- Department of Conservation & Recreation
Media Contact for Photo Release: Department of Conservation and Recreation Celebrates Opening of a New Barbara Colby Playground at Tenean Beach
Olivia Dorrance, Press Secretary
BOSTON — Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, Department of Conservation and Recreation Acting Commissioner Jim Montgomery, State Representative Dan Hunt, and family members of Barbara Colby celebrate the opening of the new Barbara Colby Playground located at Tenean Beach in the City of Boston neighbor Dorchester on Friday, November 8, 2019.
Today, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides joined with Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Acting Commissioner Jim Montgomery, family members of Barbara Colby, and state officials to celebrate the completion of the new Barbara Colby Playground located at DCR’s Tenean Beach in the City of Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. The new playground will continue to provide children and their families with exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities.
“Recreational resources, such as neighborhood playgrounds, provide important opportunities for children and their families to get outside and socialize, play, and incorporate a healthy, active lifestyle,” said EEA Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Barbara Colby was a tremendous community leader who spent her life supporting her neighborhood, and investing in this playground continues and honors her legacy in Dorchester by not only improving community connections, but also providing a place where children can learn and grow.”
“Serving as a neighborhood gathering place, Barbara Colby Playground at Tenean Beach is an important urban recreational area for Port Norfolk and all of Dorchester,” said DCR Acting Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “Importantly, the Baker-Polito Administrations remains committed to protecting, promoting, and enhancing, and preserving the Commonwealth’s invaluable environmental, cultural, and recreational resources, and today’s ribbon cutting serves as a great example of these efforts.”
The new playground replaces the original Barbara Colby Playground, first built by the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) in 1985. Named after notable Dorchester neighborhood resident Barbara A. Colby, who devoted her adult life to the parish Ladies Sodality, the St. Ann School Association, the Pope’s Hill Neighborhood Association, the Tenean Beach Day Committee, and many political campaigns.
“I want to thank the DCR for keeping Barbara’s name on the playground and for building a beautiful place for children to play,” said Jack Colby, Barbara Colby’s brother.
The design for the $420,000 project began in fall 2018 and construction was completed in fall 2019. Details of the playground include:
- The removal of existing equipment and surfacing;
- The relocation of the playground site to higher ground;
- The installation of new galvanized steel playground equipment for 2-5 year olds and for 5-12 year olds;
- The installation of poured in place rubber safety surfacing;
- The installation of associated site amenities, such as benches, fully-accessible pathways, and landscaping; and,
- The creation of two fully accessible parking spaces at the playground.
“I’d like to thank the Department of Conservation and Recreation for their continued efforts in improving our parks and playgrounds in Dorchester and across the Commonwealth,” said State Representative Dan Hunt (D-Dorchester). “This nearly half million dollar investment of a brand new playground located on higher ground, will not only be able to endure the coastal high tides it often experiences, but will be fully accessible for all children for years to come.”
“Access to quality greenspace is so important to healthy communities, and I am happy to see this project completed,” said State Senator Nick Collins (D-Boston). “I want to thank the civic leaders and state and local policymakers who prioritized this project and made sure the final design reflects the same devotion to this community that Barbara Colby embodied.”
“I am grateful to DCR and to our leaders at the state level for their significant investment in the Barbara Colby Playground. With this investment, this beautiful outdoor space along the Neponset River will be utilized for many years to come by the residents and children of Dorchester and beyond,” said Boston City Councilor Frank Baker.
Facilities like playgrounds assist in a child’s development of depth perception, spatial awareness, enhance gross and fine motor skills. Additionally, playgrounds improve upper and lower body strength in children in an inclusive play environment.