Marlborough's mayor is moving forward to construct a building for the current purpose of a senior center on Ward Park. If the City allows this to happen, it will set precedence for all Marlborough parks to be built on. Sadly, we'se seen parks become fenced-in climbing structures with no room for children to run and develop. We should stand up for the right to revitalize our parks without constructing municipal buildings on them!
Citizens should be aware a respected land-use attorney has written opinion that Ward Park is protected by Article 97 of the State Constitution. The city's own “Open Space and Recreation” document reports Ward Park as protected land.
The Executive Office of Environmental and Energy Affairs policy (EOEEA), which exists for protecting park land, states all alternatives to protected land must be explored, and cost cannot be the factor to dismiss a site. Is there really no alternative in all of Marlborough? EOEEA policy also states that if a city builds on protected land, they will deny grant money for any projects citywide. Did we not just greatly benefit
$400,000 for revitalizing Memorial Beach? Do we want to end a relationship with an agency providing funds for projects to improve Marlborough? Trying to build at the proposed site will be so costly, ethically and financially. Massachusetts Law states the Recreation Commission is required to determine the land is no longer needed for recreation. Really, we don’t need that space for recreation?
Even the concept of building on park land just sits wrong on our conscience. We must be good stewards of our parks and protect spaces for children. Tell the Councilors and Mayor not to build on ANY part of our historic park land. This land was dedicated to youth of the city and has been used so for 88 years.
Faith and Michael Nickolas