Community members, elected officials, and representatives from the Department of Conservation and Recreation gathered at the the Barbara Colby Playground at Tenean Beach last Friday afternoon to officially re-open the facility, which was built in 1985, renovated in 2005, and rehabilitated once again over the last year at a cost of $350,000.
“This particular DCR playground has a unique Dorchester connection as it was named after a resident who devoted her adult life to local causes,” said DCR interim Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “Barbara Colby was born in 1941, attended St. Ann’s School, Fontbonne Academy, and was a dedicated girl scout while contributing to the Catholic Youth Organization.”
While thanking state Sen. Nick Collins and state Rep. Dan Hunt for their work and support of the project, he added, “As an adult, she devoted her time to many community organizations and she was a positive figure in this community known for her enthusiasm, loyalty, and generosity. Today, DCR maintains Barbara Colby’s legacy with the completion of a new playground in her name.”
For his part, Hunt said: “This is an investment that represents a lot of what the Baker Administration has done across Dorchester. Sen. Linda Forry and I worked on an environmental bond bill when I first came in, and this is an example of it coming to fruition. I just wanted to thank the secretary and the commissioner for this investment; this is a great day for Dorchester and for the Port.”
Kathleen A. Theoharides, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said that she “couldn’t be more thrilled to honor Barbara’s legacy and her engagement in the community in terms of revitalizing the space and making it a true community asset.”
She added, “I was told that this was moved out of a site where it was getting continuously flooded and it’s something we’re trying to do as an agency and a larger organization – to make sure that when we are making these investments we are making them in smarter places where they’re not going to get flooded out over time.”
In closing the ceremony, Barbara Colby’s brother, Jack Colby thanked “everybody who has put this together. It’s really been a delight to see it. The [old] playground had been really devastated by the water and it was all made out of wood and this new steel material is going to last for a long time. “I’d also like to thank my family and friends that have shown up here,” he said. “Thank you all for coming and enjoy the park.”