(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)
With a new name and plenty of improvements, the Dr. Loesch Family Park on Brent Street will officially open Saturday.
The park will be a shining gem in the neighborhood. As part of its capital improvements plan, the city made a number of changes to the Dorchester park, formerly the Cronin/Wainwright Park. New benches and play equipment have been added, along with walking paths, bike racks, and better lighting.
The tennis courts have also been removed, the baseball field has been expanded to encourage multipurpose use, and the basketball court has been expanded and an additional smaller court has been added.
Boston spent more than $925,000 rehabbing the 2.24-acre park, which was originally named in 1922 for James L. Cronin, a Dorchester resident killed fighting in World War I and the bordering Wainwright Street.
The park was formally renamed by the Boston Parks Department in January after community members, family, and elected officials lobbied the department to rename the park for a man who has dedicated his life to his neighborhood and the park.
The Rev. William Loesch has lived across from the park for close to 30 years and has been instrumental in the neighborhood, advocating for its residents, and working with the local neighborhood groups. He marching alongside Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.
Saturday's festivities will begin at 11:00 a.m. and includes face painting, games, pony rides, and BBQ, which will last till 4:00 p.m.
The ribbon to the park will official be cut by Loesch, residents, and elected officials at 2:00 p.m.
The rain date for the event is July 21.