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Billy Ward Playground

Features

  1. Basketball Courts
  2. Benches/Seating
  3. Picnic Tables
  4. Playground
  5. SplashPad/Water Play Area
  6. Walkway/Paths/Trails
Overview
A pathway bisects the park, creating a series of functional areas. The park contains a grass area, a sand-based play structure, swings, a spray pool, a wooden-roofed play structure, and a basketball half court next to the third play structure. Play areas are laid out on different levels with the tot lot in the upper level in a sunken area. Planters, flowering trees, mature trees, and open lawn make the park enjoyable for adults as well as children.

Park History
The town acquired this playground between Aspinwall Street and Brook Street in 1914 from William and Thomas Aspinwall. At this time, the playground was less than one quarter of its present size and contained a large elm tree and swing set. In 1972, the town purchased the adjacent lots, demolished the existing houses, and constructed a playground, which was funded by the federal Cities and Parks Program.

The renovation created a grass sitting area, a sunken house foundation for gardening and play, a sand area, spray pool, and a half basketball court. In 1992, after a 2-year design review process, the playground was renovated again to include updated equipment for tots and older children, a new spray pool, a downsized basketball key and considerable landscaping and screening. The name of the playground was changed at its dedication from Brook Street Playground to Billy Ward Playground.

Deed / Title / Restrictions
The town purchased 4,604 square feet of the land from Thomas and William Aspinwall in 1914 for $423.54. George Belcher Cutts et al transferred to the town 14,716 square feet as 2 parcels to the town in 1972 for $46,600.00. The deed has a cancelled stamp on it, but the land remains in town ownership. The town acquired another 4,934 square feet from S. and A.C. Curtis in 1972. No deed records exist for this purchase, but the land plans and atlas confirm the transfer of land.

Additional Information
  • Category: Neighborhood Park
  • Size: 0.54 acres
  • Protection: Article 97
  • Manager: Brookline DPW, Parks and Open Space Division
  • Location: Brook Street and Aspinwall Avenue
  • Precinct: 6
  • Inventory Date: October 27, 2004, revised February 1, 2005
  • Vicinity: In a single-family neighborhood, across the street from St. Mary's Church and St. Paul's Church