The committee charged with reenvisioning the popular Beaver Brook Playground will meet tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m.
The meeting will take place at the Department of Public Works headquarters at 350 Summer Street.
After three decades of use, the wooden Beaver Brook Playground is nearing the end of its life span. A presentation by the committee in June detailed a number of deficiencies, with committee member Jannette Leary saying it had “fallen into grave disrepair.”
Town Meeting has approved about $250,000 in Community Preservation Act money to help fund a new structure. The committee has also launched a fundraising effort featuring tshirts and engraved bricks.
Tonight’s meeting agenda says the committee will start discussion on specific design elements for the new playground. Residents who attended the June meeting advocated against a standard looking playground, and instead asked for something more unique that will encourage imaginative, collaborative play, and reflects the site’s location under a grove of trees and next to a river. The committee said it will also be accessible for children with physical disabilities. A second public workshop is not currently planned.
The committee said in June the current structure could be torn down as soon as this fall, with the new playground constructed next spring. Before work begins, the committee still needs to finalize a design and get approvals from multiple town boards including the Conservation Commission. The town will ultimately be responsible for putting the project out to bid and managing construction.
The playground sits on land owned by the Veterans Memorial Trustees and is part of the property that includes the American Legion Post building. However, under a decades old agreement, the town maintains the land.
The current Beaver Brook Playground was built about three decades ago during a period when many local towns marshaled community volunteers to construct large, sprawling wooden playgrounds. Abington’s is one of the last remaining structures from this time.
[Disclosure: The author’s spouse is a member of the Beaver Brook Playground Committee.]