our public school communities, especially on issues that affect student life and health such as park refurbishment. Read more about her platform on schools here, and send her feedback and ideas on Roosevelt or any other park project by emailing email@example.com.