Ninigret Park is home to a diverse range of recreation, entertainment, and land preservation uses. Weston & Sampson was selected to provide professional landscape architecture, engineering, and planning services to update the 2008 Ninigret Park Master Plan. Comprised of 227 acres of land, the park includes a Naval Air Memorial; multi-purpose athletic fields, soccer fields, and tennis courts; the Criterium Bicycle Course; Kimball Pavilion; an 18-hole disc golf course; summer recreation office, maintenance/storage building, and restrooms; Little Nini Pond area and facilities; Kid’s Place Playground; a Senior Center; event parking; and informal trails. In addition to these permanent land uses, Ninigret Park is also home to regional summer entertainment events, including the Big Apple Circus and the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce Seafood Festival.
In collaboration with the Parks and Recreation Commission, Ninigret Park Master Plan Committee, and residents, Weston & Sampson provided a detailed Master Plan update, taking into account the original master plan from 2008 and improvements needed to address both near- and long-term goals for the site. Incorporating principles of appropriate development and not over-development, Weston & Sampson’s updated plan includes programming for an outdoor sports complex and a combined festival center/performing arts center.
The sports complex plan includes one competition level multi-use soccer/football field with bleachers; one multi-purpose soccer/lacrosse field; two full-size, four junior-level, and two youth soccer fields; open play fields; two basketball courts; eight tennis courts; and room for a potentail skating rink. The performing arts plan positions the soundstage away from residents and incorporates natural and pre-engineered sound barriers for sound mitigation and provides a flexible space for different scale events and assures long-term usability.
Weston & Sampson’s plan also includes a gateway entrance to the park; a more accessible Senior Center and associated park; updates to Little Nini Park/Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory; reintroduction of native vegetation on the Disc Golf Course to promote its low-impact recreational land use and improve the potential for collecting user fees; a temporary festival camping area; updates to the Criterium Bicycle Course to improve both pedestrian and rider safety; meandering pathways/drives; low-impact development (LID) parking areas; thoughtful incorporation of native trees/shrubs/perennials; interpretive, accessible trails with associated play pods; composting toilet facilities; and dark sky compliant lighting.