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Article Published July 10, 2019
Branford Hills Park: New Playground Opens Saturday July 13
Pam Johnson, Senior Staff Writer

On Saturday, July 13, Branford Parks and Recreation will officially open its newest outdoor play park, installed at Branford Hills Park on Jefferson Road. The public is invited to attend a brief ceremony planned for 10 a.m.

Parks and Recreation Director Alex Palluzzi notes the new playground is the sixth version of the town's auditory and sensory-friendly playgrounds to be installed, following installations at parks and schools in recent years which include newer playgrounds in Stony Creek, Short Beach, Hammer Field, Indian Neck School and Branford Early Learning Center (formerly Pine Orchard School).

Featuring 13 acres of fenced-in open space, Branford Hills Park officially opened in October 2017, after the demolition of the former Branford Hills School (built in 1955) on the site in 2016. The park will soon host an irrigated soccer field and currently includes a basketball court which was renovated (resurfaced, repainted and fitted with new nets) in 2017. 

The addition of the new playscape adds a new dimension to the site which will provide accessible recreation for young ones, said Palluzzi. It includes a handicapped accessible swing as part of a new swing set, which also has two toddler swings and two children's swings. A main feature is the slide tower which has three slides (a steep slide for bigger kids, and two smaller slides for younger ones), with climbing arrays and other interactive components. A double teetor-totter (four riders), two spin seats and other inviting play equipment has also been installed. The 40-foot by 120-foot play space also features low-impact "Fibar" playground surface ground cover.

The park provides a new public play space that's accessible to residents in an area of town that includes a mix of single family homes and large condominium and apartment complexes.

"It's definitely been an underserved population," said Palluzzi.

The new playground was installed at the cost of approximately $75,000, with the money coming from special funds derived from Branford Parks and Recreation program proceeds, said Palluzzi.

"This is a great way to put that money back into the community," he said.