Over the last couple years, Hudson Recreation has been working to improve the safety of the playgrounds in our community. Our goal from the start was to make playgrounds safer and as part of this effort, we have assessed both Town of Hudson and Hudson Public School playgrounds. Our objectives were to first identify immediate hazards, define what repairs were necessary in order to make playgrounds safe and then develop a prioritized action plan that would 1) eliminate immediate safety hazards and 2) execute necessary repairs within the current funding resources available to us.
Once the assessments were completed and reviewed by the Park Commission, we began the initial phase of the project, which called for the removal of several pieces of playground equipment across Town. Based on the number of “Priority 1” hazards identified in site specific assessments, along with the number of lower priority hazards also identified in those same assessments, it was determined not be financially prudent to make repairs at certain sites, which resulted in the complete removal of all playground equipment located at those sites.
Using the initial assessment reports as our guide, Hudson Recreation contracted with the same inspector who performed the assessments to identify site specific equipment/material needs and repair cost labor estimates. Utilizing these site specific lists we were then able to price out equipment repairs (inclusive of labor) and develop and final playground improvement phase to be completed by the fall of 2019.
Funding for the remainder of the work to be performed (as listed in the pdf, see link below) will be supported by both the original May 2016 Town Meeting Warrant Article as well as the Recreation Revolving Fund. Upon completion of the work, it is expected that the funds appropriated at the May 2016 Town Meeting will be fully depleted. Site specific information and future improvement plans can be found by clicking on the link below. Work shown as completed is listed in the order in which it was performed. Most importantly, our original goal to improve playground safety in Hudson is still our number one priority. In keeping with this goal and given our current financial resources we expect additional playground equipment to be removed and/or relocated as part of this final phase of the project.
The Park Commission and Hudson Recreation see tremendous value in playgrounds for our community and it is our hope that this project will become the stepping stone to improve the quality of the playgrounds and catapult our community into the future development and planning of more accessible, safe and community friendly playgrounds that serve people of all ages and abilities. The power of play can be tied to the social, physical and emotional development of children. But just as important is the connection to the community that can be found when play spaces are developed with everyone in mind. We ask that anyone who is interested in assisting with the future planning of playgrounds for our community (outside of what we’ve highlighted in our final phase of this project) reach out to Hudson Recreation directly and provide us with your contact information. The Hudson Recreation staff will continue to work with our residents to plan for new playgrounds and will ensure that this topic is given full consideration as we embark on developing a Recreation specific Master Plan in the coming year.
Spring 2016 – May Town Meeting approved $50K to be used for Town Wide Playground Inspections and Improvements
Fall/Winter 2016 – Playground Inspection Contractor secured to complete inspections.
Spring 2017 – Inspections completed at 11 playgrounds in Hudson, MA.
Summer/Fall 2017 – Park Commission reviewed Inspection Reports and voted to begin removing playgrounds that had immediate hazards.
Winter 2018 – Park Commission submits Summary of Inspections, work performed to date and future improvement plan to Board of Selectmen.
Spring/Summer 2018 – Playground repairs, improvements and removals continue.
Fall 2018 – Detailed repair lists and cost estimates (including labor and materials) for remaining existing playgrounds was developed. HHS Preschool playground and Intel Field Playgrounds were visually inspected for potential re-use.
Spring 2019 – Implement the final phase of playground improvements based on detailed repair lists/estimates. Work to be completed by late summer 2019.