EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

June 12, 2014

Parks across the city get facelifts

Haverhill adds playground equipment, rebuilds sports fields

HAVERHILL — Call this the year of the playground in Haverhill.

Improvements to playgrounds and parks are happening all over the city — from a $1 million investment in Swasey Field to simple landscaping at other parks.

In all, Haverhill is spending nearly $1.2 million to improve recreational areas in several parts of the community.

Here’s a closer look:

The $1 million for Swasey Field is state grant money. It is bringing new baseball fields, a basketball court, walking paths, playground equipment and a water park to that inner-city neighborhood.

Riverside Park next to Trinity Stadium is getting a variety of new playground equipment. It includes a climbing wall, swings and a rope climbing area, as well as picnic tables.

Landscaping improvements to fields for baseball and softball at the stadium complex, as well as the American Legion Farm softball field. That work includes applying an additive that keeps grass from growing in the baselines to make maintenance easier.

Basketball court improvements at Cashman Field, Riverside Park and 12th Avenue playground are bringing new baskets and a privacy fence at the 12th Avenue court to help block noise from neighbors who complained.

Rest room improvements at Riverside and Winnekenni parks and the Plug Pond recreation area. Those locations have received new sinks and bathroom stalls and fresh coats of paint.

The city’s new dog park at Riverside Park, which opened last month, gives dog owners a fenced-in area where they can let their pets run free.

The old Route 110 rest area, closed for 15 years, has reopened as Merrimack River Park. Volunteers are helping to maintain the park, which is along the river near the Methuen line.

These projects are among the city’s main focuses this year, said Vincent Ouellette, director of human services for the city who also leads the Recreation Department.

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