Archive 2008 - 2019

Goodwill Park: A Neighbor's Point of View

by Lixy Carey

The Parks and Recreation Department has plans to renovate
 Goodwill Park on Green Street.  Working with a committee
 called Mission Possible, the main intent of the plans are
 noble -- to replace the deteriorating play equipment and
 to make the playground suitable for all children, including
 those with special needs.  
 However, another objective of their plans is to create
 additional parking for all of Goodwill Park.  Again, on 
 the surface, this is not a bad idea but the implementation
 of their plan would have disastrous effects for the Park,
 and the residents of Holliston need to fully understand
 what the result will be and protect one of the most 
 beautiful gathering spots we have in the downtown area.

 The plan is to turn half of the playground into a parking 
 lot for 18 cars and every single tree except one will be 
 cut down to make way for the new parking lot and much 
 smaller playground.  Remember a few years ago when the town
 cut down all the trees in downtown?  People were outraged
 and the character of our downtown area has been diminished
 until the replacement trees mature many years from now.
 The same thing is about to happen in another jewel in our
 downtown area, and 12 trees, many of them just reaching
 maturity after being planted 15 years ago, are about to be
 ripped out for a parking lot.  
 The Park and Recreation Department is quick to point out
 that the linden trees in the fenced-off small children’s
 section are sick and need to be removed for the sake of
 safety. Fine. Remove them, but leave the other 12, please.
 The Park and Recreation Department is also hoping that their
 plan will solve the parking problem on Green Street.  It is
 true that beautiful days and soccer games draw more cars
 than the street can accommodate but is it worth ruining 
 green space forever for the sake of convenience?  I have
 walked around the downtown area on days when every parking
 spot on Green Street is taken and have found that the town
 lot on Exchange Street behind the fire station is virtually 
empty.  It is only 1/10 of mile away from Goodwill Park.  In this day and age when an obesity epidemic is threatening the long term health of our children, shouldn’t we be teaching our children that it’s okay to walk 600 feet?  Do we really need or expect to have a parking spot steps away from every place we go?
 Last year, the Park Department built a “pavilion” onto the
 existing building in Goodwill Park.  Paid for with funds
 from Celebrate Holliston, the pavilion was built for the
 sale of refreshments at Celebrate Holliston (which was
 cancelled last year). Despite the objections of the Park’s
 neighbors, the pavilion was built anyway and now we have
 an ugly car port-like structure that is never used.  It 
 seems as if the Park Department is determined to make
 Goodwill Park even uglier and they plan to use Community
 Preservation Funds (about $200,000) to do it. Their plans,
 if implemented, will certainly not “preserve” our community.  
They will destroy it. 
 I have no objection to fixing up the playground so that all
 children can use it. I strongly object to “paving Paradise
 to put up a parking lot” as the song goes. The town might
 as well change the name of Green Street to Asphalt Street.  
The trees in the playground are about to flower…for the last 
time unless we do something to save them. There is a hearing 
with the Planning Board regarding the “redevelopment of the 
Goodwill Park playground and parking areas” on April 15 at 
7:30. I urge the residents of Holliston to attend this 
meeting so we can be sure that we have a voice in the future
of  Goodwill Park and the downtown area.
Lixy Carey
Green Street

Comments (9)

Since 18 parking spaces are not enough to handle the volume of cars that drop off and pick up kids for events at the park, and since HP spaces are required to qualify for grants, why not create a few spaces for the HP parking. that would save trees, expenses, valuable park land, and reduce the potential for accidents with pedestrians. Then put up a sign at the entrance to Green Street limiting access to residents, businesses, and HP?

Paul Saulnier | 2010-03-30 05:49:27

We volunteered many hours of our time back in the late eighties to help renovate the playground at Goodwill Park. Rob Steck,Holliston resident and a landscape architect for the city of Cambridge volunteered his services to design the landscaping of the playground. The playground was dedicated to Harry Damigella, who served as the tree warden for the town of Holliston for many years. The wooden playground structures are worn, and it is time to update them, but it does not seem right to remove any healthy trees, or to cut in to the beautiful landscaping in order to create parking spaces. There is plenty of parking either at the lot on Exchange St or along Washington St.

Rita Bell | 2010-03-29 23:26:45

Too bad. The charm of Holliston is going fast. I've been away from Holliston since 1975 when I entered military service. When I go to visit or when I see the changes that have been made that really don't fit into the historic look Holliston should want to maintain I shake my head. Sadly I bet the trees will go, while the parking is only 600 feet away. Parking in the park should have been for Handicap only. In the long run Holliston will just look like other towns that have lost the charm of a town that was started in the 1700's. I know I don't live there anymore, I don't pay taxes there anymore and I should butt out. Just been around seen lots of places and noticed everybody wants to pull down a house, cut down a tree and put blacktop down.

clyde kramer | 2010-03-29 20:25:29

Gregg D, I have participated in this effort since I first learned of it. I volunteered for the $5k run, have attended several meetings and am now trying to encourage other people to get involved in the conversation. I welcome your opinion and concerns and anyone else's.

Lixy Carey | 2010-03-29 09:56:33

Come on Mrs. Carey - has it really come down to you trashing the efforts of Mission Possible and the Park Department because you are not happy with your view of the tennis courts? This is an ill-intended article written because you lost your argument and now want to deter the park department from making many changes that are clearly necessary. The park was in place long before all but one of the current residents of Green St. moved in (maybe 2). I hope people take a long look at the efforts that have been put forth by many people and not consider this one-sided and agree view.

Tom | 2010-03-28 21:28:04

Gregg D, Taking the time to outline specific concerns in writing, sharing them in a public forum, and encouraging others to attend the formal public hearing and voice their own concerns is what I would call a pretty good version of "participating." And I also note Lixy manages to express here views without insults and name calling.

Tom Driscoll | 2010-03-28 21:08:24

Mission Possible Holliston welcomes an open discussion regarding future plans for the Goodwill Park Playground. There is a public hearing at the next Planning Board Hearing on April 15, please come. Visit our website to learn more about our mission and our proposed plans for the new Goodwill Park Playground. Please feel free to contact us directly with any and all comments or suggestions. Thank you, Liz Nemeth Mission Possible Holliston

Liz Nemeth | 2010-03-28 20:17:27

What an asinine thought encouraging families cross Rt 16 by having them park off Exchange. Anyone who crosses that road frequently understands you do it at your own peril. There are numerous other ridiculous assertions in this letter, but clearly the writer is more interested in complaining and less interested in participating in the planning process.

Gregg D | 2010-03-28 17:33:10

Good article and good points. I hope the planning board really listens to Lixy and the Green Street residents this time. Please fix the playground. No more parking is needed. People can walk to the park from the lot on Exchange Street, behind the fire station.

Mike Schwab | 2010-03-28 14:38:17