Grove Street Playground Ready to be Redressed

It’s been sized and appraised. Now, how should the Grove Street Playground be dressed?

This month, the town will formalize a contract for a landscape architecture firm – familiar with Belmont – to begin the  creation a master plan for the 10-acre site on the Cambridge-townline used by numerous youth sports groups, residents and neighbors.

David Kale, Belmont’s town administrator, told the Belmont Board of Selectmen at its Monday, Jan 5 meeting the town was finalizing a contract with Dedham-based Activitas Inc. to create a master plan for the playground.

Currently, the playground is one of the most used in the town. With three dedicated ball fields, Grove Street is the base for youth baseball in Belmont. The soccer field in the lower section is used from early spring to late fall by Belmont Youth Soccer. In addition, the park has four tennis courts, a basketball court (used as a backdrop for a political ad by Maura Healey, the incoming state Attorney General) and a new playground. After any significant snow fall, the playground becomes a place many smaller children first learn to sled.

Yet the evolution of the playground from an open space to a location for many athletic facilities was completed with little planning. Responding to the concerns of residents and neighbors, the Capital Budget Committee submitted in June for Town Meeting approval $30,000 toward the creation of a comprehensive plan to determine if there are efficiencies in land use.

During the fall, a survey was conducted to provide a detailed overview of the playground and its current uses.

Activitas is best known in town for creating the Belmont Athletic Facilities Study as well as managed last year’s Belmont High School Track and Harris Field renovation.

Kale said the firm will hold public meetings to hear from athletic groups, residents and those who live close by for opinions and ideas.

“Anyone interested in Belmont parks should attend those meetings,” said Belmont Selectmen Chair Andy Rojas.

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