Ainsworth/Engvall Farm Memorial Park
The Conservation and Recreation Departments are working to develop the Ainsworth/Engvall Farm Memorial Park at 95 North Street. This 17-acre parcel was generously donated to the Town by the Engvall Family in honor of the late Virginia Ainsworth Engvall. The parcel formerly functioned as farmland for vegetables, fruit orchards, and Christmas trees. The Engvall Family donated it to preserve open space, develop passive recreation opportunities, preserve wildlife habitat, and maintain the integrity of its history.
The Town voted to accept the land and then approved CPA funding for the design of the park.
Two community meetings and an online survey were conducted to seek input. We also consulted with Town Departments including: Police, Fire, and Parks as well as Commissions including: Recreation, Conservation, and Accessibility Advisory.
This project accomplishes numerous goals of the CPC Plan and Open Space and Recreation Plan. The goals of these plans met by this project include: protecting Grafton’s unique character and quality of life, preserving open space, natural resources, water resources and wildlife habitat, protecting and conserving land resources, and enhancing, expanding, and connecting recreation and conservation resources to serve residents of all ages and abilities.
There is support from the Recreation, Conservation, Accessibility Advisory, and Historical Commissions for this project.
This park will offer a place unlike anything in town. Amenities include: a dedicated parking area with accessible spaces, the first ADA accessible multiuse loop trail, shaded picnic areas, hiking and snowshoeing trails, pollinator and mowed meadows, informal nature play, and interpretive signage. The area will serve the entire population of Grafton and encourage youth group gatherings and other educational and programming opportunities.
- September 2019: The Engvall Family approached the Conservation Department to propose their donation of approximately 17 acres for the purpose of a passive recreation park.
- June 2020: The Town voted to accept the donation of land at Town Meeting via Article 21.
- Summer 2021: Grafton Conservation and Recreation Departments requested $47,000 of CPA funds for design services from a landscape architect. CPC supported the request to submit for Town Meeting approval.
- October 2021: The Town voted to appropriate the CPA funds for the project at Town Meeting via Article 4.
- February - April 2022: The RFP for design services was posted for bid and RDLA was selected to enter into contract with the Town.
- May 19, 2022: Community Meeting 1
- Summer 2022: Grafton Conservation and Recreation Departments requested $685,776.88 of CPA funds for construction of the park. CPC supported the request to submit for Town Meeting approval.
- June 16, 2022: Community Meeting 2
- October 6, 2022: Public Information Meeting
- October 17, 2022: The Town voted to appropriate the CPA funds for the project at Town Meeting via Article 11.
- Summer 2023: Finalizing bid documents for construction
The total CPA request for this project is $685,776.88. This includes site prep, site amenities, construction, and soft costs and is reflective of over $200,000 of in-kind work and contributing funds which account for almost 23% of the total cost. This project is eligible for a number of reimbursement grants which range from $250,000 up to 50% of the project cost so there’s also an opportunity for a return of CPA funds. CPC will be funding this from their open space and recreation reserves, 2023 budgeted reserves, and undesignated fund balances accounts.
The project will have a need for ongoing maintenance, including: the parking lot and the mowed meadow and this will be absorbed into the current Recreation, Conservation, DPW, and Parks maintenance budgets.