John E. Murphy Playground

Murphy Playground

Project Description

John E. Murphy Playground is bowl shaped with a noticeable grade change, retaining walls on three sides and a sloped grass surface. There are entry points located on two sides off of Bowker and Brook Street. Park recreational facilities include basketball key, 2-5 year old play area, 5-12 year old play area and spray pool. The park was originally the Brook Street lot, the Town bought this site in 1915 from Harriet A. Howe & Percival S. Howe. In 1971, it was named after John E. Murphy, a former Park and Recreation Commissioner. The playground changed substantially in 1971 when tot play equipment, a basketball hoop and swings were added. In 1993, it was rebuilt under the Town mandated design review process using Community Development Block Grant funds. In 1998, the drainage problem in the play area was corrected by the Water and Parks Divisions of the DPW. 

Project Updates


Fall 2020

During August we had two on site meetings at Murphy playground and conducted a neighborhood survey. We received a lot of great comments and ideas from both the meetings and survey. In early October we had our 3rd design review committee meeting. At that meeting we presented three revised concept plans based on the neighborhood and committee members input. There were also four different playground concepts presented. The next step is revising the preferred plan based on all the input received during the meeting for another public design review committee meeting this winter. Date to be announced. 

Summer 2020

We are working on revising the design concepts for our next virtual public meeting in the fall and are looking for more opportunities to gather input from users and community members of the park. We would like to invite you to join us for one of our on-site meetings in August. Meetings will take place:

Saturday, August 15th 10:00am – 12:00pm 

Tuesday, August 22nd 2:30pm – 4:30pm 

Please join us at Murphy Playground on either date listed above to discuss the renovation of the park and share your ideas with the project Landscape Architect! We will be set-up on the open lawn space. 

Improvements to Murphy Playground will include:

  • Universal access within the park;
  • Treatment of the park’s perimeter and entries to address issues of accessibility;
  • Redesign of the playground spaces and water play, including play equipment for all ages and resilient safety surfacing;
  • Site furniture and destinations for seating and picnicking throughout the park;
  • New plantings;
  • Discussion of hardcourt play space;
  • Renovation of open lawn; and,
  • Grading work and drainage enhancements to direct runoff appropriately

At these on-site meetings, we will share the design concepts that were presented at our last virtual public meeting. We would love to hear your thoughts so that we may revise the proposed designs to best meet the needs of the community and all park users. 

Come enjoy some time in the park and share your ideas with us! 

Spring 2020

We have held two Design Review Committee Meetings to date, the most recent occurring on June 3, 2020. At that meeting, five different design concepts for the park were shared. Members of the neighborhood and committee provided the Town with some great feedback on the different concepts and proposed improvements. Over the summer the design team will work on revising and refining the concepts for the next design review meeting which will take place in October.