By Pam Brangan
Recently the Shelburne Parks & Recreation Department asked for residents’ input on Davis Park – one of our many wonderful town resources. Davis Park, located on the corner of Harbor Road and School Street, is used by many Shelburne residents. However, Davis Park needs a new playground as well as a long term plan. To help inform this planning effort, a survey was developed. Approximately 100 residents responded to the survey.
The survey was broken into two parts–long term park planning and the playground. Of the residents that took the survey, 27 percent visit Davis Park a few times a year, 24 percent visit it once or twice a month, and 20 percent visit Davis Park several times a week. Of those surveyed 62 percent use the playground, 55 percent use the tennis and pickleball courts, 42 percent utilize the open space when visiting Davis Park.
Thanks to an Eagle Scout project, there is an opportunity to add a gazebo to Davis Park. Respondents were asked where they would most like to see a gazebo placed. Fifty percent of respondents said near the playground, while 21 percent said in the green/open space. The final question regarding long term planning of Davis Park asked respondents what features and facility improvements they would like to see included in the long-term plan. Seventy-five percent would like a seasonal ice rink and 59 percent would like additional benches and/or picnic tables, while 36 percent would like to see fitness stations/outdoor fitness term plan. Respondents had an opportunity to write in other features or facility improvements, 36 respondents commented. Some of the ideas mentioned were a swimming pool, skate park, and drinking fountain/water bottle filling station.
The second half of the survey focused on the playground. This special community resource needs to be replaced due to its age and lack of compliance with safety regulations and ADA policies. Before a new playground is purchased and installed, this is an opportune time to explore different playground options, including non-traditional playgrounds. Those that responded to the survey are overwhelmingly in favor of a non-traditional playground at Davis Park. Some examples of a non-traditional playground are a natural playground or a nature-inspired playground. Respondents were also asked what play features they considered essential. Ninety percent said a climbing apparatus was essential, over 70 percent said swings and balance challenges (bridges, steps, beams) were essential and 63 percent said a slide was essential. Respondents were also given an opportunity to include other features.
The final question on the survey asked for volunteers interested in helping the Parks & Recreation Committee move forward in developing the new playground. The Parks & Recreation Committee will be inviting those that volunteered (other interested parties are welcome) to a kick-off meeting in January. Please contact the Shelburne Parks & Recreation Department for more information.
All survey results and comments can be viewed online. Check the Shelburne Parks & Recreation webpage for a link to the survey results.