First phase of Tetreault Park playscape in Rindge nearly complete

  • Recreation Director Dan Bemis spreads wood chips at the Tetreault Park playscape during a work day on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

  • A rock wall encourages children to climb horizontally and vertically. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

  • A playscape feature threaded with ropes to make a spiderweb for climbing awaits. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

  • Recreation Director Dan Bemis spreads wood chips at the Tetreault Park playscape during a work day on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

  • Volunteers spread wood chips at the Tetreault Park playscape during a workday on Saturday morning. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

  • A wooden tipi is one of the features at the Tetrault Park playscape. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/18/2023 12:30:06 PM

Multiple features for a new natural playscape park at the entrance to Tetreault Park in Rindge have been installed, and the park is expected to be complete by the end of October.

The park was installed mostly with funds from donations and some grants. Dan Bemis, the Rindge recreation director, said the department has raised about half of the funds for the $125,000 project, allowing the department to move forward with phase one – the installation of the playscape itself.

The playscape uses features with natural materials like wood, and the features at the Rindge park include a wooden tipi, wooden posts that will be threaded with rope to create a spiderweb for climbing, a rock wall for climbing built into a rise that will lead to a slide built into the sloping hill on the other side, a gaga ball pit and a log walk for balancing.

“It’s not meant to be your typical setup with a metal slide and swings. It’s meant to be for kids to be more exploratory and they can play with it in multiple different ways and be more in nature,” Bemis said Saturday, during a work day to spread wood chips throughout the playscape. “This is obviously the perfect spot for that – it’s secluded, on a quieter road, and it’s meant to be a different experience for the kids.”

The Recreation Department has, in conjunction with the Conservation Commission, been in talks to install a playscape at the park for four years, and Bemis said some of the features were purchased as early as 2021.

“To see actual things assembled and in place is very satisfying after all those years of talking about it,” Bemis said.

Phase one of the project included a partnership with the Conservation Commission to improve the parking area for Tetreault Park.

Tetreault Park was purchased from the Tetreault family in 2005 and is part of Rindge’s managed conservation lands. It has a series of logging trails, which connect to trails in the Rindge Town Forest, which connects to the parcel. The entrance to the park is located off of Rand Road.

Bemis said phase one of the project is expected to be largely complete by October, with the installation of the slide.

Fundraising for the second half of the project will continue this fall and winter, with hopes to be able to begin the work next fall, Bemis said. Phase two will include building a pavilion and creating a rest area with picnic tables and transforming the existing cabin on the property into a nature center.

Bemis said the town has playgrounds at the elementary school and Recreation Department, but the playscape is something different.

“This is definitely similar to some of those things, but also vastly different. This will definitely be a different experience to those,” Bemis said. “It’s meant to get back to some of those things people talk about doing when they were kids – climbing trees and rocks in their backyard, and playing in the woods. We’ve gotten an overwhelming response on our social media and talking to residents in town about having something like this to come to.”

To donate to the second phase of the Tetreault Park project or receive information about the project, contact Bemis at 603-899-6847 or Donations to the Rindge Recreation Department are tax-deductible.

The playscape is located on Rand Road in Rindge, about 0.7 miles from Route 202, on the left.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244, or She’s on X @AshleySaariMLT.

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