Brighton’s Daly Field does not belong in private hands


Editorial in the Boston Globe

Daly Field is currently operated by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which has neglected it amid uncertain funding. But that’s no reason to write it off. Daly Field is still a valuable state asset with great potential. Under no circumstances should hours of use be dominated by a private college. And hours devoted to public use, for that matter, shouldn’t be monopolized by residents of a single neighborhood.

State environmental groups, including the Conservation Law Foundation and the Environmental League of Massachusetts, have urged lawmakers to reject the bill, but were ignored by the House and Senate. Governor Patrick shouldn’t make the same mistake. But even if he does, there’s still hope: The bill only authorizes the state to lease the park to Simmons College. It doesn’t require the state to do so.

This potential giveaway of a public park gained a lot of steam with little public scrutiny. Maybe there is still a way for Simmons College to restore the playing fields and use them without shortchanging the public. Or perhaps Harvard University, which is expanding into the Allston/Brighton area, could provide funds to fix the park as a goodwill gesture to the neighborhood. It’s premature to conclude that the only hope for Daly Field is to place it in private hands.

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