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what a waste

It's a good thing we managed to celebrate our year of Park Day when we did because just two weeks later we arrived at the park just in time to witness the playground's destruction.

Zion, Elijah, and a friend looking at the ruins of the Varney Park playground

just rubble

The town of Chelmsford in their wisdom wants to replace one of the last of the awesome wood playground with something "safer", never mind what all the people who use it now think. We watched the excavator smashing down the structure, and DPW crew cutting up the plastic slides with a circular saw to make sure nobody else could use them (and a member of our group had asked!). Well, I didn't watch for very long; it was too sad. Instead I focused on having a good time at the park regardless of the destruction.

And we did great! We had balls, and hockey sticks and rollerblades. We had a long board. We had snacks. And of course, there's the lake, and even the sub-70° weather couldn't stop a hardy group of us from swimming. As I look back on it, in the short term at least the playground "renovation" dramatically increased the danger level for the kids in our group. Besides walking all over the piles of shattered, nail-filled wood after the workers left, they also climbed on (and fell from) railings, swung eight feet up on the chain-link gate of the basketball court, and zoomed headfirst down hills on the long board (that's the only one that was my idea... I zoomed the most). There were some injuries. But don't worry Chelmsford, nobody plans to sue. And we plan to keep meeting at that park, playground or no playground!

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