The majestic Wamesit Indian statue, crafted in bronze by sculptor Mico Kaufman, serves as something of a 'gatekeeper,'' welcoming visitors as they enter Tewksbury, along Route 38 from the north.
Unfortunately, aside from the statue itself, the Wamesit Indian Park isn't much to look at. Located along Main Street, near Vic's Waffle House, the park is no more than a few hundred square feet of dirt and dead or dying grass.
But all that may change next spring.
Steve Sadwick, Director of Community Development, has hired landscape architect Lorayne Black to re-design the park, the first step in re-creating the park as a true showpiece for Tewksbury.
Black presented conceptual sketches to the Planning Board at it meeting Monday night and received positive feedback.
"It was great. She does fantastic work all the time," said board Chairman Robert Fowler.
Black's ideas for the park include the addition of several areas of vegetation, as well as pathways with multiple entry points leading to the statue. Black said would recommend using native plants and plants that are drought-resistant.
"We all know this is an amazing statue and one of the main gateways to the community," said Black. "We want to bring visible attention to the statue itself."
Once all input and information is gathered, Black said she will be returning to the Planning Board with "a more fine-tuned preliminary plan."
Actual landscaping work could begin as early as the spring.
Sadwick said the entire project, including the landscaping work itself, will cost around $20,000. The project will be paid for with mitigation money the town received from Walmart, when the retail giant was expanding its Route 38 location.
According to Sadwick, the town has another $25,000 from Walmart it will be spending on traffic improvements on the north end of Route 38.