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Charles W Eliot Park, Norwood

In 1923, Charles Sumner Bird gave a six-acre parcel of land to the town on Norwood. This parcel is located to the rear of the Balch School. On November 23, 1923, the town meeting voted to accept Mr. Bird’s generous gift and they further voted to have the Selectman express thanks to Mr. Bird. The Boston Globe reported in August of 1924, that the land would be laid out as a playground, which would contain a ball field, a small concrete stadium and a wading pool and would be known as The Charles W. Elliot Park. It should be noted that Charles W. Eliot (1834-1926) is not a son of Norwood. He was an academic who came from a prestigious New England family. He became president of Harvard College (1869 to 1909) and changed its focus from traditional classical studies to modern business practices. He was serving as president of the college when Charles Bird, senior and junior was students there.

Initially, when the playground was constructed, it had a swing set, a merry-go-round, a climbing arch, and a slide, but must of the space was left as a large grassy field. Over the years other play spaces were added that at one time included a skateboard park, which is now gone. Today this park contains two baseball diamonds (softball & baseball), basketball hoops, an outdoor classroom and a recently renovated playground. The Balch School PTO upgraded the playground area to have modern and safe play structures and they also created the outdoor classroom. Now, thanks to the Balch PTO, children of all ages have a fun, multi-use, and safe play space!

Go to George Bird Exhibit main page –>

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