In 2014, the Town of Weymouth secured a $200,000 grant through the Massachusetts Our Common Backyards Program for improvements to Bradford Hawes Park. These improvements were supported by an additional $60,000 in Community Preservation funds, $59,950 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, and a generous donation from the In Memory of Me, Tanner B. Foundation of Weymouth.
The goals of the Bradford Hawes Park project included the following:
- Enhance opportunities for play and passive recreation.
- Increase access to the park for persons of all ages and abilities.
- Open or "daylight" the park to increase safety through natural surveillance.
The park's final design was prepared by ICON Park Designs of Dorchester. Park improvements included the following:
- Accessible play structures
- Regulation-size basketball court
- Street hockey court
- Walking paths
- Swings, benches, and picnic tables
- Pedestrian lighting
- Park gateway and other signage
- Clearing of overgrowth
- Restoration of the park's dedication stone
In August 2015, a crowd of more than 100 people joined with Mayor Susan Kay to rededicate Bradford Hawes Park and unveil a new dedication plaque. This plaque was donated by Donald Mathewson, a member of the Town Historical Commission and a family descendent of Bradford Hawes.
Bradford Hawes Park is an 12-acre neighborhood park located off Lakehurst Avenue in Weymouth. An inventory of the grounds made in 2004 lists a play structure, pavilion, ball field, basketball court, street hockey court, and storage facility. By 2014, most of these facilities had become worn or damaged or, in some cases, removed for public safety. The Our Common Backyards Program provided an opportunity for the Town to revitalize and preserve this public space for the next generation of residents.
The park's namesake, Bradford Hawes, was an American Civil War veteran and former school committee member and Town Selectman. Hawes served as a public representative of the Town for nearly 40 years. In 1924, he donated approximately five acres of undeveloped grounds to the people of Weymouth for outdoor recreation. These grounds, adjacent to what was previously known as Lovell’s Corner Playground, eventually developed into one of the most comprehensive neighborhood parks in all of Weymouth.