Published in the March 9, 2016 edition


LYNNFIELD —  A citizens’ petition submitted by the Lynnfield Moms Group (LMG) will seek town funds to replace the aging playground structures at Glen Meadow Park off Trickett Road.

LMG was formed just over two years ago to support local moms and connect families with children ages 6 and under. To date, the group has grown to over 170 members and 300 children in this age bracket.

One of the first initiatives the moms undertook was approaching the town in September 2014, through the Board of Selectmen and the DPW, seeking to improve the state of the children’s parks in town. They chose to focus on improving Glen Meadow.

Among their goals was to remove safety hazards of the aged equipment as well as update the park to make it handicap accessible.

Erika Wilson of 130 Lowell St. and a member of the group’s executive board, sought the support of the selectmen at Monday night’s meeting for this warrant article, which had already been signed by 90 residents within one week of publicizing the initiative. Just 10 signatures of registered town voters are required to place the warrant on the ballot.

Wilson said they were happy with the town’s response from their initial inquiry and how the town worked together with them on this issue, allowing them to raise funds for it.

“After two years of research, planning and fund-raising, we’ve realized it is too big of a project for our group to take on,” Wilson said, adding that to date LMG has raised $9,000. The group has teamed up with Townscape to enhance their fund-raising base.

“We’re excited that our next fund-raising effort will be on April 9 at the Wakefield Elks with an ’80s Night with a silent auction. While we’re really proud of everything we’ve done, it’s fallen really short of the $170,000 for the improvements to Glen Meadow Park,” Wilson told the selectmen.

Given the number of children in town in the 6 and under age bracket, Wilson said her group believes “that this will be a really good improvement for the town. We’d like to ask you for your support to recommend this article for approval at the upcoming Town Meeting.”

Unanimous support

Selectmen Chairman Phil Crawford said the LMG had sent him a copy of the proposed playground structure for Glen Meadow with an estimated cost of $170,000 from Childscapes of Marshfield.

“In the fall we did a clean up at Glen Meadow. Parents came and helped out and you could really see what was needed,” he said of the old, weathered playground equipment. “Not only that, it is becoming a safety factor,” Crawford said, adding, “I’m assuming you are trying to do this now so your kids can actually play on this and not get out of high school before this gets done.”

Wilson agreed that was their intention.

The warrant article seeks to “see if the town will vote to appropriate a sum of money for the construction of municipal outdoor recreational facilities, including the development of land and the construction and reconstruction of facilities at Glen Meadow Park and to determine whether to raise the appropriation by borrowing or otherwise, or to take any action related thereto.” Crawford stated the petition was reviewed by Town Counsel Tom Mullen to ensure it was properly written.

“This a great thing to bring forward. We certainly do need some help with that park,” Crawford said, adding that it is the most centrally located park in town.

“I certainly would support this effort. The appropriation amount will be determined at Town Meeting or right before Town Meeting,” he said, based on how much more money the group raises between now and April Town Meeting.

Selectman Tom Terranova congratulated the members for their efforts and noted that after the LMG brought this issue to them in the fall of 2014, he met with the DPW director to review “the laundry list of items that needed to be addressed” at Glen Meadow and other town parks.

Stating that some of the maintenance issues were addressed while others were not, Terranova said once the investment is made in such a facility the townspeople need to make sure the DPW maintains it “so kids in the future continue to play on it and enjoy it in a very safe fashion.”

“We need adequate funding in the DPW budget to keep it safe and usable,” Terranova said.

Selectman Chris Barrett offered to add his signature to the petition while noting that the LMG “is probably one of the most powerful groups in town right now. You’ve done tremendous work. I really appreciate it. I know there are a lot of people looking forward to that 1980s night.”

“Anything I can do to support you, I will be right there to help you out,” Barrett added.

The selectmen will continue to accept warrant articles through Wednesday, March 23. Such articles can be submitted from town boards, commissions and officials as well as citizens’ petitions accompanied by certified signatures of a minimum of 10 registered voters in town.