Healy Field and Friends of Post Office Square

You may have noticed the plaque next to the water table at the Healy Field playground and wondered how and why a group devoted to improvements to a downtown park chose to contribute to a playground renovation in Roslindale. Continue reading

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Healy Field Design Update

It has been a while since we have posted an update on the design for the upcoming playground renovation at Healy Field. This isn’t entirely unexpected: while the third community meeting was held just over a year ago, we were aware all along that construction would not begin until the renovations at Fallon Field were complete, to ensure that the neighborhood would not lose access to both of its playgrounds simultaneously. Over the course of the last year we have occasionally checked in with Boston Parks and Recreation to make sure that construction is still expected to begin in early spring. While were aware that there would likely be some changes to the plans, we were unsure of how extensive they would be, or whether they would necessitate a fourth community meeting. Continue reading

Third Public Meeting: Healy Field Renovation

birdseyeRepresentatives from Copley Wolff Design Group and the Boston Parks Department recently came to the Archdale Community Center for a third meeting to discuss the upcoming renovations to the playground at Healy Field. While the previous meeting was largely focused on possible solutions for expanding the playground’s footprint, the designers opened this meeting with an acknowledgment that those options were prohibitively expensive, and that they had instead turned their focus towards maximizing the play value of the existing site. While it is disappointing that we will be unable to expand the site, it is hardly a surprise. As the latest design proposal shows, there is still a tremendous opportunity to improve the playground.

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Second Public Meeting: Healy Field Renovation

On December 14, representatives from Copley Wolff Design Group and Boston Parks and Recreation met with the community to discuss preliminary design concepts for the upcoming renovation to the playground at Healy Field. Based both on comments from the first meeting and on other practical considerations, the opening slide from Copley Wolff’s presentation listed four tasks for the design proposals to achieve:

  • Increase play opportunities
  • Replace wood chips with resilient surfacing
  • Update aging play equipment
  • Fully take advantage of existing space

While there are many other aspects of the design proposals that are worth discussing – in particular their use of water as a play element and the ways in which the designs add play value for all ages – it was the last of these goals that ended up dominating the evening’s discussion. Continue reading

A Young Resident’s Take on Healy Field

One really enjoyable aspect of the community meetings for the renovations at Fallon Field and Healy Field has been the participation of some local children. They are, after all, the true experts when it comes to what works and what doesn’t in our playgrounds, and what kinds of play features we should be adding. At the first meeting for the Healy Field project, one young neighbor went so far as to bring her own design proposal. Continue reading