It has been an exciting two weeks for Roslindale Wants to Play with our submissions to KaBOOM!’s Play Everywhere Challenge and the well-attended Walk the Wall at Allandale Woods. Today there is more good news for play in Roslindale. We are excited to announce that Playworld, a leading design-manufacturer of play equipment, in conjunction with Design Museum Boston, will be donating its new PlayForm 7 to the city and it will be permanently located at Pagel Playground starting in September.
Only three cities in the country are getting this new structure and Boston, we are told, is the first. The structure is currently sited at City Hall Plaza as a part of The Design Museum’s Extraordinary Playspaces exhibit at BSA Space. Boston Parks and Recreation chose Roslindale as the permanent home for this sculptural structure because of our neighborhood’s significant play deserts and our community’s voicing a very strong desire for improved play opportunities. According to Liza Meyer, Chief Landscape Architect at Boston Parks,
To bring this innovative playground to a Boston neighborhood after its summer on City Hall Plaza is fantastic. Adding a playground to Pagel addresses a significant access and equity gap in this part of the city and does it much sooner than BPRD would have been able to without this donation.
Despite its name, Pagel Playground has no play structures and is in an area of eastern Roslindale that is underserved by play opportunities. Placement of this unique structure will go a long way toward improving play access to a part of our neighborhood that is cut off by the train corridor from the two existing (and soon to be improved) playgrounds.
We are particularly excited about this new addition to Roslindale’s play scene because it achieves several of the approaches we’ve recommended in our vision statement: it’s as much public art sculpture as play structure, it’s innovative in its rigging of hammock-like straps that have an unpredictable element that will challenge children in ways more traditional structures do not and it comes about as a result of thoughtful leveraging of a public-private partnership.
Kudos to Boston Parks, Playworld and the folks at Design Museum Boston for coming to together on this project and meaningfully chipping away at Roslindale’s play scarcity. If you’re as happy about this as we are, send an email to Boston Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook and Mayor Walsh and let them know how important this is to Roslindale.