1. When was Hinkley playground built?

The playground at Hinkley park was built in 1996, the same decade when discmen and fliphones were popular and starter jackets and scrunchies were in style. Technology and design have come a long way for playgrounds and the space at Hinkley park needs to be updated to create a fun, safe, and ADA-compliant playground.

  1. What is Hinkley Helpers’ relationship to The Medfield Foundation?

Hinkley Helpers is an initiative of The Medfield Foundation. The Medfield Foundation (MFi) is a 100% volunteer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation whose mission is to enrich the lives of Medfield residents, build a stronger community, and facilitate the raising and allocation of private funds for public needs in the town of Medfield. Hinkley Helpers Hinkley Helpers was fortunate to have a community partner whose mission supports the goal of our project. 

  1. Why is this project privately funded?

When Hinkley Helpers first started researching how we could help support the creation of a new playground, we learned that most playgrounds are funded by the community, due to the costs and resources needed to build a dynamic, modern, ADA-compliant playground.

  1. How is the Town supporting this project?

Hinkley Helpers is working closely with the Town of Medfield and its Department of Parks and Recreation, who fully support the initiative to build a new playground at Hinkley Park. The Town is actively seeking grants to support the efforts of Hinkley Helpers and has committed to the success of Hinkley Helpers’ efforts. Together, we aim to bring the best playscape to the community.

  1. How much does it cost to build a new playground? 

Based on conversations with multiple playground vendors, we estimate that it will cost about $500,000. This estimate is based on demolition and disposal of the current playground (approx. $10K), excavation to level the land (approx. $20K), laying ADA-compliant groundcover (approx. $120K), the cost of playground equipment and delivery (approx. $230K), and installation of the playground structures (approx. $120K).

The estimated cost can be scaled down through in-kind donations. For example, if a construction company (amongst other needs) donated its service to demolish and excavate the grounds, the total cost of the playground would be significantly reduced.

  1. Can we put in a pool or a splashplad? New bathrooms? A fence around the playground?

From our Hinkley Helpers Launch Survey Results, we learned respondents were interested in updating amenities like the bathrooms at Hinkley Park and erecting a fence specific to the playground area. While these two projects are not currently scoped in Hinkley Helpers’ plan for rebuilding the playground itself, if there are additional funds raised, they might be able to be contributed to these areas. Parks & Recreation has recently built a fence around the perimeter of the playground area and will be adding to that to prevent children from going beyond the fence line. The materials have been ordered, but there is not an ETA on installation given delays in the supply chain.

Additionally, many respondents voiced interest in a splash pad or pool, which would require significant additional funding in addition to water lines to support water features, which the park currently does not have. At this time, the focus is on improving the playground itself as a complimentary amenity to Hinkley Pond, which is naturally spring-fed, treated every two weeks at a minimum, and tested weekly during the summer. Results of these tests are posted both online (www.MedfieldRec.com) and at Hinkley Pond. Parks and Recreation, with assistance from the Department of Public Works, annually drains the water, cleans the bottom of the pond, and adds fresh sand annually to provide an environment for families and swimmers to enjoy during the dog days of summer.

  1. Can we look at a new space to build a playground, like Baxter Park?

Baxter Park is specifically designated by the Town of Medfield as a memorial park to honor all veterans of war, which you can learn more about here. 

As the oldest non-school playground in town, the playground at Hinkley Park was the first playground a group of parents and community members rallied together to address. The group would love to help revitalize other parks in Medfield but is focusing efforts on one project at a time given the significant time, costs and resources needed to fundraise, plan and build a playground. Additionally, Hinkley Helpers was specifically organized and approved by the town to fundraise, plan and rebuild a fun, safe and inclusive playground on the current site of the playground at Hinkley Park.

  1. There’s lots of bugs! Can something be done about them?

There are a lot of bugs in places with grass, trees and water (you’ve probably noticed them just about everywhere in our town!). The Department of Public Works and Parks and Recreation annually monitors and addresses bugs and pests to ensure the cleanliness and safety of our public spaces, including the playground and pond at Hinkley Park.

  1. Why does Hinkley Helpers already have a rendering of a new playground? 

The playground at Hinkley Park has so much potential and we wanted the community to see what could be possible for this space if we raised the funds needed for a fun, safe and inclusive playground. The Town will send a request for proposals to playground vendors who will bid on the project and the design will be created with input from the Town, Parks and Recreation, and our community.  

  1. How can I provide input on what the playground should look like? 

When Hinkley Helpers first announced its mission to fundraise, plan and rebuild a fun, safe, and inclusive playground at Hinkley Park, it also launched a survey to learn more about what the community loves and hopes for a new playground. You can read more about the results on our blogpost “Hinkley Helpers’ Launch Survey Results Show Community Supports New Playground” and we will continue to seek feedback from the community as the project progresses and release the results. 

  1. How long will it take to build a new playground? 

Hinkley Helpers has met with playground project leads in neighboring towns and we believe that this project will span at least two years if fundraising, the town process, and construction go smoothly. Our goal is to hopefully be playing on a new playground over the summer of 2024.

  1. Will the rest of Hinkley park be improved as well? 

Hinkley Helpers primary goal is to fundraise, plan and build a new playground. We would love to help revitalize the park but this is not currently a part of our project, unless we exceed our fundraising goals.

  1. What about the other playgrounds in town? Why was the playground at Hinkley Park picked?

As the oldest non-school playground in town, the playground at Hinkley Park was the first playground a group of parents and community members rallied together to address. The group would love to help revitalize other parks in Medfield but are focusing efforts one one project at a time given the time, costs and resources needed to fundraise, plan and build a playground. 

  1. How can I get involved?

To volunteer, email us at  hinkleyrebuild@gmail.com

  1. How can I donate?

16. There’s two playground initiatives in Medfield. What’s going on?

Hinkley Helpers and the Memorial School PTO are both fundraising to build up-to-date, inclusive and accessible playgrounds for our children in Medfield. Hinkley Helpers, an initiative of The Medfield Foundation, Inc., works closely with The Town of Medfield and its Parks and Recreation Department to plan and rebuild a nearly thirty-year-old community playground and has $150,000 left of its $500,000 fundraising goal, which it aims to reach by the end of 2022. Hinkley Helpers supports the Memorial School PTO initiative knowing that inclusive and accessible outdoor play will benefit our children for years to come, whether it’s at school or at the town park.