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Raddin Park Undergoing Transformation as City Makes Investment in Recreation

The city has replaced the aging playground equipment at the park and will be converting two fields for different athletic uses.

The first phase of the project at Raddin Park was to replace the aging and unsafe playground equipment -- that's done -- and now the second phase is to convert two fields for different athletic uses to help meet growing needs for in Peabody.

The Recreation Department and the Torigian Family YMCA hosted a day for play at the park on Tuesday to show off the new playground, engage kids with some different games and explain the rest of the plan.

"You can't make a better investment than in our schools, our parks and in our kids," said Mayor Ted Bettencourt, addressing the large crowd of parents and children who came down to the park on what turned out to be an unseasonably warm day.

Recreation Director Jen Davis said that investment in recreation and the city's children follows up on Peabody's new status as a Playful City, which happened this spring. Peabody is among more than 200 cities in 43 states across the country who now have additional access to grants funds and the like for recreational projects.

Davis said a large swath of grassy area between the playground and a baseball field in the corner of Raddin Park will be converted into a multi-use athletic field while the baseball diamond will be converted into a softball field. The second baseball field will remain as is.

She said there's a growing need for softball between various youth and adult leagues and that baseball field, which doesn't have lights, doesn't see much use now. The multi-use field will help absorb the temporary loss of four athletic fields at Higgins Middle School when they are torn up next year as construction begins on the new middle school.

Davis stressed that the multi-use field at Raddin Park will not be turf and can be used for lacrosse, soccer or field hockey as well as flag football. She said it would cost about $26,000 to convert the baseball field for softball while the entire project will likely price at $110,000.

Part of that cost includes installing an irrigation system for the field. There won't be any lights added to the park though.

Davis said she's hoping to begin construction in the spring.

As for the playground, $98,000 later, children have brand new equipment to play on that's also at least 80 percent accessible children with physical disabilities (the old structure wasn't).

The equipment was purchased and installed with community preservation money. Construction occurred late this summer and the new playground was finally ready to open three weeks ago.
Adam Skeleton October 03, 2013 at 10:46 PM
What about Forest street park? The playground was torn down about a year and a half now and the city has no plans to replace it. The only answer I've gotten is that Center school has a "new" playground. Of course that playground is more than 5years old and is only safe when there is an adult there, since it can't be seen from the road. It also has nothing for the younger kids in the neighborhood like my daughter. Way to drop the ball Peabody.
mepurplegee October 04, 2013 at 08:29 AM
where is raddin park
Saber Walsh October 04, 2013 at 09:15 AM
Peabody was always a great place to grow up in because of our parks. There was always a place to play "pick up softball" and do something other than sit around. This is great. I only would wish that we could also step up patrols of these areas, since the underlying reason why we have problems with childhood obesity today has less to do with "sugery drinks" as the Bloombergs would like to have us believe, but more to do with the fact that it just isn't safe to let your kids just go to the park anymore without an adult present, and most adults are working 2+ jobs just to fill their gas tanks. If we can make the streets and parks safer, then we might have something of which other communities would be jealous.
John Castelluccio (Editor) October 04, 2013 at 09:27 AM
mepurplegee, the address is between 144 and 146 Lynnfield St. There's an access road to the parking lot across the street from Corwin Street and the Newhall Crossing plaza.

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