Just behind the Red Line station in Davis Square is Seven Hills Park, a small, somewhat grassy area on the Community Path.
An homage to the original seven hills in Somerville, including Winter, Spring, Prospect, etc., the park is home to a number of statues and sculptures, all of which are rusting.
The pear trees along the path are split, their roots growing sideways and cracking the pavement. There are sections of the park that are no more than dirt, the grass stripped away by foot traffic.
By the road are large tire marks, leftover from a recent Department of Public Works visit.
The park has seen little to no maintenance since being built in the 1980s after the Red Line was built, and one resident in particular is concerned with its current state.
Chris Iwerks recently sent a letter to Mayor Joe Curtatone’s office, citing the splitting trees along the path and the dangers of overgrown branches, all of which he called “preventable conditions.”
With the ongoing development throughout the city, Iwerks questioned whether or not the city is equipped, or focused, on maintaining pre-existing parks and structures.
“Is it possible for the city to juggle the shiny new with the slowly expiring existing?” Iwerks asked in his letter. “It doesn’t seem like it, but I would really like to find a way to elevate the importance of ongoing care and prevention of some unfortunate accident that could well occur here some day soon.”
According to Iwerks, the city never responded to his letters, though he plans to continue sending them until something is done.
“The larger picture is trying to maintain things ... and refurbish them in some instances,” he said during a walk through the park on Monday morning. “Once that happens, how do you keep them up so they don’t deteriorate?”
A few summers ago, Iwerks remembers, the city set up a number of Adirondack chairs at the park. But as the months passed, more and more chairs either broke or disappeared. Though those efforts are applaudable, something else should be done, according to Iwerks.
With plans to redevelop Davis Square, particularly in regards to infrastructure and sidewalks, Iwerks said he hopes there are plans to look at Seven Hills.
“More people use this than any other park because there are people on the path going both ways every day and people use the park,” he said.
Iwerks suspects the lack of maintenance comes from a budget issue. He’s looked over the budget time and time again and never sees any money allocated for park
The city has yet to respond to the Journal for comment about proposed changes and maintenance in Seven Hills Park.