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CPA Proposals & Projects

City Playgrounds




Rehabilitate these community parks and playgrounds to meet current needs for active and passive recreation, based on initial site inventories and assessments, land surveys, community participation, and development of design alternatives leading to final designs.


  • Commissioner of Parks & Recreation
    City of Newton
    246 Dudley Road
    Newton, MA 02459
    phone: 617.796.1500


(all funds for recreation)

master planning & design (both playgrounds):

$292,080 CPA funds appropriated
$15,580 unspent CPA funds returned
$276,500 CPA funds spent for master plans & final designs
construction (Newton Highlands Playground only, March 2019 final finances)
$2,500,000 CPA funds appropriated & spent
$123,750  Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds spent for accessibility (federal funds administered by City of Newton)
$231,674  City general funds spent (capital funds, Parks & Recreation Dept. budget)
$2,855,423 TOTAL PROJECT COST for construction, excluding service building deferred to phase 2, anticipated cost: $342,000

Newton Highlands / Joseph Lee Playground 



Implement the 2008 CPA-supported master plan by: rehabilitating this community park to improve the usability, accessibility, and aesthetics of the playing fields; installing new play equipment; and rehabilitating existing woodland paths.


design & construction funding:

March 2019 final finances

 $200,000 post-Master Plan final design: CPA funds appropriated & spent

construction funding anticipated in 2013 design proposal:

$1,960,000 CPA

$1,180,000 private donations/community fundraising

construction funding requested in 2015 construction proposal: 

$3,320,000 CPA

$10,000 private donations/community fundraising

 $2,500,000 construction: CPA funds appropriated & spent
$123,750 construction: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for accessibility (federal funds administered by City of Newton)
$200,500 construction: City of Newton capital funding (Overlay Surplus)
$31,174 construction: Parks & Recreation Dept. operating budget, including staff time for project management
$3,055,423  TOTAL PROJECT COST, final design & construction

Funding Process

2013-14 design


14 February 2013 - final design pre-proposal, with large-scale aerial photograph & map and board of site photographs

13 November 2013 - final design full proposal, including: project summary, budgets, letters of support, supporting photos & maps This large file may load slowly.

 22 January 2014 - slide presentation to CPC public hearing and minutes of CPC public hearing

3 February 2014 - additional letters of support

March 2014 - updated project budgets & response to CPC/community questions

1 April 2014 - CPC funding recommendation

22 April 2014 - Board order (appropriation)

11 December 2014 - CPC agreement to revised funding conditions (elimination of non-CPA matching funds)


2015-16 construction


12 November 2015 - construction full proposal, including: project summary, budgets, project team, site history, city & state reviews of project design

Some files below are large and may load slowly. To see plans at full scale, set viewing to 100%.

project plans :

project background reports:

1 December 2015 - additional community letters received by the CPC

10 December 2015 - After this public hearing, the CPC voted 7-1 to recommend $2,500,000 of funding for this proposal. The CPC docketed this amount with the City Council in December, but at the request of the Commissioner of Parks & Recreation, agreed to hold its written recommendation pending receipt of a final plan for the project, which might be phased or reduced in scope.

May 2016 - Commissioner of Parks & Recreation updates to the CPC

8 June 2016 - CPC funding recommendation ($2.5 million)

11 July 2016 - City Council order (appropriation)


Project News


Spring 2008 - Highlands Playground Master Plan This long file may load slowly.

July 2011 - revised site plan - Option 3

May 2018-March 2019 - final report to CPC, with photographs and financial summary

Upper Falls Playground

Implement the first phase of the CPA-supported master plan.


$450,000 CP funds requested (historic resources)

Funding Process - Construction 


December 2007 - proposal, with attachments:

23 January 2008 - public hearing presentation (with photos)

19 March 2008 - CPA eligibility review (based on statute as of 2008)
Based on advice from the City of Newton Law Department, the CPC declined to consider this proposal in the historic resources category until its historic resources rationale had been strengthened.

Master Planning for Upper Falls & Highlands Playgrounds


Funding Process


January 2005-March 2006 - proposal (submitted January 2005) This long document may load slowly.

  • petition for Highlands Playground only (submitted to Parks & Recreation Dept. January 2005)
  • timeline & costs (submitted 24 March 2006)

March 2006 - public hearing presentation (with photos) This long document may load slowly.

20 April 2006 - CPC funding recommendation

5 June 2006 - Board order (appropriation)

Project News


1897 - artist's view of Upper Falls Playground's future site

Spring 2008 - Upper Falls Playground Master Plan This long file may load slowly.

Spring 2008 - Highlands Playground Master Plan This long file may load slowly.

July 2011 - Highlands Playground revised site plan - Option 3



Newton Centre Playground 

Tyler Terrace, Newton Center, MA 02459


Create and implement a plan for accessibility and other improvements in this historic village-center park, while preserving or rehabilitating the most significant features from both the Olmsted firm's original 1890-91 design and Hebert Kellaway's 1908-11 modifications.

funding appropriated:

$67,853 CPA funds appropriated 2005 (historic resources & recreation)
$7,667 unspent funds returned
$60,186 CPA funds spent

proposals not funded:

$616,000 CPA funds requested 2006 (historic resources & recreation)
$320,000 CPA funds requested 2007 (historic resources)


Proposal Review & Appropriations

2004-2005 plan (funded)

15 October 2004 - proposal for historic rehabilitation & accessibility plan, including budget, plus attachments:

7 April 2005 - CPC request for project revisions

25 June 2005 - CPC funding recommendation

8 August 2005 - Board order (appropriation)

2006-2007 design & construction (not funded)

2 October 2006 - phase 1 of proposal to implement the plan created with 2005 funding, including:

30 October 2006 - presentation (long file with photos & maps, may load slowly)

11 January 2007 - budget & schedule, revised

2007-2008 design & construction (not funded)

12 December 2007 - revised phase 1 of proposal to implement the plan created with 2005 funding, including:

23 January 2008 - presentation (long file with photos & maps, may load slowly)

March 2008 - funding eligibility analysis for parks as historic resources (Newton Law Dept & CPC staff)

  • This analysis led to the deferral of several proposals for parks, on the grounds that they were not clearly enough conceived as the rehabilitation of historic resources, though landscapes were allowable in that category. At the time these proposals were submitted, under the CPA state statute CPA funds could be used to rehabilitate historic resources, but could only be used to rehabilitate parks that had been created or acquired with CPA funds in the first place.

Project News

June 2006 - Newton Centre Playground Accessibility & Rehabilitation Plan (final product of initial 2005 funding above)

  1. executive summary & overview
  2. park history
  3. existing conditions & recommendations
  4. implementation, including phasing & costs


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