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Committee Envisions Town Center Public Green

Wayland Town Center will come equipped with a Town Center Green ... but what will that look like?

Wayland Town Center is beginning to take shape as evidenced by the massive structures and piles of dirt moving around the site on Route 20.

But when all is said and done, the development will include much more than storefronts. In fact, there's an entire committee in town devoted to the greener elements of the project.

The Town Center Green Design Advisory Committee has met just a handful of times, but has already outlined some detailed features for the slightly less than two acre plot that will comprise the Town Center Green part of the Wayland Town Center project.

Bob Virzi, Kathy Schreiber, Jennifer Pearlman, Rebecca Stanizzi and Kent Greenawalt serve on the committee along with Colleen Sheehan, who is the committee's chair.

Town Planner Sarkis Sarkisian said the group has carefully compared the size and layout of Wayland's town green area to the town greens of other nearby towns, including the Weston Town Green, which is twice the size but provided a reasonable idea of what the committee hopes to achieve.

What do you think the Wayland Public Green should look like? Any features you hope to see? Post your thoughts in the comments at the bottom!

As it is now, the space for the Town Center Green is basically flat, receives plenty of sunshine and sits behind the main Wayland Town Center development along Route 20.

Sheila Carel is a member of the Wayland Historical Commission who has attended the meetings, but does not serve on the committee. She pointed out that the history of Wayland dates back to that area of town, nearby Reeve's Hill in Wayland and Goodman's Hill in what is now Sudbury, where the colonists settled when they first arrived. 

She proposed mimicking those two hills to create a natural amphitheater.

"I thought as I was sitting in that [Town Center Green Committee] meeting that we could create this space with modern uses and historical uses in mind," Carel said in an email. "They do not need to be mutually exclusive. It seemed to me a subtle and timeless way to link past, present and future."

Sarkisian said grading the space to recreate those two hills, with a wide flat area between, can likely be accomplished using excess fill already on the site.

The committee has not made a firm decision about the grading or hills, but has drawn up some detailed concepts that include space for a bandstand on one hill, a large flat center space that could house an ice skating rink in the winter, and a children's play area on the opposite hill. In all, Sarkisian said, the hills would allow the area to accommodate more people than a totally flat space -- as many 400 to 450.

On the far side of the green, near where the play area is currently envisioned, is a space reserved for the town to build a new municipal building. A new senior center, a new library, or both have been discussed.

Twenty Wayland, the developer of Wayland Town Center, will grade the Town Center Green, plant grass and some other landscaping, and construct the sidewalks bordering the area, Sarkisian explained.

A private gift of about $100,000 will go a long way toward constructing additional stone dust walking paths, natural playscapes and some other features, but Sarkisian said additional money will need to be appropriated as preliminary estimates for the complete build-out of the space top $765,000.

For now, however, the committee is concerned with a concept and a plan.

Sarkisian said the next step is settling on a grading plan by early September so that Twenty Wayland can begin the necessary work.

The Town Center Green Design Advisory Committee next meets on Aug. 23 at 8 a.m.

Larry Kiernan August 13, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Exciting to see there will be a place to gather in the town center! Really like the fact that people will be able to walk to the green from the historic town center, cow commons conservation land, the rail trail. How about the boat launch?
Julie Brevard August 13, 2012 at 03:19 PM
I would love to see the play area incorporate some water activities like a sprinkler/ wading pool for the summer to differentiate it from existing local play areas. Also, including some bike racks to encourage people to cycle to the center is necessary.
Brooklyn Lowery (Editor) August 13, 2012 at 03:31 PM
These are great thoughts, Larry and Julie. I'll do some checking into your suggestions and find out whether they've been in the discussion. I do know that items like a natural slide (built into the hillside) and avoiding plastic play sets is part of the discussion. The idea is natural-looking items.
John Dyer August 13, 2012 at 05:58 PM
I'd like to see a gazebo or other kind of platform where groups could hold summer concerts or hristmas carolling kind of events. This kind of infrastructure enhances the visuals and promotes community events. John Dyer
RMS August 13, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Parks should impart feelings that are sensory. A water feature or fountain would bring a sense of the Sudbury River to this community space.
Bryan Roi August 14, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Wow, this concept really excedes all my expectations as to what this Town Green could be! I live a quarter mile away and have been anticpating this for so long now and couldn't be happier with this presentation. I'm an architect and feel as though I have a real critical eye, but have nothing to criticize on this landscape design. Only thing I would mention, is that I really hope they do not go with Senior Center Option 2.....it would be a shame to put that large parking lot right at the main visual enty into the Town Center/Green. Better to hide it behind like in Options 1 & 3!
Molly Faulkner August 14, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I would love to see "edible landscaping" added here: dwarf fruit trees (apple, peach -- see those in Heard Farm orchard), berries (high bush blue, currants, cranberries), and nut trees (inc. hazelnuts) -- plus perennial herbs. These would be labeled inviting passersby to pick and enjoy. Molly Faulkner Wayland Green Team
Colleen Sheehan August 14, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Hi everyone. Thanks for the comments and suggestions, please keep them coming! Because we are just developing the framework for the Town Green at this point, there is still a lot of opportunity to share your vision now. We've been tremendously fortunate in that we've benefited from the input from so many groups already, and the suggestions you've all made here (minus the senior center comment, since that isn't in our purview) are all things we have considered.
NSJ August 20, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Some great ideas here! I would also include benches and bike lock stations. The water element suggestion is a great one! What about a small coy pond near the suggested gazebo and benches? Also think carefully about the playground is a good idea. A timeless wooden or metal structure would certainly be preferable to an ugly plastic one.

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