Hadley’s Zatyrka Park may be reborn

Second phase has begun; final phase awaits approvals

  • Zatyrka Park is shown Thursday in Hadley. If approved, an upgrade to the L-shaped park would include active and passive uses including trails and an overlook, a playing field,a half-court basketball area and a pavilion area for Park and Recreation programs. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

Staff Writer
Thursday, August 31, 2017

HADLEY — A municipal park that has been largely unused for more than a decade is getting a new life, with plans to have a basketball half court, a concrete pad for a seasonal pavilion and a trail system completed next spring.

The $320,398 project to improve Zatyrka Park, a 6-acre, L-shaped parcel at the corner of Huntington and Breckenridge roads, continues to move forward, but will depend on a request for $190,000 from the town’s Community Preservation Act account that will be made to the CPA Committee Monday, and then brought to a special Town Meeting in October.

The Friends of Zatyrka Park, a volunteer advisory group, is asking for the money that will allow the third phase — the most expensive and extensive of the project — to commence.

During the first phase of work, the tennis courts, baseball diamond and backstop and extensive overgrowth were removed.

The second phase, which will use $88,000 in CPA money already appropriated, is getting underway in the coming weeks, and will involve site cleanup, stump removal, planting of screening trees and soil stabilization to reduce stormwater erosion.

David Elvin, a member of the advisory group, said in an email that this work is on track following site plan approval by the Planning Board last month.

“The Planning Board approved the site plan on July 18, so we’re good to go with the revised plan as a reduced request to the Community Preservation Committee for $190,000 in CPA funds for this current funding cycle,” Elvin said.

When complete, active and passive uses at Zatyrka Park will include trails and an overlook from which users can view the Summit House at Skinner State Park, a general playing field, a half-court basketball court, a 1,200-square-foot pavilion area for Park and Recreation programs, and a small playground with natural materials and equipment.

In recent months, the cost of the project has been cut back by eliminating an amphitheater, reducing the size of the parking lot, and having the pavilion shelter be a temporary seasonal tent.

The work is happening five years after town officials considered selling the property, which had been not been used for town activities since 2006. That sale was put on hold, and led to the eventual plans for the site.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.