Completed 2002 Total Development Cost $100,000 Developer: Dudley Neighbors Inc.
In summer 2014, DSNI youth organizers held a Reopening Ceremony at the Trina Persad Park. This summer, DSNI youth worked with local artist, Roberto Chao, to create an art installation for the Trina Persad Park located on the DNI Community Land Trust—on the corner of Julian & Judson Street. The park was built on a vacant parcel in summer 2004 in memory of Trina Ann Persad. In the summer of 2002, Trina, at the age of 11, was heading out of her house to walk to a park when she was caught in gang cross fire and killed.
At the event, youth leaders unveiled their art pieces to the community and the Persad family. Local children and families gathered to see what was happening and to be part of the ceremony. The program included words from Trina’s family, District Attorney Dan Conley and State Representative Carlos Henriquez. Fox News and The Boston Globe covered the event.
Because of the lack of signage, many of the residents who use the park had no idea that it was the “Trina Persad Park,” or the story behind the dedication. DSNI decided to use this summer as a time to beautify the park in a way that represented Trina and would honor her memory, by adding art and flowers along the fence facing Judson Street. The DSNI youth workers that were part of the Parks team met with Trina’s mother and her sister in July to learn more about Trina. They asked questions like “What did she love?” and “What was her favorite subject in school?”
“It was kind of like we were giving a gift to someone,” said Nathian Hernandez, one of the youth involved in the project. “We spoke with her mother and family to find out things she liked and how we could incorporate them into the art.” The youth wanted to learn about Trina’s life in order to create artwork that reflected who she was. They learned that above all she loved to entertain her friends and family and that the park should not only be a space in her remembrance, but also a place that local children could enjoy.
“This park will forever hopefully be a safe place for the neighborhood’s children to play,” Rep. Henriquez said at the event. “You should come and you should remember that you are a part of this neighborhood and there are adults here that care about you and love you.” A resident at the event, whose children frequently visit the park, mentioned that she thought it was a beautiful ceremony.
DNI will continue the work the youth started and plans on installing an archway to the park’s entrance and planting more along the fences.
Dudley Neighbors Incorporated I 550 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA, 02119 I 617.442.9670