Westport Recreation Department
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News: NEW Annex Playground! Coming Spring 2024!

Date Published Author
11/8/2023 12:00:00 AM  Westport Recreation Department 

November 8, 2023

The Westport Recreation Department is excited to announce that they will be installing
a new, modern playground, to replace the almost 30 year old playground that is
currently located near the Annex Building at 856 Main Rd. in Westport, MA.

“It’s been a long time coming.” said Dana Stewart, Recreation Director for the Town of
Westport. “The old Annex Playground has been well loved and used by many town
residents over the years, but it is time to replace it due to its age and old design. We
need to have a playground that is ADA compliant and meets all of the current safety
standards. A new playground in the Central Village area will hopefully help to increase
economic growth, promote healthy play and exercise for kids, and improve the
connectivity for the community at large.”

The Recreation Director, along with the Recreation Commission, have had a vision for
improving Westport’s two town playgrounds for all to enjoy (the Annex Playground and
the Bicentennial Playground). They are completing the Annex Playground first since it’s
the older of the two playgrounds. For the past few years they have been busy
investigating different playground designs, visiting other local playgrounds to see what
features they like, and trying to attain the necessary funding needed.

Attaining funding has been a challenge, as newer playgrounds cost a significant
amount. Last year, the Recreation Department applied for funds through the town’s
Community Preservation Commission. This effort was successful as $350,000 was
approved at Town Meeting in May 2023. “That amount is significant and very much
appreciated!” said Stewart. Those funds will be split between the two playgrounds,
which left a need to gain more funding.

Then, a foundation heard about the Westport Recreation Department’s “Playground
Improvement Project” and invited them to present their plans. On Monday, October 23,
2023 this foundation shared that this project was approved for a grant in the amount of
$500,000. The foundation expressed their wish to remain anonymous, and to have their
funds applied to the Annex Playground as the priority so that it could be finished. Then,
any remaining funds could be reallocated to the Bicentennial Playground to continue
plans for that project.

“We were overjoyed with this amazing news, and so grateful for the generosity of this
anonymous foundation!” said Stewart. “With this grant, along with half of the Community
Preservation Commission funds, we are able to install a brand new, modern playground
at the Annex in spring 2024! We hope to have a grand opening and ribbon cutting
ceremony for the new playground in June 2024, just in time for summer.”

Stewart was able to share the news of the funding and playground plans at the Board of
Selectmen meeting held on Monday, November 6. Images of the new playground
design were shown and questions were answered.

The new playground at the Annex will have a nautical theme, a nod to the history of the
Westport community, and be in colors of blue, grey, tan and white. It features a large
whale that kids can climb on, 5 slides of varying heights, multiple swings, many sensory
panels, various climbing features, an inclusive see saw, an in ground whirl spinner and
deck levels with a ramp so it is inclusive to anyone in a wheelchair. The ground will be a
modern, rubberized surface with a pattern on it that is meant to mimic the Westport
River. This kind of surface is currently the proven safety standard at the majority of

“A lot of time and attention went into the details of this playground, and we hope that the
Westport community, and any visitors to our town, enjoys this playground for years to
come!” said Stewart.

More information, and pictures of the design plans for the new playground at the Annex,
can soon be viewed on the Westport Recreation website at www.westportrec.com.

If anyone in the community is interested in donating monetary funds or being a sponsor
for the future completion of the new Bicentennial Playground, located at 192 Gifford Rd.,
Westport, MA, please contact the Recreation Department at stewartd@westport-ma.gov
or call 774-264-5181.

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