Jackson Sq. Playground delayed again

A playground designed by members of the community planned for Jackson Square has been delayed a second time. Project organizers told the Gazette construction has been re-scheduled for spring of next year.

The postponement is due to unexpected but required legal processes between state and non-state agencies.

“Any time a non-state agency wants to give a state agency money for a specific project, the state has lots of laws and processes [that govern that interaction]. A large part of the delay has been that process,” said S.J. Port, a DCR spokesperson.

The playground is a joint project between the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), a state agency, and Children’s Hospital Boston, who is raising the funds for the project.

“DCR is committed to the playground project and hopes to have it ready and open by late Spring of 2012,” Port said. “We’re really excited about project. It’s going to be a pretty amazing space.”

Port told the Gazette a more exact timeline could not be decided yet, as it will depend partly on the length and strength of the upcoming winter.

The 4,000-square-foot location for the playground is adjacent to the Bromley-Heath housing development, behind the MBTA station and next to the existing sports courts.

Construction is being funded by Children’s Hospital and community donations. According to the project’s website, the project is expected to cost $500,000, and nearly $344,000 has already been raised.

“Fundraising is actually going pretty well and we are getting nearer to our goal,” said Lois Lee, part of Children’s project team.

Construction was first delayed this spring due to an innovative play structure, a Wall-holla. The structure would be first of its kind in the U.S., which caused the design team delays in ensuring all safety regulations were being followed.

The Wall-holla, a climbing structure that resembles a giant ant farm, is a hollow, 16-foot-high wall, with multi-level passages that mimic ant tunnels. The Wall-holla will be the cornerstone of the new playground.

Aside from the Wall-holla, the playground is expected to include many other balance-based toys and structures, including a zipline that would allow children with limited mobility as well as able-bodied children to enjoy the playground.

A zipline consists of ropes attached to a pulley on an inclined track, allowing the person holding the rope to zip from one end to the other quickly.


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