Obear Park - Coastal resilience feasibility study
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 Coastal 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 impacts to the park equipment and infrastructure. As identified in the Coastal Resiliency Plan, parts of the park are inundated in the 2030 projections including the entire beach area. By the 2070 projections, the majority of the 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.
The first virtual public forum for the Obear Park coastal resilience project took place on Thursday, April 15th, from 7:00-8:30 PM. During this forum, community members learned 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.
A story map will be available in June 2021, and the second public forum will take place in June 2021. This page as well as the city calendar will be updated with meeting details.