BROOKLINE — Town Administrator Mel Kleckner, Department of Public Works Commissioner Erin Chute Gallentine and Director of Parks and Open Space Alexandra Vecchio are excited to announce a new online initiative to collect memories, stories and photos of Brookline community members’ favorite Brookline parks and open spaces.
The goal of the ‘Park Stories Project,” created by the Department of Public Works’ Parks and Open Space Division, is to create an archive of stories that reflect the personal connections, culture and community that define Brookline’s parks.
By documenting the collective history of these parks, the Parks and Open Space Division will be able to rediscover and preserve local histories and document living histories.
The stories captured will be used on an ongoing basis to inform future parks projects and public art installations, including the upcoming installation of three murals on utility boxes.
Jessie Waisnor, Landscape Architect of the Parks and Open Space Division, shared her own fond memory of the grand reopening of the Corey Hill Playground in 2017.
It was the first major design project Waisnor worked on as a Town of Brookline employee, and it led her to work closely with community members in the neighborhood for almost two years as the Town sought input on the project.
“It was a gorgeous fall day. I still remember how the park seemed to be flooded in beautiful yellows, oranges and reds,” Waisnor shared in her story. “My son, who was 8 years old at the time, stood by my side and helped cut the official ribbon. He then ran off to show his friends the playground his Mom had designed — which he thought was amazing.
“It was so cathartic getting to celebrate the new park with the neighborhood after such a long design and construction process. Everywhere you looked there were people enjoying the park. The band was playing, neighbors were socializing, kids were running around thrilled with a brand new playground and there was a continuous line waiting to walk through the “magical door” (an art installation piece by Jennifer Lockwood). It’s a day I will never forget and a beautiful reminder of what we can create when we all come together.”
Waisnor’s memory is just one of what the Town of Brookline hopes will be an outpouring of memories and personal connections shared about open spaces, parks and playgrounds around Town.
“Our parks and open spaces are such treasured places in the Brookline community. They hold ecological, historical, and recreational value for so many of our residents,” said Director Vecchio. “I love that this project offers us the opportunity to both learn about those memories and personal connections to our greenspaces, but also provides the chance to memorialize why open space is so critical to the health and wellbeing of a community.”
You can submit your story online or in person. For more information, scan the QR code below or visit: www.brooklinema.gov/ParkStoriesProject.
Anyone with questions should not hesitate to reach out to the Parks and Open Space Division by emailing: email@example.com.