There has been much talk regarding the overuse of Gilmore Playground and the planned Waltham Park & Recreation Capital Improvements at the site.
I write not to criticize city officials for the process but to ask for reconsideration of the complete elimination of athletic court surfaces at Gilmore Playground. As a youth, I spent most of my time playing basketball on the courts of the South Side. Not only did this activity keep me healthy but also out of trouble.
It is wonderful that the city is willing to invest funds into open public spaces. However, the removal of all three basketball courts will take away for many the only athletic space within the immediate neighborhood causing a new problem without solving the original.
The South Side has always felt shunned. Often the last neighborhood to receive equal opportunities. Today, many South Side youths play a sport I never heard of growing up called futsal. Others continue to play my favorite sport basketball. Both are played on the same court and cost almost nothing for the participant. All you need is a ball and some friends. Other sports like hockey are just too expensive for some families to finance.
Some things seem to never change and others demand it. With a little creativity and willingness to change Waltham can provide athletic space, open space landscaping and increased community policing for all at Gilmore Playground.