Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

October 17, 2013

Play area would bring youthful energy to Park


The Andover Townsman

---- — Editor, Townsman:

Thank you for your support for the Park. I am a 70-something grandmother and walk through the Park almost every morning. You are right, the Park is not broken, but as the Planning Board has learned from its research, the Park has continually evolved (mostly for the better) over the past 150 years, most recently with the addition of three veterans memorials in the last decade. What is missing from the Park today is a small play area for the town’s youngest residents that will bring more families together in the center of town and reinforce our strong sense of community.

There is no playground within easy walking distance from the center of town. As mentioned in the chronology, the playground has been gone for more than 30 years. I am concerned about what is missing, both from the editorial (”The Park: Perfection, plain and simple,” Oct. 10) and from the chronology. In the past 20 years, many community activities that bring residents and noisy energy to the Park have become annual events. I am sure I will leave some out, but Clown Town, Art in the Park, Crafts in the Park, the town-wide yard sale, the band concerts and the Horribles Parade are among the many activities that take over the Park for various days every year.

Some say they want to protect the serenity of the Park, but a small play area for our youngest residents in the open area near the southeast corner will strengthen our sense of connection to each other without diminishing the pleasure anyone experiences in the Park. Imagine a couple of swings and a small climbing structure with a slide, in dark green and brown that blend into the landscape.

The Andover Center Playground Initiative has suggested two sites that might be appropriate for a play area near the Town Offices, the senior center and Doherty Middle School, one in the Park and one in the Playstead. My personal preference is a smaller play area in the Park, which will attract families who walk from our denser downtown neighborhoods and bring the sound of joyful young voices playing in the Park to cheer my spirit. However, more important than my personal preference is the notion of a play area on town land in the center of town.

Susan Stott

30 Pasho St.