Renovations Continue at Blackstone and Franklin Square Parks

A backhoe sits inside the gates at Franklin Square Park.

If you’ve walked by either Blackstone or Franklin Parks on Washington Street lately, you’ll notice the large fountains are gone, and in their place is a chain link fence and a backhoe. 

Fear not – the “please excuse our appearance” look in both parks will be gone by late spring, according to newly elected Friends of the Blackstone Square Parks president Courtney Troutman.

The $ 600K fountain restoration project is slated to be done by mid-May, said Troutman.

“With the recent snowstorms, they’ve been delayed in starting the excavation, but soon they will start soon, and that’s the big part of the project,” he said. 

The new pumping stations will be built underneath the new Blackstone and Franklin Squares restored fountains, and will serve to recycle water used within the fountain as opposed to running a city water line to it and sending water down the drain. 

“Before it was just a little dribble and I think the whole basin will be filled with  water so it should be really beautiful,” Troutman said. 

 But the fountain project isn’t the only change coming to the park. Over the winter, the Friends group had all the trees in the two parks pruned and four more are slated for removal. 

“If you go into the parks you can see how much has been taking down and how much more light will come into the parks,” Troutman said. “The trees will definitely be healthier, and people always said Franklin Square seemed dark because it had such a thick canopy, and opening that up helps the grass grow.”

In terms of upcoming projects still on the docket, Troutman said the Friends group is looking into new trash cans, and they are in the “early stages” of looking to replace the park’s benches.

“These things always take longer than one expects, but in the last two years, the fountains have been taken care of, and the trees are pruned, and we’ve made really terrific progress,” Troutman said. 

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