The first phase of construction under the Trafton Park Master Plan has been completed, bringing an expanded playground with new play equipment, ball field dugouts, benches, picnic tables, and trees to the park, as well as improvements to walkways, drainage, and other systems.
Mayor Gary Christenson recently joined state officials, City Councillors, Malden Redevelopment Authority (MRA) staff, landscape architect Pam Shadley, members of the Community Preservation Committee, and neighborhood residents for a ribbon cutting. “Congratulations to everyone involved on what I think will now be known as the premier tot lot in Malden!” said Mayor Christenson. “Before we even cut the ribbon there were already a ton of kids utilizing many of the new features which to me is a telltale sign that this will be a great amenity for years to come. Now on to the next phases!”
The Phase I project is the first completed under the Trafton Park Master Plan, and prioritized improvements that would serve children, families, and people with disabilities. The Master Plan was created in 2019 following a series of community engagement meetings led by Ward 6 Councillor Dave Camell and Councillor-at-Large Steve Winslow. The plan envisions a new tennis court, U8 soccer field, basketball hoops, challenge course, dog park improvements, additional play areas, and a sheltered plaza for community gatherings. Future phases of the Master Plan will be pursued as funding becomes available.
“These improvements mark the largest investment in Trafton Park in the three decades my family has lived in the neighborhood,” said Councillor Winslow. “I am glad to see parents and children already enjoying the playground expansion and improvements as much as my granddaughters have over the years. I have already begun working to secure funds for additional improvements, including to the backstop, field, and court area.”
“As both a Councillor, and a dad, I'm so excited that this first phase turned out so great,” said Councillor Camell. “We've been down there as a family, and seen so many more folks enjoying the playground. And, as a family who is on Malden fields five days a week for baseball and tee ball, we are really looking forward to completion of future phases. It will be great to watch the kids play right in our own neighborhood in upcoming seasons!”
Both the Master Plan and Phase I projects were administered by the MRA with on-call landscape architecture firm Shadley Associates. J.J. Phelan & Son of Tewksbury was the contractor for Phase I project following a competitive procurement process.
In 2019, the MRA received a $400,000 state Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant for Phase I improvements. The Malden Community Preservation Committee provided an additional grant of $225,000. Mayor Christenson and Councillors Camell, Winslow, Craig Spadafora, and Debbie DeMaria contributed additional mitigation funds to the project.