August 27. 2013 9:04PM

Hollis mothers planning new playground in town

Union Leader Correspondent

HOLLIS — Some local mothers want to expand the town’s playground offerings in the coming year.

During the Aug. 26 selectmen’s meeting, sisters Anna and Sarah Birch, members of the Hollis Playground Project group, discussed conceptual plans with town officials.

Anna Birch initially approached the town’s recreation commission in early June, raising the possibility of replacing the small swing set on Nichols Field with an entirely new playground.

Board members said they were open to the idea of pursuing options, though they urged the women to discuss ideas with selectmen.

Birch said the area seems an ideal place for an expanded playground since many parents attend sporting events at the field, and the athletes’ younger siblings don’t have much space in which to play.

“Right now the younger kids are playing around the trees and on the rocks,” Birch told selectmen this week.

Selectman Frank Cadwell, who serves as the board’s recreation committee liaison, said he’s open to the possibility of an expanded playground area, but he wasn’t sure if the spot in question is the right place for it, noting the high level of activity at the field — particularly on Old Home Days.

This year’s Hollis Old Home Days festivities are Sept. 20-21 and selectmen noted the swings are usually removed from their hangers during those days to make sure children aren’t playing near the booths’ power source.

“We did a site walk of the area and we’re concerned about the activity level there,” Cadwell said Monday. “It may not work there, but we’re open to ideas.”

Birch said the group had conducted preliminary research over the past several months and plans to privately raise some $30,000 to $40,000 to help bring the project forward.

After a brief discussion, the board agreed to discuss the matter further with the recreation commission during Hollis selectmen’s meeting on Monday, Sept. 9, at 6:30 p.m. in the community room at Hollis Town Hall.