Parents raising money to enhance and complete Fayville Playground

by beth on August 15, 2017

Above: Southborough Rec’s Doreen Ferguson gives a project overview of the Fayville Playground rebuild. (from fundraising website)

A group of Southborough parents is asking the community to chip in on efforts to reopen and enhance Southborough’s most popular playground. The playground at Harold E. Fay Memorial Field has been closed since a freak storm wreaked havoc there last summer.

Fayville Playground fundraising flyer

(click to enlarge)

To encourage contributions, donors are being offered levels of recognition.

A $50 contribution earns you recognition at the opening ceremony. $500 earns permanent acknowledgment on the “giving tree”. $5,000 earns you a “visibly, landscaped nook that will display your name as a significant sponsor.” And there are options between.

“Fayville Playground” on Central Street is the Town’s largest playground not located in a school yard. Last July, a powerful windstorm brought down trees, crushing the pavilion. Work to refurbish it finally began earlier this summer. (Scroll down for pics.)

The project delay was caused by complications with the Town already working on a design to replace the play structures. (The old wooden structures were outdated. The Town was unable to get “parts” necessary to repair and maintain equipment.)

According to Recreation Director Doreen Ferguson, the insurance reimbursement for the crushed pavilion wouldn’t have covered the cost of simply replacing it. So the Recreation Commission decided to incorporate the pavilion work into the playground project and move up the project timetable.

The playground work is set to be completed by the end of this summer. . . technically. (It won’t be done this school break, but should be done by the end of the season in late September.)

So, how can a fundraiser be in progress now for a Town Rec project already under construction? Didn’t the Town budget already have to be approved?

Ferguson and parents explained that after the Recreation Commission approved design for the playground, parents asked them to add enhancements. Based on that feedback, the playground was redesigned to add more equipment to the 2-5 year old section.

To get that approved, parents agreed to raise funds for the extra work.* The fundraising effort is seeking an additional $27,000 to completely fund the project. So far, over $4,600 has been pledged. Organizers are asking the community to chip in the remainder by October 3rd. Click here to visit the fundraising website.

The project and fundraising completion will be celebrated by a new ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremony will not only honor donors, but rededicate the park to Harold E. Fay. (Fay was the first Southborough resident killed in World War II.)

The fundraising page pitches that the end project will be ADA compliant and include several features (some existing and some new):

  • A toddler play structure designed to look like a tree fort
  • A play structure designed for older children
  • Swings
  • Group swings
  • A climbing structure
  • A new pavilion
  • Fencing to provide a safe play area for young children
  • A baseball field
  • A full-size basketball court
  • Walking paths
  • A grass area for free play and picnics

Below are images of the planned redesign and the construction underway.

new layout Fayville playground (contributed image) new layout Fayville playground (cropped from video image) Construction site of new playgroound (photo by Beth Melo) Construction site of new playgroound (photo by Beth Melo)

And here’s my fond look back at the playground of yesteryear:

Image of original Fayville Playground (from fundraising website) Tot section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo) Tot section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo) Tot section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo)

Tot section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo) Tot section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo) Tot section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo) Older kid section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo)

Older kid section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo) Older kid section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo) Older kid section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo) Older kid section of original Fayville Playground (photos by Beth Melo)

*The original project was already funded with outside help. In addition to using the rolling funds from Southborough Recreation, grants were contributed from the Community Preservation Act, the Southborough Community Fund, and Friends of Southborough Recreation.

1 SB Resident August 15, 2017 at 4:55 PM

What am I missing? The rec dep seems to have an insane amount of money to put in lights all over sboro, it seems the money would be put to much better use here. I don’t get it.

2 Sobo Resident August 16, 2017 at 4:46 PM

CPA funds were used for the lights, which come out of general taxpayer funds…not the Rec Dept. funds. Lights are going up to support various sports and sports facilities in town, which is a great way to support keeping our kids active and all of the other benefits that sports provide. It seems the money was put to good use with the lights as well.

3 SB Resident August 17, 2017 at 10:14 AM

I do not understand how the money works, but why couldn’t these “CPA” funds be used for the playground? The lights for the tennis courts and basketball court are not supporting “various” sports in town. They are supporting tennis and basketball to be played at times when no one wants to be playing at those facilities. When it is warm, the sun is out late enough, when the sun isn’t out late enough it is cold enough that no one is going to use the lights. It is a gigantic waste of money. I am a huge supporter of fitness and I’m all for spending money to improve our town, I support the lights for little league at Finn, but I can come up with 100’s (literally 100’s) of ways to better use the money to support our kids and (equally as important) our adults to be active. Paying for the playground is #1 on the list. We shouldn’t have to fund raise for that when we are being so wasteful with the lights.

4 Jocelyn August 15, 2017 at 8:43 PM

I’d like to thank Doreen at Southborough Recreation for her collaboration and acknowledge the following parents for their hard work on this project – Lauren McAuliffe, Leslie Leedberg, Meaghan Alexander, Erin Bartolini, and Alexis Nodiff. Can’t wait to see you all on the playground!

5 Jim August 16, 2017 at 9:20 AM


I was one of a zillion parents who (maybe 20 years ago ?), helped build the playground structure that was destroyed in the storm. I recall that we caught the tail end of a tropical storm and there was a ton of rain as we assembled the structure. At times, it looked like many parents all trying their best not to look like the person struggling to assemble a bicycle on Christmas Eve! It was comical to watch some of the parents try to figure out which end of a hammer to hold, but it was also a lot of fun, a great way to meet people, and a terrific community event.

I applaud you and the other parents for making this next generation of the playground work. Thank you!

I will make a pledge today.

6 Jessica August 17, 2017 at 11:57 AM

I think it’s important to point out that the playground will be accessible, according to the in-depth info at That’s a big deal and great news!

Question: It seems the playground will be accessible due to the surface of the playground, but will there be activities on the actual playground for kids with physical and/or developmental challenges? Ex. accessible swings, wheelchair-level things to do, etc.?


7 Christine October 4, 2017 at 12:03 PM

The Southborough Rotary Club would like to contribute $500 but the fundraising page is closed. Does anyone have information on who to contact to make a donation?

8 beth October 4, 2017 at 12:12 PM

Checking with my contacts and someone who posted behalf of group on Facebook.

The grand opening was initially to take place this month. So, it may be an error based on how the fundraiser was originally scheduled on patronicity.

I’ll let you know when I hear back.

9 beth October 4, 2017 at 2:35 PM

Recreation Director Doreen Ferguson responded that the donation can be made directly to the Town by sending a check to the Rec Dept., made out to the Town of Southborough. In the memo field, please put “Fayville playground”.

The sponsorship level signage will still be honored as described on the fundraising site. (The fundraiser may also be extended. But I don’t have confirmation of that yet.)

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