Healy Field Update

We have just been updated on the renovation status of Healy Field in Roslindale. Construction is scheduled to begin this Spring now that Fallon Field, another major Roslindale playground, has re-opened this fall. We are particularly invested in Healy Field because we met with the design team at Copley Wolff last spring. In the meeting, we discussed ways to better incorporate inclusivity in their initial designs. You can find the original plans and our feedback in our Healy Report. You may remember us talking about this meeting in our first blog post.

We are proud to see that some of our suggestions were included in the final design. Some examples include a relocation of the stream to allow for better navigation across the park, the reduction of the non-inclusive netted climbing structure, and a replacement of the original merry-go-round with a wheelchair accessible version that is flush to the ground. More details of the final design were analyzed by our friends over at Roslindale Wants to Play which you can find linked below.

 

https://roslindaleplaygrounds.org/2017/02/24/healy-field-design-update/

Mothers Rest Playground

From time to time we will be featuring some of our favorite playgrounds in the Boston area for you to visit. For our first feature, we will be focusing on the Mothers Rest Playground, located in the Back Bay Fens area.

Mothers Rest is very busy on beautiful days
Mothers Rest is very busy on beautiful days

Tucked away in the Back Bay Fens, Mothers Rest sits in a very pretty spot in Boston
Tucked away in the Back Bay Fens, Mothers Rest sits in a very pretty spot in Boston
  • Location: Back Bay Fens, 853 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
    • This playground is accessible by foot to the surrounding community, as well as public transportation
  • Age Groups: mostly toddlers and young children (around ages 2-8)
  • Inclusivity/inclusive elements: 
    • disc swing
    • audible play/musical features like xylophone and drums
    • imaginative play like a storefront countertop
  • Favorite element in playground: disc swing
    • It’s fun for all ages and inclusive to virtually all abilities!
  • Features:
    • great layout with varied equipment and safe surfaces
    • safe for children: there are barriers and guardrails free of defects, the structural equipment is well maintained, and there is a protecting fence separating play from hazardous areas
  • Great if you’re looking for: 
    • high visibility of playground areas
    • varied playground equipment apt for small children
  • Keep looking if: 
    • you’re looking for more challenging play equipment
    • you want a playground with a water fountain and bathroom close by

Friends, baked goods, and inclusive design

This blog post marks the start of the spring semester in the third year of the Playground Project: INDIGO’s existence. After a long period of experimentation and taking on different projects in the name of inclusive design, we seem to be zeroing in on exactly how we can best help the community and improve the world around us. We begin this semester with seven of our members in Boston, some in classes and some on co-op. Luckily, Grace is here this semester to bring her delicious desserts to every meeting!

In hopes of accomplishing as much as possible, we decided to switch things up a little and break the group into smaller teams- each with a centralized focus. While continuing to meet weekly as a whole group, we have created groups specializing in playground design research, website improvement, and the documentation of our various endeavours. We will assess the effectiveness of this choice over the course of the semester.
A large part of our research and advocacy involves attending community meetings around the Boston area, during which we aim to serve as a resource to designers and enthusiastic parents who are eager to participate in the process of playground designs or renovations. Roslindale, a residential neighbourhood located in Boston, MA, has been one of the communities with which we have established a close relationship with by attending community meetings and hearing the needs and wants of the community. These meetings have allowed us to not only hear what parents and children want in their playgrounds, but to think of the best way in which inclusivity and accessibility can be integrated into the design. They have also allowed us to make connections with playground designers and Boston city officials- connections that seem to be paying off.

Copley Wolff Design Group, designers in charge of the renovations of the Healy Playground in Roslindale

Today, four of our members met with the designers of the Healy Playground and Cathy Baker-Eclipse of Boston Parks and Recreation to offer our feedback after the initial design was proposed at the community meeting two weeks ago. With a focus on inclusivity, we spoke about the elements of the design that we liked very much, relatively small and/or simple fixes that we think would make the playground more inclusive, and some more extreme and/or cost intensive possibilities. It was extremely exciting to see how seriously our thoughts and input were taken by the designers. They took notes, asked questions, and were truly receptive to what we had to say. It’s nice to see how seriously people take you when you really know what you’re talking about- and when it comes to creating inclusive play spaces, we believe that we are very well versed and are committed to continuously learning as much as we can. After a fantastic meeting, the cherry on top came when Ms. Baker-Eclipse asked if we would be interested in meeting with another design team to discuss inclusivity. Is this the birth of The Playground Project: INDIGO Consulting Firm? If it is we’re definitely going to have to work on the name.