BOSTON– State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) and State Representative Jim Arciero (D-Westford) voted for the enactment of the House and Senate budget that includes $100,000 for Littleton’s Castle in the Trees playground, an amendment he sponsored to help defray the costs of renovations to this important Littleton recreational facility.
“I am pleased that the House and Senate version of the budget includes funding that would go towards renovating the Castle in the Trees playground in Littleton,” said Senator Eldridge. “Physical activity is so essential to the growth and success of children and it is vital that they can access safe and upgraded playgrounds in their neighborhoods.”
“Working with local volunteer organizations and individuals, Littleton municipal officials and Senator Eldridge, I am pleased we were able to secure this funding to help defray the cost of upgrading this important Littleton recreational facility,” said Representative Arciero. “I am sure that this investment will service the children of Littleton and neighboring communities for years to come and will be well worth the investment.”
“The Littleton Board of Selectmen has been working with Sarah Donovan, President of the Littleton Children’s Fund and Kristi Bates on the Castle in the Trees Community built playground,” said Jim Karr, Chairman of the Board of Selectman. “Thank you to our local legislators, State Representative Arciero and Senator Eldridge. With this funding, young families from Littleton will have a great playground to invite their friends from Westford and Acton.”
A special part of Castle in the Trees is Aidan’s Playground. It was built in November, 2013 in memory of 10 month old Littleton resident Aidan Mallio who died in a drowning accident in July 2012. This playground is dedicated for children from the ages of 2-5.
Littleton’s Castle in the Trees playground was built in 1991 and has long outlived its projected lifespan. It is nearing a point where maintenance and repair cost, as well as safety concerns, will outweigh its continued use in the future. The playground is currently closed for repairs. In October 2014, a Rebuild Castle Committee was formed to raise funds to rebuild Castle in the Trees, and prevent permanent closure and loss of future use by Littleton residents and children. The new Castle playground has a projected build date of late summer 2016 if the necessary funding is secured. A number of local fundraisers are in the works for the next several months. Major renovations will include a new parking lot and basketball courts at the playground.
This follows the same amendment sponsored by State Representative James Arciero (D-Westford) which was included in the House version of the budget. The funding will be secured when Governor Baker signs the final budget.