Margaret E. Robinson Playground

Robinson Playground

Construction Updates

November 3, 2023

A paved walkway with a bench

Photo: Cleaned up pathways on the site

We are excited to share that the playground has left the manufacturer and is due to arrive early next week. It's been a long wait to get the play equipment here and we appreciate everyone being patience with this. The contractor will start putting together the playground once all the pieces arrive on site. Once the playground is completed it will be inspected by both the manufacturer and an independent safety inspector. This week the contractor finished loam and seeding all the areas around the pathways and cleaned up the site. The final irrigation zone was also installed and now the system can be tested and then winterized along with the splash pad. Next week the fence contractor will also return and start work on all the new fencing around the park.  For additional details, please refer to the attached Robinson Construction Update Letter:  Robinson Construction Update Letter.

October 13, 2023

The contractor has continued and finished the all the utility work for the park. The splash pad and all paving work is also completed. Tree plantings and seeding have started throughout the park as well. Once the planting is completed, the contractor will move onto the installation of the drinking fountain and other site amenities. The playground equipment saw longer than anticipated lead times but is due to ship to the site at the end of the month. The contractor will then install the play pieces and playground safety surfacing. After that work is completed a playground inspector will come test the safety surfacing and inspect the installation of al the play pieces. The reopening of the park will depend of the weather and ability to install the equipment and surfacing before the winter weather. Please stay tuned for updates as that work progresses. 

August 23, 2023

Work has continued with the pouring of the seatwall at the new splash pad and the precast curb at the playground. There are some trees that have been planted and the work on the skate element at the hardcourt play area is also underway. The contractor will continue on the concrete work and planting of trees. They will then move on to paving the pathways within the park and the basketball court.

July 19, 2023

The contractor has completed the drainage work and almost all of the irrigation upgrades on site. They are now working on the base for the splash pad and seating wall within the new playground area. Around the park they are setting the base layer for the new pathway, new benches and picnic tables. After that work is completed, they will move on to all the concrete work within the park include pads for site furnishings and the seat wall around the splash pad as well as the splash pad itself.

Rough grading of pathway around the park. Photo: Base layer of the pathway at Robinson Playground.

June 22, 2023

Work is continuing on the site drainage and the improvements to the existing irrigation system. After that work is complete the contractor will move onto the utilities for the splash pad and removing all the existing fencing that is being replaced. Temporary fencing will be installed until more site work is completed and then the permanent fence will be installed.

May 30, 2023

The contractor is back on site after a few weeks of waiting for the drainage structures to arrive. This week the contractor will be working on the installation of the drainage structures to connect the new storm drainage system. After that they will move onto constructing the hardcourt play area and then move onto the pathways and playground. They are also working on getting the irrigation back up and running so the Parks team can seed and care for the field while the rest of the park is constructed.

May 3, 2023

A quick update on the progress of work at Robinson as we have had a few calls asking why the contractor is not on site every day. During the work in April the storm water infiltration system had to be rotated and raised to avoid ground water discovered on site during excavation. Due to this discover the ordering of the drainage structures was delayed to make sure the infiltration system was going to work in the new location. The structures have been ordered and the contractor is waiting for them to arrive on site. At that time the contractor will return to the site to continue work. Unfortunately, the lead times on materials are still much longer than what we previously saw before the pandemic. The project is still on schedule and the anticipated completion date of October 2023 has not changed.

April 2023

The contractor is continuing work on site with the installation of the storm water infiltration system that will be underneath the hardcourt play area. This system allows all the storm water to be infiltrated on site rather than flowing into the storm water system. The contractor has also laid out and excavated the new pathway around the park and added the base layer of stone for the path. The next step will be installing all the drainage manholes and catch basins which the contractor has ordered and is currently waiting to arrive on site.

March 2023

We are thrilled to share that construction will commence in mid March with the pre-determined tree removals. Prior to the tree removals the contractor, Mountain View Landscapes, will mobilize with and erosion control measures and construction gates which will restrict access to the site. The park will remain closed until its scheduled completion in November 2023.

Design Review Committee Updates

February 2021

The Park and Recreation Commission Meeting was held on February 9th, 2021. The preferred concept plan with the multi-use hardcourt on the Cypress Street side of Robinson Playground was presented and the committee voted unanimously to approve the plan. The next step will be developing a set of construction documents and specifications for the project. This work will be done by the staff within the Parks and Engineering divisions. Thank you to everyone that was involved in the Design Review Committee meeting process. We are looking forward to the renovation of Margaret E. Robinson Playground!

January 2021

We had our 7th Design Review Committee meeting on Wednesday January 27, 2021. At this meeting there were two concepts presented. Both concepts showed locations for the proposed multi-use hardcourt space, the playground, water play, swing zone, picnic and seating areas as well as a pergola with moveable seating underneath.

The committee voted in favor of the concept with the multi-use hardcourt near the Cypress Street side of the park, the vote was amended in support of one hoop within the multi-use hardcourt area. The next step is for the plan to be presented to the full Park and Recreation Commission, that meeting will take place on Tuesday February 9th. Please see the Town Calendar for additional information.

December 2020

We have been working over the last few months on revising the concepts to get ready for our next public meeting. That meeting will take place on Wednesday January 27, 2021. We look forward to seeing you there!

November 2020

At the last public Design Review Committee meeting on October 13th, a vote was taken by the Committee on the preferred concept plan for the park. The majority voted in favor of keeping the hardcourt play space (with one hoop) at the current High Street Place location. Accompanying that vote was a request to consider increasing the hardcourt play space, and joining the hardcourt and pergola spaces. Since that meeting, several of you have reached out to our office expressing your concern with the Committee’s decision. We hear and recognize your concerns, and have subsequently determined that the design review process will be continued before it is presented to the full Park and Recreation Commission. Over the next few months we will be working to revise the concept plans to prepare for another Design Review Committee meeting for Robinson Playground, after the Fall Town Meeting and holiday season, in January, 2021.

October 2020

We held our 6th design review committee meeting in mid October where the committee voted on a preferred concept plan for Robinson Playground. The next step is for the plan to be modified based on the comments received from the committee and for the plan to be presented to the full Park and Recreation Commission in November for their final vote.

September 2020

We are continuing the design review process after a tie vote at our last public meeting in August. We have two upcoming meetings that the public is welcome to attend. Please come share your thoughts and input on the current concept plans for the park. The details for the meetings are below.

On-Site Drop In at Robinson Playground
 Saturday September 19th, 2020 from 10:00am – Noon

Design Review Committee Meeting Robinson Playground Zoom meeting on Tuesday, October 13th, 2020 at 5:00pm

Summer 2020

We have been continuing the Design Review Process throughout the spring and summer. We had our fourth design review meeting in May where we gathered some great feedback on the design concepts. We have been working on revising two concepts since that meeting and will be having our 5th Design Review Meeting on August 26th.

Spring 2020

We have held four Design Review Committee Meetings to date, the most recent occurring on May 27, 2020. At that meeting, five different design concepts for the park were shared. These concepts are based on comments and feedback the Town had received in previous meetings. Members of the neighborhood and committee provided the Town with some great feedback on the different concepts and proposed improvements and there was a collective agreement around one concept. Over the month of June the design team will work on revising and refining that concept for the next design review meeting which will take place in July. The design team will then present to the full Park and Recreation Committee for a final vote on the preferred design concept plan. After the Park and Recreation Committee Meeting the design team will start working on the construction documents for the project.

Project Description

Margaret E. Robinson Playground includes a youth baseball / softball infield, large paved basketball court, and a play area, with trees in the northwest corner. It is separated from the Walnut Place conservation restriction by one lot. This park has a variety of edge conditions: one is sloped, one lined with trees, 2 sides are lined with houses, and 2 with streets. The vegetation is not notable except along the perimeter, where there are mature trees.

Park History

The Margaret E. Robinson Playground was the site of the car barn lot for the Boston Elevated Railway Company in the 1890s. Edward H. and Elizabeth B. Hill sold it to the town for playground purposes in 1939. Margaret E. Robinson was a Brookline resident and served as chair of the Democratic Town Committee, member of the School Committee for 6 years, Town Meeting Member, president of the Democratic Women's Club, member of the Women's Relief Corps, president of the American Legion Auxiliary of the Brookline Post, and a member of the National Civic Foundation. In 2001, a new irrigation system and field were installed with funds from the Community Development Block Grant Park Renovation Project.

Park Renovation Project

The renovation of Robinson Playground will include the following Improvements. Universal access within the park and treatment of the park’s perimeter and entries to address issues of accessibility. Redesign for a new playground and water play, including play equipment for all ages and resilient safety surfacing. Site furniture and destinations for seating and picnicking throughout the park. Evaluation of existing trees and the new plantings for the next generation of trees. Renovation of the natural turf areas within the baseball field. Reworking the grading and repairs to the drainage system to direct runoff appropriately.