Obear Park - Coastal resilience feasibility study

Obear Park

Obear Park is a coastal park located along the Danvers River, and includes infrastructure for active and passive recreation, including a bathhouse, a playground, and a beach. In 2017 the City prepared its Climate Resiliency Plan, followed in 2018 by an update to its original Hazard Mitigation Plan. Identified in this update, Obear Park was classified as a high priority to the City and its stakeholders, with a need to mitigate the ongoing erosion and complete some salt marsh restoration. Climate change, and sea level rise in particular, is anticipated to cause additional negative impacts over the next few decades, including further damage to the natural environment and safety risks to the park equipment and infrastructure. As identified in the Climate Resiliency Plan, parts of park are inundated in the 2030 projections including the entire beach area. By the 2070 projections, the majority of park will be within the flood plain. This feasibility assessment and conceptual design for resilience-focused improvements is the first part of a multi-phase project to establish a path forward to protect the park and surrounding natural environment from climate impacts. 

This first phase will include a detailed analysis of the site, collaboration with stakeholders and the public to establish goals and opportunities for resilience, and the development of recommendations and conceptual designs for green infrastructure and retrofits to ensure the resilience of the park, including expected costs for future phases including design, permitting, construction, and maintenance.

PUBLIC FORUM: The public forum for the Obear Park coastal resilience project is scheduled for Thursday, April 15th, from 7:00-8:30 PM. The forum will be virtual, and will take place through Zoom. Meeting access information can be found on the City calendar. During this forum, community members will learn about the ongoing impacts that climate change has had on the park, how the City is evaluating these impacts and possible solutions, and potential actions to protect the park such as living shoreline techniques, culvert alterations, and retrofits to existing park facilities.