Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
SWASEY FIELD SPRAY PARK OPENS ON MAY 28 FOR THE 2016 SEASON
The Heartbeat of Haverhill has been waiting for the new spray park to open at Swasey Field, 59 Blaisdell Street nearly as long as the neighborhood kids. And we were not disappointed with Haverhill’s newest summertime attraction.
Haverhill’s most contemporary park is 104 years old. Swasey Field, a 14-acre park developed in 1910 for shoe factory workers and their families, turned on the spigots for the colorful spray park Memorial Weekend. And kids didn’t let an outside temp hovering just above 70-degrees, deter them from soaking up the fun. The whole park’s multi-year facelift was made possible through the efforts of Mayor Fiorentini and city council working with Rep Brian Dempsey to capture a $1.1 million State Parks grant plus a matching $1 million from a Community Development Block grant (CDBG) approved in 2012. The kids and the parents can now see and enjoy what those efforts reaped
As a kid, THOH and our neighborhood friends ran through the sprinkler on the front lawn and squirted each other with a garden hose. This spray park is a whole different world. The water sprays on a preset cycle, creating suspense (Which apparatus will start spraying next?), the pad is a level playing field making it accessible for most, and there is an automatic timer that will shut off the flow at night.
The surprise spraying cycle resulted in lots of giggles, running, and shouts from peers with instructions of where to head next. It also resulted in at least one sprinkled camera. No serious damage thankfully.
But Swasey Field has more to offer than a good soaking. And all the amenities were in use during our visit on a late Sunday afternoon.
Swasey Field offers:
THOH thinks Haverhill has been underestimated by the people who do not know our city. With the community’s dedication to first class parks like Swasey, Plug Pond, Winnekenni, Riverside (where a new dog park just opened) and a series of neighborhood parks slated for redevelopment, Haverhill should definitely be the envy of surrounding towns especially if we as residents do our part to keep it clean and safe.
(c)2014 by Alison Colby-Campbell