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Southborough celebrates park reopening

By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer

Nathan Raymond climbs on the “Space New” structure at the new Southborough playground.

Southborough – Residents celebrated the grand reopening of Southborough’s only public park Aug. 18 all as key organizers of the park’s reconstruction celebrated its innovative design.

Located off Central Street, the park incorporates three distinct play structures. One, a traditional playground, works with a “Space Net” structure to serve children aged 5-12. Another smaller structure incorporates artistic design and less challenging elements to serve children aged 2-5. The whole area, as well, offers handicap accessibility.

“We really wanted to create a complete play experience,” said Charles Ramondo of the New England Recreation Group, an agency that the Southborough Recreation Department brought in to help with the park’s construction. “To do that, you have to take into account everybody, which not only includes age, but also whether they have any disabilities.”

The new playground occupies land once home to an aging wood structure. Though beloved by the community, the park was deemed in need of serious repair by the town in 2015. Less than two months after Southborough secured funding for those repairs, however, in July of 2016, a devastating windstorm leveled much of the playground.

“That changed the whole scope of the project,” said Recreation Department Director Doreen Ferguson. “We had to start from scratch and it just extended the whole timeline.”

As the town reevaluated, however, the community rallied, helping fund the project through donations when grants and other sources could not.

Now open and boasting structures not seen in many area playgrounds, Ferguson, like many attendees of the grand opening Aug. 18, is happy to see the park completed.

“It’s been way too long for the kids waiting and waiting,” she said. “People are here every single day and they’re really enjoying it. That’s what I like to see.”

The next steps of the project include constructing a basketball court next to the play area. For more information on that and the Southborough Recreation Department in general, visit southborough.recdesk.com/Community/Page?pageId=2973.

(Photos/Dakota Antelman)

A child climbs on the “Space Net” structure at the new Southborough playground.
Family members of Michael Chagnon stand next to the monument honoring the donation they made to the park in his memory.
A child swings on a set of monkey bars at the new Southborough playground.
A child climbs on the “Space Net” structure at the new Southborough playground.
Walker Smith smiles after climbing a climbing wall at the new Southborough playground.
" Community Advocate Staff : ."