Published in the February 28, 2020 edition.


WAKEFIELD — Users of the Spaulding Street Playground will soon have a more auspicious entrance when they arrive.

The Wakefield Center Neighborhood Association (WCNA) would like to create a new gateway to the children’s playground at the edge of Lake Quannapowitt on the Lower Common.

Peter Scott of the WCNA appeared before the Town Council this week to outline the proposal. He showed an image of the current entrance, which consists of a 55-inch gap in a chain-link fence facing Spaulding Street.

The WCNA proposes upgrading the entrance to the playground by installing two granite posts on either side with a composite redwood beam going across the top. The old weathervane from the original wooden playground equipment will be placed on top of the beam.

Scott said that WCNA has been working with Town Administrator Stephen Maio, DPW Director Joseph Conway, the Friends of Lake Quannapowitt and the Spaulding Street neighbors to coordinate the project. WCNA has also been in contact with VHB, the engineering firm for the Envision Wakefield downtown upgrade project. That project will include some realignment of Spaulding Street.

Conway has offered the DPW’s assistance with the placement of the heavy granite posts. Most of the work will be done by WCNA volunteers at no cost to the town.

Scott noted that VHB’s plans include installing a new sidewalk on Spaulding Street between the playground fence and the row of parking spaces along the fence. Scott called this a “great improvement” that will enhance the safety of children using the playground.

Town Councilor Mehreen Butt reminded the board that the Lake Structure Policy requires a two-week public comment period before any new structure can be approved. The Town Council is expected to vote at its next meeting.

But councilors expressed their support for the project. Ann Santos said, “I love it. I think it looks beautiful.”

Chairman Edward Dombroski said that the project would fit in well with Envision Wakefield and congratulated WCNA on doing “top rate work.”