Marshall Square Park northwest entrance

It’s a warm Wednesday morning and the northwest entrance of Marshall Square Park is dotted with little patrons mostly of the 0 to 5-year-old variety and their (mostly) moms. The morning I am there, the swings and both playgrounds are popular destinations. I watch as a mom guides in three young patrons, cars whizzing down E. Marshall Street in the background, and it is not hard to imagine the feedback the members of Friends of Marshall Square Park, a group of concerned neighbors that help support the park, receive.   

“The impetus of the plan came from concerned parents,” said registered landscape architect and founding member of FOMSP Anne Walters at last week’s Public Works Committee meeting. 

Anne and group President Jeff Beitel were there to present their plans for a new northwest entrance to the park. Their vision will add roughly 300’ of fencing to the corner split between Matlack and Marshall Streets. That will be followed by a landscape border and then the trees. The fence will reach 30” in height – a deterrent more than a literal barrier – and will mimic the look of the fencing used around the fountain on the northeast corner. The plants will be native and, in some cases, pollinator-friendly.  

“The impetus of the plan came from concerned parents.”

Anne Walters, Founding Member, Friends of Marshall Square Park
Plans add a fence and plants to the northwest corner and a future bocce court next basketball court.

“The selected plants will remain low in height and will offer seasonal color and interest as well as providing slope protection to eliminate erosion,” said Anne. “All of the proposed plants have ‘tough constitutions’ which is a necessary component for plants in public spaces,” she added. 

This week the plan received the full support of Borough Council. The group – which will be coordinating and funding the upgrade – will now put the project out to bid with the goal of having the fence installed by mid-October and planting completed soon after. 

“Then hopefully next spring it will all come up and look beautiful and we’ll have a nice entrance to the park,” said Anne. 


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Originally published, Aug. 18, 2023

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