The Billerica Recreation Department is pleased to announce that plans for Firefighter Dave’s Playground have moved forward with the order of a special Fire Truck playground designed for children ages 2-5 that will be added to the existing structure at the Kohlrausch Park this spring.
The Fire Truck playground is a project begun by the family of David Silva, a Billerica firefighter, who passed away from a snowmobile accident winter of 2015. That same fall, the Silva family held a benefit Halloween Dance Party to raise funds for the creation of a playground in his memory. Additional monies were received through a Community Funds Grant from the Board of Selectmen in Winter 2016. While original plans were for the structure to be placed at the Manning State Park, a review by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation indicated that their policies would not allow for the playground at that location.
“The denial by DCR was a bit of a setback and disappointment”, explains Donna Hansen, Billerica Recreation’s Acting Assistant Director, “but when we starting talking to the Silva family and realized their connection with the North Billerica area around the Kohlrausch Park, we realized that we had the perfect location for the playground. The relocation also allowed us to change the apparatus to allow for the Firefighter theme which the family was also thrilled to see. This Fire Truck will be a welcomed addition to the playground for kids ages 5-12 that is already at the Kohlrausch Park. ”
After a couple of meetings and looking at the various choices of fire truck themed play areas, the proposed design was selected and plans for a community build evolved. Through outreach by the Silva family to Dave’s friends in the Billerica Fire Department and other emergency management services, a base of volunteers was recruited for the community build of the structure. The scheduled build is set for Saturday, June 17 with the dedication of the playground set for Sunday, June 18th which coincides with this year’s Father’s Day celebration. Dave Silva’s children and extended family will be part of the dedication service.
Anyone interested in helping with this helping with this community event is asked to contact Donna Hansen at Billerica Recreation, 978-671-0921 or EMAIL at: firstname.lastname@example.org.