Over the past year I served as a citizen member of a design review committee planning the renovation of the park at the end of my street. Like having my kids in the nearby public school, helping the Parks and Recreation Commission fix up our well-used park has given me a fresh appreciation for public life at the face-to-face level of the neighborhood.
Renovating the well-loved park, tucked away on a compact site between the D Line tracks and the backs of low-rise apartment buildings lining Beacon Street, struck me as a pretty straightforward proposition. It’s not broken; it’s just a little too broken-in. So, I figured, we should just plan to do the obvious things — put new equipment in the playground, regrade the field to solve flooding problems, resurface the basketball and tennis courts, maybe put in a loop path — and be sure not to do anything stupid, like cutting down trees or messing up the lovely grass slope that attracts sunbathers and sledders. We’d be done in no time, right?