An Ellington family thought they had found the perfect spot to build a park in honor of a little boy who died from a rare form of brain cancer.
Many who live near the proposed site are sympathetic but don’t think it belongs in their neighborhood.
Everyone agrees on one thing: they support this family and their desire to memorialize their son. But there are sharp divisions about if that should be done.
“It allows us to have all of our dreams in one place,” said Sarah Poulin, the boy’s mother.
Sarah Poulin envisions transforming a field on Middle Road in Ellington as a way to honor her son Jacob. He died six months after being diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer in 2016.
“He was humble and kind every day. He was the sweetest little boy,” Poulin said.
Days after the 5-year-old’s death, his parents dedicated themselves to give back to the community which supported them and their son. Jacob’s passions would be the inspiration for a street-like hockey rink and a playground designed in the spirit of America Ninja Warrior.
It would be all be built on town land across from Mike Taft’s home.
After 25 years of enjoying the view of farmland, he and other neighbors worry the park would lead to problems including increased traffic and noise.
“It just makes no sense to have it here, you know?” Taft said.
Tuesday night Jacob’s Park supporters and opponents tried to sway town leaders as they considered whether to grant a special permit for the project. Many of the concerns are overblown according to Sarah Poulin, who hopes her family’s vision becomes reality.
“I think it’s going to be really special on a personal note to come out here when this is all said and done. And be able to share Jacob’s heart with everybody,” Poulin said.
The Poulins set up a foundation which will pay for the park construction with grants and donations. On Tuesday the planning and zoning commission delayed any decision for at least two weeks.