Let's Get Outdoors!
By Donna Lane
Despite the April nor’easter and recent snowfall, spring really has sprung! With the nicer weather, many folks are looking for fun things to do outdoors. You don’t need to go very far to find areas that both adults and children can enjoy.
From playgrounds for tots, to Little League and Babe Ruth baseball fields, to tennis courts, and conservation trails, for young and old alike, Norwood has it all. The Norwood Recreation and Public Works Departments (DPW) oversee nine parks in town – Father Mac’s, Ellis, Hawes, Lower Balch, Bond Street, Wilson Street, Murphy, Doherty and Winslow Street. Here’s what each one offers.
Hawes Park is the largest of the nine parks. Located at 1305 Washington St., in South Norwood, the area abuts the Coakley Middle School. It has conservation trails, picnic areas, a playground, a pool with a nifty new pool house, a spray park, tennis courts, three rectangular fields for soccer, lacrosse and football, two Babe Ruth baseball fields, and a fishing pond.
Father McAleer’s, better known as Father Macs, is located at 295 Vernon St. This huge expanse of land has two soccer fields, a Little League baseball field, a playground, and a pool which is its star summer attraction.
Ellis Park sits at the corner of Codman and Cameron Road. It offers a baseball field, softball field, a small soccer field, and a playground.
The Lower Balch at 1168 Washington St., in South Norwood has a nature classroom area, a basketball court and a softball/baseball field. This month, the Town is hoping to build an outdoor floor hockey/street hockey/futsal court.
The Bond Street tot lot playground is located near Norwood Hospital. Two years ago, the Town poured a 4,000 square foot rubber playground surface to make the area more ADA-friendly for those with mobility issues. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal, and later sexual orientation. In addition, unlike the Civil Rights Act, the ADA also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.
Wilson Street Park houses the Babe Ruth baseball field and a playground.
A baseball field and playground are available at Winslow St., off of Winslow Ave.
Doherty Park off of Brewster Drive has a Little League baseball field and a playground.
And Murphy Field, also known as Pleasant Street Park, which sits at Pleasant St. and Allard Rd., has a Little League baseball field and a playground.
The Recreation Department and the Department of Public Works share the responsibility for keeping the fields in pristine condition for residents. The DPW performs all of the landscaping and field maintenance and cares for the ballfields – cutting, liming, and fertilizing. The Recreation Department handles all of the maintenance for the playgrounds.
Travis Farley, Superintendent of the Recreation Department, said his department will highlight each of the parks weekly on Norwood Community Media.
“These outdoor play spaces located around the town are available for Norwood residents to use at their leisure,” Farley said. “With the nice weather coming up, we hope people will begin using them.”
The guidelines for using a Norwood park or field are simple:
Pick up your trash and dispose of it properly. Trash attracts bees and wild animals. If the trash barrels are full, bring your trash home with you.
Park only in designated areas. If parking on the street is necessary, park so emergency vehicles have access to the fields and to the neighboring homes. Do not park in crosswalks or in front of fire hydrants!
And be courteous to the neighbors – make sure not to block their driveways or park on their lawns.
If you own a dog, check a park’s specific postings for any restrictions.
If you are a Norwood resident interested in reserving any of these areas for a birthday party or other function, youth or sporting event for your organization, visit the Recreation Department at the Civic Center, at 165 Nahatan St., and fill out a request form. If you have any questions, contact Howard Weinstein, at 781-762-0466 or email [email protected]
Enjoy everything Norwood has to offer!