An official ribbon cutting ceremony took place to commemorate the completion of an all-inclusive playground at Coytemore Lea Park on Clifton Street, the first in the City. Mayor Gary Christenson, Malden Redevelopment Executive Director Deborah Burke, State Representatives Paul Donato and Paul Brodeur, City Councillors Jim Nestor and John Matheson and local residents celebrated the overhaul to the play area.
The City combined a $136,000 Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant received from the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and $64,000 in Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to construct the all-inclusive playground along with complementary improvements at Coytemore Lea Park. The $200,000 in funding was used for new benches, tables, trees, an inclusive play structure, new swing structure and the relocation of a wall climber. The new play structures are fully accessible to children with disabilities and will allow all children to play together in a fun, enriching environment.
Former Malden resident Wendy Tobin approached Ward 4 Councillor James Nestor hoping to have an adaptive swing installed at the playground for her daughter Samira. Research showed there was a need in Malden not just to have a swing installed, but to have an entire playground so children of all abilities could participate. The Malden Redevelopment Authority administered the project on behalf of the City and construction performed was done by JNJ Sacca, Inc.
“This is not a playground for children with disabilities but a playground where children of all abilities can play together,” said Mayor Gary Christenson.