Discussion begins on redoing, maintaining playgrounds in town

By Lydia Goerner | Dec 05, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner Members of the Open Space Committee and Municipal Maintenance discuss plans for playground upkeep at Tuesday's Selectmen meeting.

Selectmen, Municipal Maintenance and the Open Space Committee put their heads together on Tuesday to start formulating a plan for playground and open space remodeling and maintenance.

There are 21 playgrounds in town including school playgrounds, and 13 of those are owned by the town. Municipal Maintenance Director Dave Menard appeared before the Board of Selectmen and explained his department doesn’t have the staff to care for all those playgrounds.

Currently, Municipal Maintenance addresses pressing safety issues and mows the lawns at playgrounds but doesn’t have the manpower to do anything further, Menard said.

Selectman Patrick Tropeano said the three groups need to work together to choose what  playgrounds to focus on and put that information and maintenance plan in the master plan, which is currently being revised with a February deadline.

A master plan addresses a community's goals for land use, housing, climate change, economic development, services and facilities, transportation, open space and recreation and natural and cultural resources. Having a master plan in place means town officials can work from a shared vision for the community and makes the town eligible for certain state grants.

It would be “physically impossible” to redo all the playgrounds in town, Selectman Alan Slavin agreed.

“The town of Wareham cannot make mistakes because we don’t have the money to fix the mistakes,” Slavin said.

Sandy Slavin, Chairman of the Open Space Committee, said her first priority is removing wooden playground items from every playground.

“That’s a top priority from a safety point of view,” she said. “Those wooden structures are way past their date and they’re more dangerous than anything else.”

Sandy Slavin said she would encourage people in each neighborhood to come to an Open Space Committee meeting to talk about the neighborhood’s needs.

“Neighborhoods have to step up and help out,” she said. “The neighborhood determines which is our next project.”

Menard encouraged people to think about having things in a park or playground that appeal to all ages, including a basketball court or walking paths in addition to swings and play areas.

Comments (13)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Dec 06, 2017 08:32

If Mrs. Slavin's top priority included replacing all wooden structures after removing them, it would be a good idea.  Is there money for that? They can't just tear down all the wood things and leave nothing. Some aren't that bad and can be repaired.   They would be very expensive to replace.  I can't imagine replacing the giant wooden structure at Lopes.


Posted by: Road rider | Dec 06, 2017 11:47

K.I.S.S.      Keep It Simple & Safe.

Remove all these $10-25,000 structures that have proven to be hazardous, prone to vandalism, and expensive to maintain.

Dump a load of sand in place of each structure and the kids will have a ball with their toys.

Posted by: Rosebud | Dec 06, 2017 14:48

Would love to Swift's Beach playground remodeled.  Even if the basketball hoops were replaced, it would be an improvement.  (The kids don't tell me they would use them more if they had the correct type of rims.)  And maybe some solar-powered lighting ...

Posted by: sadie | Dec 06, 2017 16:14

wareham... all of lopes field will be replaced.

Posted by: bob | Dec 07, 2017 06:37

Menard said it all....His dept. does not have the the bodies.....His dept. cannot  operate without the help....It  time that our TA starts hiring more bodies in that dept. instead of the town hall....

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 07, 2017 09:30

Ellis Playground on North Blvd has been "adopted" by the neighborhood and has been cleaned of graffiti and has new signage. The wooden structure is sound, and it's a great little waterfront picnic spot. The fence along North Blvd. beach is rotted and broken.  Wareham your beaches should be your bread and butter, and they aren't. The playground at Hammond School, built in memory of two children who tragically died, is a hazard and a disgrace. The town charges rent for that building! Fund your MMD properly it's a foundational department, like schools. If you want to attract and develop a high end, year round tax base fund these essential services. If not, carry on. The whole state has lived with Prop 2 1/2 and not every town has suffered a downward spiral. We have enough empty stores and empty cellar holes. Get the priorities straight.

Posted by: momof2 | Dec 07, 2017 19:23

TOGETHER, for someone who claims to be so well researched... its not really that difficult to figure out why Wareham suffered when and after Prop 2 1/2 was implemented.... but you'll have to look further than the opinion section of a newspaper.....


The short part of the story is that services were cut before the legislation went info effect affectively crippling the town for years to come. It's not rocket science. Funny thing is you can't blame any of the current leaders (BTW do you realize that they are volunteers and not taking a salary from the town?? You say that theyre not US... THEY ARE OUR NEIGHBORS. We elect them!!)

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 08, 2017 10:03

At what point did I claim to be "well researched" Momof2?

Posted by: momof2 | Dec 08, 2017 10:52

When you claim you have to “educate” people and tell them to do their research, which you have said to me..... does that not imply that you consider yourself well researched? If not, my mistake!!! Lol.

Posted by: Archangel | Dec 08, 2017 18:09

WBTS, I just assumed that after they removed the wooden structures they would be replaced. If not, I agree entirely with your comment. Can you believe it? LOL

Posted by: sadie | Dec 09, 2017 08:24

bob.... what more bodies have been hired at town hall?

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | Dec 09, 2017 10:34

Parks usually fall under the Department of Natural Resources .. Lots of money there ... Just Saying

Posted by: bob | Dec 13, 2017 06:17

Sadie,H.R.,Full time lawyer....

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