By Julie McCay Turner
Options for Springs Brook Park operations from summer 2016 until a swimming pool is built in Bedford were discussed at the Recreation Commission meeting on January 21.
Balancing dual imperatives — fiscal responsibility and a commitment to Bedford residents — the Commission voted to maintain last year’s operating plan including employment for local teens, swimming lessons and several upgraded amenities, with a major change: Non-resident walk-in day passes will be eliminated, and park memberships will no longer be discounted in the middle of the season.
“Our goal is to serve Bedford residents and to make the park a popular, attractive destination for them,” said Commission chair Ron Richter; “the Commissioners are investing their energies in our staff, in Bedford residents and Springs Brook Park members until a pool is built.”
Springs Brook Park once had 300 Bedford memberships, and restoring that level of participation is key to the success of any plan. If the park’s popularity among residents can be restored, the Commission will re-examine the option of opening the park on weekends.
“Springs Brook Park is an asset for the town, and we’re several years from a pool in Bedford,” said Caroline Fedele, Selectman liaison to the Commission, “but we are moving toward constructing a pool.”
Looking toward a future swimming pool in Bedford, several marketing firms have been contacted to bid on proposals to help the Commission determine the community’s intentions and develop a plan for implementation. Those efforts are expected to begin in early spring, led by a steering committee of town department heads. Outreach to residents will likely include a statistically accurate town-wide survey, some form of online feedback, and public visioning sessions, according to Recreation Director Amy Hamilton.
Amenities planned for the 2016 park season include a new toddler playground, a gaga pit, two water features in the pond itself, and five large shade structures. An expanded events schedule along with Paddleboard lessons and rentals will be added. Membership rates will be set shortly.