20 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by bikramyoganatick
Patch Instagram photo by craigmacfarlane

Soft Opening for JJ Lane Park Planned for Spring

Grand opening slated for later in the fall.

Natick residents will be able to use the town's newest park later this spring.

According to Town Administrator Martha White, all of the project elements – paths, restrooms, parking, play equipment, picnic — will be completed in the next few months.

The only concern, she said, is the grassy areas.

"The grassed areas will be seeded this spring but will be unusable for several months as they need a full season to become well established," she told the Board of Selectmen during their Jan. 27 meeting. 

A number of alternatives were considered by the J.J. Lane Project Oversight Committee, including the possibility of delaying the opening of the park until the grass is established.

The Committee asked that White be consulted for guidance.

"My conclusion is that, after the Town’s lengthy efforts to lease land from the state to allow the park expansion, and after the Conservation Commission’s investment in this resource for West Natick area, it would be unwise and unfair to construct the vast majority of a terrific resource and then prevent people from using it," White told the Selectmen.

The town will develop a plan for fencing off the grassed areas in a reasonably secure and aesthetically pleasing manner, and install signage asking that the areas be respected. 

"We will plan a 'soft' opening this spring, with a grand opening in the fall," White said. "The resources that will be complete this spring will provide the Town of Natick outstanding passive recreational opportunities for West Natick and the entire community."

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