Barrington takes first step towards building new park

Council sends initiative to open space and park and rec. commission

By Josh Bickford
Posted 1/26/22

Barrington could be home to a new park in the near future.

The initiative first surfaced at the Dec. 2021 council meeting when members were discussing how to spend money left to the town by the …

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Barrington takes first step towards building new park

Council sends initiative to open space and park and rec. commission

Posted

Barrington could be home to a new park in the near future.

The initiative first surfaced at the Dec. 2021 council meeting when members were discussing how to spend money left to the town by the Masiello family. Officials opted to use those funds for a different purpose, but council member Jacob Brier said the park idea had merit and requested it be pushed to a future agenda.

At the Jan. 10 council meeting, Mr. Brier spoke about the new park idea — he shared a brief recollection of walking through Boston Commons, a popular park in that city. He recalled people gathering in the park, eating meals there. 

Mr. Brier said the similarities between Barrington and Boston might end with the “B” both places start with, but he added that this town could still recreate the same sort of magic people find in a large public park. 

Mr. Brier said the area near Wood’s Pond, just south of the town hall could serve as a location for the park. He said people would benefit from having a place to go for a walk, sit and relax, or eat lunch. Mr. Brier said the park could also play host to community events — last summer, the town hall campus was used for a two-day film festival. 

We need more spaces to do those things, Mr. Brier said. He added that the area around Wood’s Pond seemed underutilized. 

It could be a really beautiful setting where folks are going to want to come and make memories and spend time, Mr. Brier said. 

The town council member said the park could feature benches and picnic tables, chess and other gaming tables, flower beds with native plants, an area for a flagpole, public art installations, and possibly a dedication plaque or bricks. 

“I’ve heard from many folks who are excited about the idea of creating a more engaging, better utilized place for the community to gather in town,” Mr. Brier said in a followup interview. “The area around Wood’s Pond is ideal for this. 

“Public parks have the ability to create a sort of magic, in the way they serve a variety of needs for all people. I’m glad my colleagues unanimously agreed on the value of seeing this opportunity move forward. Finding ways, and places, to bring us together is truly important.”

During the council meeting, Mr. Brier said the town manager had suggested that the idea be forwarded to the Open Space Committee and Park and Recreation Commission. 

Fellow councilor Rob Humm asked how much a new park might cost. Mr. Brier said the manager had offered a range of $100,000, but no specific figure had been settled upon. He said the park could be built incrementally, spreading out the cost to taxpayers, or it could be constructed all at once, if there was enough community support for it. 

In a memo to the town council, Barrington Town Manager Phil Hervey wrote: “I have reached out to a landscape architect to get an idea of the cost to come up with concepts, to include public meetings and a presentation to the town council. Based on my experience with similar projects, the cost would be below the amount where the town would need to advertise for bids. The use of funds from the council contingency account would require approval of the town council.”

Toward the end of the discussion, Mr. Brier made a motion to refer the park idea to the Open Space Committee and Park and Recreation Commission, with recommendations to be returned to the council for the March meeting. 

Councilors, in a unanimous vote, opted to give the other committees more time to work with the park idea, and settled on revisiting the initiative at the May 2 council meeting. 

2022 by East Bay Newspapers

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