Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Jack Murray and members of the Michael Joyce Family were all in attendance for the re-opening of the Michael Joyce Playground in South Boston.

“The improvements to the Michael Joyce Playground continue the Patrick Administration’s commitment to investing in open spaces and outdoor recreation throughout the Commonwealth,” said EEA Secretary Bartlett. “These urban recreation centers give communities resources to grow and play and make these neighborhoods better places to live for generations to come.”

The $191,569 improvement project, completed earlier this season, included a new play surface, equipment, paths and walkways.

“DCR is committed to providing low-cost, family friendly destinations for residents and visitors to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said DCR Commissioner Murray. “The Michael Joyce Playground improvements will help to provide that unique experience.”

Michael Joyce was a South Boston resident and Irish immigrant who was an advocate for immigrants throughout the city. Governor Patrick signed Senate Bill 2435 on June 30, 2010, designating the playground at the Marine Park in South Boston as the Michael Joyce Playground. The legislation was introduced by former State Senator Jack Hart, former State Representative Brian Wallace and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who was a State Representative at the time.

"I was proud to help lead the effort to re-name this park when I was a State Representative. Michael Joyce was well-respected among the immigrant community, the Boston community, and the State House community," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "These renovations will expand accessibility and ensure children and families can enjoy this playground for years to come. Thank you to the Friends of Michael Joyce Committee and everyone involved for keeping Michael's memory and legacy alive."

“The Irish are known for a generosity of spirit and Michael Joyce epitomized this spirit throughout his life. Michael gave his time and his love to so many struggling to make it in our country. He enriched the lives of immigrants by helping to make Boston feel like home. Today’s celebration is a long overdue testament to the lasting impact of Michael’s dedication to anyone in need,” said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch.

“I want to thank the DCR and the Patrick Administration for their commitment to the Michael Joyce Playground here in South Boston,” said Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. “I also want to thank Michael’s family and the Friends of Michael Joyce Committee for their consistent hard work in making this park the beautiful landmark it is today. Michael Joyce was a selfless man who helped countless numbers of immigrants settle into a new homeland just as he did in 1949.This playground will stand as a symbol of Michael’s legacy of selflessness and dedication his community. It is fitting that families and children will enjoy this space for generations to come.”

“Commissioner Jack Murray and DCR have been great partners in enhancing parks and open spaces throughout the Commonwealth,” said Representative Nick Collins. “I was proud to work with DCR, my colleagues in government and the Joyce family to ensure that the Michael Joyce Playground remains a great park for the children and families of South Boston as well as a memorial to a man who did great things for Irish immigrants and families in need throughout the city of Boston.”

“Michael Joyce is truly ‘A Man To Remember.’ He taught us the true meaning of life: people helping people,” said Johnny Joyce, Chairman of The Friends of Michael Joyce Committee. “The Michael Joyce Memorial Playground is a lasting tribute to a wonderful man and a beautiful place for Boston’s children and families to enjoy. On behalf of the Friends of Michael Joyce and the Joyce family, I want to thank everyone whose generosity helped make this day possible.”

Since taking office, the Patrick Administration has made a historic investment of more than $350 million in land conservation focused on three goals: investing in urban parks, preserving working farms and forests and protecting large natural landscapes for habitat. This investment has resulted in the permanent protection of more than 125,000 acres of land and the renovation or creation of more than 210 parks. The new parks and open space created are within a 10 minute walk of 1.5 million residents – about a quarter of the Commonwealth’s residents.