EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

May 22, 2013

Tattersall Farm to get $50K from city

Project includes water-spray playground, educational facility, community garden, new trails

HAVERHILL — The city will pitch in $50,000 for a community garden, water playground and outdoor learning center at Tattersall Farm off North Broadway near the New Hampshire line.

City Council approved Mayor James Fiorentini’s request for the money last night.

The city’s contribution will be combined with $212,500 from the state and $50,000 from the Tattersall Farm Charitable Trust. Another $80,000 is to come from various private and public groups, including the city’s water and sewer departments, in the form of service and labor donations.

The project also will add parking and include improvements to existing trails on the 150-acre property.

The proposed splash park will feature sprinklers in the ground activated by people stepping on pedals, spraying water for children and others to run through. The community garden will allow residents to have their own areas to do plantings.

Some councilors had voiced concerns about whether a splash park violated the conditions of the agreement under which Mary Alice Tattersall’s estate donated the property to the city. That agreement includes restrictions to the property’s use, including that the farm be preserved and maintained as closely as possible to its historical appearance and condition.

The mayor said those concerns turned out to be unfounded. He said the trustees developed the state grant for the project and that they support all aspects of the plan.

“I recently met with three of the trustees and they assure me that there is nothing in this grant, which they applied for in partnership with the city, which in any way conflicts with the wording or intent of the original document,” the mayor said in a letter to the council.

Fiorentini also said the city will hold a public hearing to review the plan once there is a design concept for the playground and educational facility.

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