By: Joanna Tsouvelis

Waterfield Design Group, the designer hired to create designs for the renovation of Pequossette Playground located off Maple and Bartlett streets, presented draft concepts at the second public input meeting on Oct. 20. Town Meeting approved the Community Preservation Act funding of $25,000 for the park redesign at the May Town Meeting.

Julie Crockettt, founder of Friends of PQ Playground, said many of the well-loved current features of the park will remain, such as the bike/trike/scooter/walking loop. The new design will create an additional loop to spread out the usage and increase safety, said Crockett. Also, in the new design, there will be separate areas for younger toddlers (ages 2 to 5) and older school-age children (ages 5 to 12), many new trees, additional picnic space, benches and a hill/mound inspired by the existing mound, she said.

Waterfield Design Group used community input they received at the first public meeting in September to come up with designs presented at the Oct. 20 meeting. It includes features that will fit into a natural theme using, natural colors, use of contours and a minimum of metal. The designers listened to additional feedback that will be incorporated into a final design to be presented at another public meeting on Nov. 3.

The overall goal is to build a playground that will serve the Belmont community for years to come, said Crockett. "WDB has been purposely avoiding costly, high-in-the-sky ideas or play areas filled with bells and whistles. They're suggesting equipment that is easy to maintain and new trees and plants that require little upkeep," she said.

On Nov. 3, a single design will be presented with the layout and play equipment finalized.

"We want to keep the scope focused on new, engaging playground equipment, walking/biking paths for all ages, as well as any necessary flooding remediation," said Crockett.

The Community Preservation Committee has approved the preliminary application for CPA funding of $300,000 to rebuild the playground at its Oct. 12 meeting. Friends of PQ Playground will present the project at a CPC meeting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the Selectmen's Room at Town Hall. The final application is due Dec. 5.