Notes from D5 Open Space Plan Meeting tonight

There were roughly 10 citizens attending; my notes are below.  They are not complete and may not always have a name attached.  Note also that even though the meeting took place in D5, comments were welcome about any open space in the city.

District 5 Open Space and Recreation Plan Update

With Gene Bolllinger of Weston and Sampson, and Cesar Valiente, Project Manager for DPW&P

Back in all five districts in January with what they have learned.

Updated plan on file with Commonwealth in May/June 2013.

What are city’s parks and open space priorities for next seven years.

Will be meeting in public forums – a couple of citywide meetings; with parks commission; elder affairs commission; conservation commission; nonprofits like MassAudubon and GWLT; all athletic facilities permit holders; college community; “Friends of”; and general public.

Inventory of Lands of Conservation and Recreation Interest – will visit all city parks and fields, as well as other places of interest

Citywide survey on the city’s website – due sometime in January.

List of city assets in D5 – Apricot St. Playground, Bailey-Prouty Playground/Field, Beaver Brook Park, Bennett Field, Boynton Park, Cascades Park, Coes Pond Beach/Coes Knife/Columbus Park, Farber Field, Hadwen Park, Knights of Columbus, Logan Field, Rockwood Field, Ty Cobb Field

Comments period

Folks from Worcester Handball Association – here about 13 years.  They were wondering about Crompton Park master plan.  Available on the city website.  It was mentioned where the tennis court is.  They will check the master plan and see if that is called for and get back to them.

The parks they frequently use – Green Hill, Castle, and one in South Worcester.  The conditions in some of them are not favorable.  They had a donation of $10k from the Rotary (I think) about five years ago which helped.  They would like to see enhancements and improvements.

Green Hill is not as good as they would want it to be – skaters use it because there is not a fence all around and it damages the surface.

Run a tournament at Sharry Field (sp?) every year.  This year were not able to do the one at Camp Street.

They’d like more handball courts and better shape for the existing ones.

Conditions at Castle Park are horrible because there is no parking.

PM says there is a master plan slated for Castle Park after July 1.

Larry – as far as Crompton Park, playground is done.  There is a problem because it is subject to flooding and sewage overflows.   Doesn’t make sense to put a lot of money because it will just flood out.

Green Hill – upgrading and enlargement of animal farm will be very extensive.  Once the “Green Monster” (old park headquarters) is demolished – lot of space at the top of the hill.  The city has talked about moving the greenhouse/gardening up there, but there are some people who are not happy with that proposal.  City now discussing putting up extensive security cameras and gating to keep park closed.  City has a couple of roving rangers on bicycles to check parks mostly during nighttime.

Green Hill, continued – thanks mainly to GWLT – 12+ acres were added to the park last year, which added open space and the Coal Mine and Coal Mine Brook.  Also been working with Public Works – Bob Moylan has proposed linear park from Rt 9 bridge to Lake Ave North to Lincoln St to connect with Green Hill Park.   Also talking about renovating the old well and putting in windows to see what old water works used to look like.

Wants to see if the parks master plans could be done in a better way – some individual parks have master plans, but doesn’t know an overall master plan for all parks.

Bollinger replies that the Open Space plan is something like an overall parks master plan.

Larry, continued – mentions the tree initiative action.

Nicole mentions God’s Acre.

Colin leads from there to talk about Tetasset Ridge Trail.

South of God’s Acre – street crossings would make that a more useful/safe trail system.

Woman talks about access to Wheels to Water – and crossing Park Avenue in general.

Colin – from an environmental justice perspective, Park Ave serves as a wall.

Karen – Goddard Memorial Drive – already efforts from members of public for access; access to get to Newton Hill to cross Pleasant Street; safe crossings.  Newton Square rotary awkwardness.

No safe way to cross at where Elm Park ends – hopefully this can be done when Fire Alarm building is done.

Mention of Hadwen Arboretum.

Colin – other institutional lands (besides Hadwen) not protected – Worcester Academy owns playing fields and wooded areas near Kettle Brook – esp. wooded lands next to brook.

Long discussion of needing a task force for a dog park.

I mentioned cemeteries, and the need for a meeting between all the cemeteries in the city + Friends of Hope Cemetery.  Also – community gardens.

Colin – open space – Moreland and Brigham Road (Clarkson property), Cascades Triangle

Karen – can farmers’ markets be incorporated into an open space plan – in conjunction with community gardens?

Another woman mentions skate parks.  Bollinger mentions Green Hill Park.  Part of master plan of Logan Field.

Colin – Historic resources – WPA era bridge on Cataract St – historic preservation grants – potential resource.

Colin – open space plan – 495 collaborative – greenway along Tatnuck Brook because of green spaces already there.

Mention of Perkins Farm – minimally managed, used to be mostly volunteer, but key volunteer has since passed away.  Needs more maintenance on the signs.

Sherer Trail land that could connect to Coes Pond.


3 thoughts on “Notes from D5 Open Space Plan Meeting tonight

  1. Gayle says:

    I went to the conflicting (to me as I live in between both)” Open Space” revised plan on what the city is going to do at Knights of Columbus.They are expanding the parking lot and then will have it under lock and key during the time it isn’t use ,day or night (like they do at Beaver Brook and that park is a mess) and thereby creating an isolated,dangerous park to walk thru by making another difficult park for the diverse ,general public to use .
    This is against the purpose of “Open Space” .
    I also want people to notice that Park Dept wrote in the 2006 Open Space and recreation Plan ,” active facilities are maintained for league uses ” and the rest of the sentance is deceptive because they play on words like “passive facilities” are maintained on an at needed basis.
    I am a general ,diverse taxpayer ,where do I go????

    • Nicole says:

      Gayle — You can still attend the last of the preliminary Open Space meetings, which is next Monday, December 17, at 6:30 PM at Clark University, Grace Conference Room, 1st Floor, 950 Main Street. Note that even though the meeting is in D4, comments are welcomed from anyone about any open space in the city. There will be more meetings after this, but it would be good for you to give that kind of feedback sooner rather than later.

      • Gayle says:

        I am very thankful for finding your website and that you try (like posting the dates and times of open meetings) to keep people informed about how to be involved in what issues are important to them etc,etc
        I’m unable to attend the next meeting but the city, politicians and park dept are well aware of my feelings on Beaver Brook.
        I did give my 1 minute, oral opinion (trying to get the audience to pay attention) at the K of Columbus meeting but i got my standard 30second response from the city, that they disagreed with me. Most of my opinion has been in writing to the city because of how they deal with people who disagree with them.
        I did see how they play on words and how people’s natural instinct for self preservation, in small groups, get people divided on the issues but that the city can get enough info so that they can write up the report that is due for SCORP in May/13 for their funding (my opinion)

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