The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) purchased the site in 1996 as conservation land to expand the Blue Hills Reservation. The DCR, however, was unaware that the Canton Airport, built in the 1930s, and subsequent industrial uses had contaminated the site with heavy metals and PCBs. This unwelcome discovery was followed by years of work to restore the area.
The project to clean up the land, protect the drinking water aquifer and make the park safe for people to enjoy has many phases, including site investigation, permitting, removing or containing contaminants and restoring the ecology of the area.
This past spring and summer, DCR bid and awarded Phase 2, which involves excavation of less contaminated soil and moving it to an upland area (vicinity of the former hangars). This soil will be capped with a permeable membrane, and three feet of clean soil.
New parkland will be constructed on the cap, to include a small parking lot, contact station, loop path, a central lawn area, representative native plantings, wetland restoration, viewing overlooks, a shade pavilion, and interpretive signage. DCR has funding for a shade pavilion and interpretive signage. DCR expects the work to be completed this year.