A park no longer Super

Maybe you’ve heard — former Selectman George Prunier Jr. has proposed replacing, and possibly relocating, the Super Park next to the old police station. He went before Selectmen last week to propose a private fund to get the job done.

Let’s talk about the good things about the park. It reuses materials creatively. My model loved the “dinosaur” crafted from old tires.

And the piping that creates tunnels and this slide has held up really well over the years.

But the actual structure is showing some wear and tear. We had it mostly to ourselves and, even when it was just Little Miss running up and down the stairs and across the bridges, there was a whole lotta shakin’ going on. When I climbed up myself — as mothers tend to do when they run after the younger critters this thing is designed for — parts were a little wobbly.

My daughter loves slides that spin her around. But the sun heats up the surface and there’s definite rust…

… and that probably freaks the moms of toddlers right out, for good reason. Hello tetanus!

Also, there’s graffiti scribbled here and there. You’d think, with it being next to the police station, this wouldn’t be the case.

The Super Park dates back to 1985 and was renovated again back in 1998, according to park signage.

Possibly a playground made from more sturdy materials — Northborough has a beauty off Rte. 135 — might be in the park’s future. I’m also eyeing the ground covering and thinking it’s not quite up to snuff. Most of the parks constructed over the past few years now use bark mulch, or an equivalent manufactured product (there’s a type made from recycled rubber), as a cushion. Either way, you’re still going to end up emptying everything out of your shoes at the end of the excursion!

Prunier proposed rebuilding it on town-owned land at 25 Worcester St. due to the lack of shade at this location. I threw a call his way yesterday asking for more details about his fundraising plans; I’ll update when he gets back to me.

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7 thoughts on “A park no longer Super

  1. My 9 y.o. has a scar under her eye she got from the SuperPark when she was about 3. She fell off a swing and one of the jagged rocks caused her to get 3 stitches.

    (I feel obliged to mention that she was in the care of my in-laws at the time! My wife and I returned from St. Martin to see her face covered in bandages.)

    Fortunately for the town, we’re not the litigious types, but as your photos show, the park’s heyday is well in the past and it probably is more of a liability than anything else at this point.

  2. Ouch!
    My daughter has only played at the park when her brother has had a game at the high school field. She didn’t want anything to do with it when we first moved to town — she thought it looked like a place where ghosts would play!

  3. Being a park hound, I enjoy the one-of-a-kind Superpark. There isn’t another park like it around, to be sure. Every park has their ups and downs and the only place a child, at least our adventurers, can’t get hurt is buckled in a straightjacket with leg-irons on a Serta in the middle of a baseball diamond. The old guard in Grafton forget that having children is an exercise in releasing your fears.

  4. Two quick thoughts…
    1. I would urge caution regarding Phillias’s support of the current Super Park as a kind of tough love experience where kids can get banged up and we can learn to release our fears. I’ve never been involved much with the law (there was that one time when I spent some time in a Thai immigration holding cell) but I would consider the financial implications of a un-supported/non-maintained Super Park as legally very precarious for a town already strapped for cash. If it aint supported (is it?), tear it down and have an open field. Otherwise, you are just waiting for trouble.
    2. I read an interesting article in baystateparents.com that might be interesting as food for thought as this discussion continues.
    http://www.baystateparent.com/news/2008/0901/articles/024.html

  5. That was interesting, and I do agree with most of it. I would worry that, in the interest of making a play structure accessible, that they might make all parts too easy.
    There was a climbing section at the park in Northborough that obsessed both my kids as toddlers. It was difficult for a small child (I, of course, was spotting them the whole time) and, time and again, they’d finally ask for me to rescue them or help them up those final few inches. The looks on their faces when they finally managed to do it all by themselves were fantastic.
    And Michael: Thai immigration holding cell? Any elements that might be interesting for a playground experience?

  6. I do not like the sounds of this. Growing up in Grafton, the Super Park was one of the few things kids really had to love in Grafton besides Swirls and Scoops. Its a one of a kind park and a HUGE part of our town.

    If they are going to move it, why not just leave it constructed and build a new one. Kids will get hurt in any playground, they will find a way.

    I really hope this plan doesn’t happen and destroy a treasured landmark.

  7. I think the Super Park is a Grafton Treasure however it either needs a re-haul or needs to be “transplanted” to a new location. It’s heyday has come and gone and now it really is falling into disrepair. I think it would definitely be a better investment than that new school that is looming on the horizon…

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