Letter to the Editor: A Plan for Willson Park

~ Submitted by Donald J. Marshall

Willson Park is one of the first notable sights that visitors from Billerica/Chelmsford and Concord/Carlisle see when they enter Bedford. It also has an important history, dating back to at least the 19th of April, 1775. It presently shows nothing to reflect its importance. I join many others whom I have spoken with about how it is cared for. This is not to discredit the DPW but let’s face it—flower beds and landscaping, in general, are not their forte. They dutifully plant geraniums (spaced way too far apart in my humble opinion)  and they mulch everything in sight, including the traffic sign post.  But there is not enough time in their busy schedule to maintain the planting, deadheading the geraniums, etc.

I think it’s time to have a serious design effort put into this little park, perhaps a commemorative sign, and a better planting design, perhaps involving some perennials. This is the sort of thing that many members of the Bedford Garden Club could do but they are already strained to the limit keeping up with all the other small planted areas in town that they care for so diligently.

I would like to see a small design project developed with the aid of the DPW, the Historical Society, and the Garden Club and some sort of annual maintenance, outside of the DPW,  funded.  Perhaps the Garden Club might even bid on such a project and it might help them to gather new members.

I know that there are also traffic plans being considered and the Traffic Planning unit would obviously need to get involved.

I would hope that any traffic arrangements would not involve masses of traffic lights or signs that would completely destroy the character of the park.

There would be many suggestions and good ideas about how to proceed. Perhaps a small drinking fountain with a historical marker (and also conveniently providing a water source for use in caring for the plantings)? I’m sure a study committee would receive many other excellent suggestions.

But it is time that we do something.

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