Mayor Gary Christenson and Ward 7 City Councillor Chris Simonelli celebrated the start of construction at Kierstead Park at a groundbreaking ceremony Monday. The $2.2 million project creates a new playground for children of all ages and abilities, upgrades the existing Little League baseball field, adds new trees, and improves walkability, safety, lighting, drainage, landscaping, and other park features.
“The new Kierstead Park will have a destination playground, a flagship field for Little League, and new features and amenities for everyone,” said Mayor Christenson. “This project was designed with our community, our kids, and our climate chief in mind. I’m thrilled to see construction begin on this important project.”
“This is a terrific project that will create new opportunities for families, kids, and all of our neighbors,” said Councillor Simonelli. “I’m grateful to the Mayor and his team for their continued partnership on this and many other projects in Ward 7.”
The new playground will have colorful and accessible play structures, swings, and safety surfacing, with lighter, reflective colors to reduce the heat island effect. A large open green space for flexible uses like picnicking, running, and games creates distance between the playground and the Eastern Ave sidewalk. The ballfield’s backstop and irrigation will be replaced and upgraded, and the field itself will be rotated slightly to improve playability and safety. Other site amenities include new player areas, bleachers, benches, walking paths, lighting, trees, bicycle parking, landscaping, trash receptacles, fencing, and utilities.
The project is being administered by the City of Malden Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD). Shadley Associates is the landscape architect and David W. White & Son is the general contractor. Project funding includes $900,000 in the City’s American Rescue Plan Act funds, $400,000 each from the City’s Community Development Block Grant funds, Community Preservation Act funds, and the state’s PARC grant program, and $350,000 in state earmarks secured by Malden’s legislative delegation. Construction work begins this month and will be completed in the fall of 2024. For more information on the project, including a rendering of the new improvements, please visit www.cityofmalden.org/kierstead.
Pictured: (from left): Landscape Architect Skyler Chick; OSPCD Deputy Director Alex Pratt; Mayor Gary Christenson; Councillor Chris Simonelli; State Representative Paul Donato; and Cambridge Health Alliance Community Outreach Coordinator Jason Centeio