After Delays, Hidden Pocket Park Sees Improvements

By: Alan Pollock

Topics: Infrastructure , Recreation

The new playground at the South Chatham Park, off Judy’s Lane. ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

SOUTH CHATHAM The caution tape is down and the playground at the tiny South Chatham Park is open for business.

It’s a welcome sight for neighbors, who’ve been lobbying for improvements since 2015.

“The next phase is underway,” Parks and Recreation Director Dan Tobin said this week. In the next few days, contractor T.W. Nickerson will be installing fine, compact gravel to complete a handicap-accessible walkway to the playground, which is at the rear of the 35,246-square-foot park off Judy’s Lane. The gravel, known as T-base, creates a hard surface suitable for walkways with a relatively small amount of foot traffic, Tobin said.

When the previous playground equipment needed replacement, neighbors to the park lobbied for improvements. Last year, town meeting set aside $38,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to install a new playground and other amenities. Installation began last spring, but came to a halt when the installer discovered that some of the parts were missing.

In the early summer, the installation was halted, leaving the unfinished equipment in the middle of a dirt pile, cordoned off with caution tape. Tobin said the problem was with the supplier of the playground equipment.

The parts arrived and installation was complete by the end of August, and crews installed the wood chips around the equipment. Once the walkway is complete, including a small grade designed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, town crews will put the finishing touches on the project, installing some picnic tables and benches.

“There will be a little bit of landscaping – some loaming and seeding – as soon as they get the grading done. So it should spruce it up,” Tobin said.