PROVINCETOWN — The $250,000 renovation of Pilgrims’ First Landing Park is complete after being stalled by the COVID pandemic. The completion of the project was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 31 with local and state officials.
The city-owned property sits inside the roundabout that connects the western end of Commercial Street and Province Lands Road, commemorating the landing of the Pilgrims in 1620.
The ceremony was attended by State Senator Julian Cyr, State Representative Sarah Peake, City Manager Alex Morse, Board Member Leslie Sandberg, Tourism Director Anthony Fuccillo, Public Landscape Committee and staff from the city’s public works department.
“Provincetown was the first landing place (of the pilgrims),” said Peake, D-Provincetown.
In the early 2000s, while on the board of Provincetown Select, Peake recalled wearing a pin that read “cradle of freedom” because “the Mayflower Compact was written and signed right in our port “, she said.
The park has several benches with views of the West End Breakwater and plenty of sponsored cobblestones with personalized messages.
“These cobblestones, I’m so grateful they left them in place because they represent people who have given to this community and have been a vital part of this community,” Peake said.
The event started at 10 a.m.
“This is another reminder of Provincetown residents’ commitment to open spaces and conservation. Over the past few years voters have consistently approved funds to rehabilitate and beautify our parks,” Morse said.
In 2018, the city assembly allocated the money to beautify the park. In September 2019, the public works department unveiled the first plans to the select committee in the hope that the project would be completed for the 400th commemoration of the landing of the pilgrims in 1620.
This plan was interrupted by the pandemic. When renovations started again, some of the money for this project was spent putting the cobblestones back in place, laying the benches, planting lots of vegetation and making it a beautiful place to reflect and of pride for the city, Sandberg said.
What’s new at First Landing Park?
Much of the budget was spent on infrastructure, stone removal, cataloging and reinstallation. Electricity was installed along with irrigation, Frank Vasello, vice chairman of the landscape committee, said at the event.
All plantings except trees were removed and all new shrubs were added, Fuccillo said.
The plants chosen for the park are not native to Provincetown but were chosen because they are resilient to the environment and require minimal maintenance, Vasello said.
Some of the flowers planted were Roxanne geraniums, a long-flowering perennial; carpet roses, a popular ground cover rose; low-growing junipers and grass to maintain eyesight, Vasello said.
Transfer land to Provincetown
The park of the first Pilgrim landing was once state land, said Cyr, D-Truro. “There was a desire in town to make this park something.”
Cyr and his team contacted the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, “who were not only eager and willing to transfer the land to the city, which is not always the case, but they also insisted on giving the land to the city in a way that was actually in very good shape.
So the city received not just a parcel of land, but property in good condition, Cyr said.
“We are bringing together city staff, residents, the Public Landscape Committee, our state delegation, to celebrate this investment and remind the public of our continued commitment to parks,” he said.