New Esplanade Playspace Breaks Ground Next Week


by Cate Lecuyer, Beacon Hill Patch

For nearly three years, local parents have been raising money for a new playground for 5 – 12- year-olds by the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade for. Now, they’re finally ready to break ground.

“We have enough for construction,” said organizer Tani Marinovich.

The Friends of the Esplanade Playspace has raised about half of the total funds for the project, and is planning a community build day on April 15.

“We have secured commitments for nearly $500,000 from friends and neighbors, out of a necessary $1 million construction budget,” Marinovich said in a letter. “Our intent is to push forward with aggressive fundraising efforts…” On that note, the group has it’s Fall Luncheon on Oct. 13, hosted by the Egan family at their home.

In terms of the building, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will meet on April 14 for a third public hearing on the project.  If you have any ideas on how the city should proceed with the construction schedule, stop by the meeting from 6:30 to 8pm at Community Boating at 21 Mugar Way, near the Hatch Shell.

The Friends plan to have the playground built by June 23, in time 4th of July festivities, with a more formal opening in mid-July.

The playspace is designed to be unique, artistic, interesting and physically challenging. Features include:

  • A zip line that teaches development and social interaction skills
  • A rock wall to promote upper body strength and development
  • A wood climbing structure for cognitive play and a good workout
  • A jungle gym for upper boy strength, that’s also a work of art created by European designer and manufactures Berlinger.
  • An innovative dish swing
  • A story hut engineered to reflect native dragonfly species

Potential programs at the playspace include

  • Sculpting classes
  • Yoga classes
  • A Presidential Physical Fitness Day Fishing classes
  • Book clubs

A group of parents formed the fundraising committee in 2009 with the idea to create a playspace for older children. Through luncheons, raffles, and the generosity of neighbors and businesses owners, everything to date, with the exception of the design fees and sub- contractors, has been donated, Marinovich said.

“Our goal for The Esplanade Playspace is to encourage children from all neighborhoods to play together, grow and stay healthy,” Marinovich said. “We believe that the design of The Esplanade Playspace will accomplish that, along with programming geared towards the older elementary child.”

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