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Brighton playground among 27 parks in Mass. to share $14m for upgrades

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  January 18, 2012 04:01 PM

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PARCGrants.jpg

(Isabel Leon / City of Boston)

From left to right: Jim Hunt of the Boston Mayor’s Office, state Secretary of Energy and Environment Richard Sullivan, Toni Pollack Commissioner of the City of Boston's parks department, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.

A playground in Brighton, along with 26 parks and recreational facilities across 24 other Massachusetts municipalities, will share more than $14 million in state grants to help pay for enhancement projects, state leaders announced this week.

Joyce Playground, the only park in Boston to win a grant in this week’s announcement, will receive the maximum-possible award of $500,000 to replace an existing water play feature, fencing and gates there, renovate existing play equipment and the basketball court, add benches and picnic tables, install “interpretive panels” and plant trees to create additional shade, according to a press release from Lt. Governor Timothy Murray.

“For many in Boston, the neighborhood park is their backyard,” Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement. “These improvements to Brighton’s Joyce Playground will ensure that the park continues to provide a wonderful outdoor gathering space to Brighton residents for many years to come.”

The grants derive from two initiatives of the state’s energy and environment department -- the “Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities,” or PARC, program and the “Gateway Cities Parks Program,” officials said.

The Brighton playground received a one of 17 grants totaling $7.3 million issued through the PARC program “to help municipalities acquire parkland, renovate existing parks or build new parks and other outdoor recreation facilities,” the release said.”

“Grant applications are assessed based on criteria such as project quality and demographics, with preference given to park projects located close to urban centers and public transportation or serving environmental justice populations,” according to the state’s announcement.

Established in 1977 and formerly called “Urban Self-Help,” the PARC grants are competitive and reimburse communities between 52 and 70 percent of the total project cost, a percent figure determined by the municipal demographics and up to half a million dollars.

“This PARC grant provides an exciting opportunity to improve Joyce Playground, which is a center of family and youth activity in our community,” State Rep. Kevin Honan said in a statement. “These significant improvements to the landscaping and play equipment will be greatly appreciated and enjoyed by our neighborhood residents.”

Through the two grant initiatives, since 2007, the state has invested more than $72.9 million resulting in the creation or restoration of 154 parks, according to the state’s release.

The grants across both programs will also fund projects in Amherst, Barnstable, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Falmouth, Gloucester, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Medford, Northampton, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Somerville, Springfield, Westfield, Wilbraham, Woburn, and Worcester.

“Parks are key resources that strengthen the fabric of communities across Massachusetts,” Murray said in a statement. “By committing resources to our parks, our Administration and municipal partners are providing more recreational opportunities for people of all ages and effecting positive change in our neighborhoods and communities."

State leaders say they have protected more than 88,000 acres of land over the past four years increasing the amount of permanently protected land in Massachusetts to nearly 1.3 million acres, which state officials claim is more land than has been developed in the state.

The PARC grant awards recipients are:

  • Amherst -- Community Field Rehabilitation – $208,320 for the installation of a pool liner, new concrete decking, fencing and lighting for safety, new drain lines and piping to fix significant water leaks, replacement of the filtration system and upgrades to the filter house, new benches, lifeguard chairs, shade structures, water fountains and improvements to the pool house.
  • Chelsea -- Washington Park Redevelopment Project – $500,000 for the introduction of active recreation opportunities to the site, additional seating and gathering areas throughout the park, a linear trellis, additional plantings, new walking paths, retaining wall repairs, lighting, an irrigation system and the addition of 4,500 square feet of open space.
  • Fall River -- Britland Park Project – $500,000 for the construction of a watercraft launch area, entrance and parking areas, paths and picnic areas, interpretive signage and the installation of a synthetic turf field.
  • Falmouth -- Teaticket Park – $500,000 for the acquisition of a 10.7 acre conservation restriction.
  • Gloucester -- Newell Stadium Field Turf Installation – $500,000 for the installation of a synthetic, multi-purpose field and dedication of the 8.23 acres site as permanent parkland.
  • Lawrence -- Campagnone (North) Common Renovations – $500,000 for the installation of a new play structure, a wide asphalt path around the play area, new plantings and benches and the renovation of two entry ways.
  • Lowell -- Concord River Greenway: Phase IIIA – $500,000 for the construction of the last segment of a paved path along the Concord River from Centennial Island back to the east side of the river, continuing north to the end at the Rogers Street Bridge.
  • Medford -- Hormel Stadium Athletic Field - $500,000 for the installation of new, high quality and well-draining soils, storm water management systems, high performance synthetic turf system and field markings.
  • Northampton -- Florence Recreation Fields – $500,000 for the development of a new park that includes five multi-use fields, one 60-foot baseball diamond and one 90-foot baseball diamond, a parking lot, a multi-purpose path along the property, playground, pavilion, restrooms and a concession and storage building.
  • Revere -- Gibson Park Renovation Project – $140,000 for the addition of two new tennis courts, resurfacing of two existing courts, addition of an ADA accessible ramp from the parking lot, installation of ADA compliant sidewalks, replacement of fencing around tennis courts, replacement of a baseball backstop and the addition of a half basketball court.
  • Salem -- Splaine Park – $420,946 for the removal of overgrown vegetation, the construction of a stone dust bike/walking path along the park perimeter, the enhancement of the two main entrances, the construction of play structures, the installation of a new baseball field and irrigation system and rebuilding of the bleachers and dugouts.
  • Somerville -- 15-25 Cross Street East Park Construction – $500,000 for the development of a new park that will include a social gathering space, play structures for older and younger children, a water play feature and a half-court basketball court.
  • Springfield -- Hubbard Park – $500,000 for updates to the tennis and basketball courts, grading and drainage for the ball fields, new perimeter fencing, ADA accessible paths, a new parking lot and a new picnic grove.
  • Wilbraham -- Spec Pond Recreational Area Renovation Project – $39,040 for the design of the Spec Pond Recreational Area.
  • Woburn -- Whispering Hill Woods – $500,000 for the development of a new park that includes a multi-purpose natural turf field, a parking area and the restoration of an existing garage into a storage facility.
  • Worcester -- Elm Park Renovation – $500,000 for the upgrade of current walkways to ADA standards, renovation of the playground, installation of new electrical service, pond edge improvements, upgrading of park lighting systems and the replacement of benches and picnic tables.

The nine Gateway City Parks grants, totaling $6.8 million, “will fund design and construction of parks of all types and sizes including sections of several inter-municipal trails.”

  • Barnstable -- Downtown Parks and Trails Plan – $50,000 to develop a plan to connect existing parks and provide an expanded pedestrian network throughout Downtown Hyannis.
  • Everett -- Glendale Park Renovation – $500,000 for the installation of a new synthetic field, athletic and pedestrian lights, irrigation and drainage systems, benches and trees, the rehabilitation of the walking paths, reconstruction of the entrance and tot lot.
  • Everett – Northern Strand Community Trail -- $235,000 for the production of design and construction documents for the trail from the Malden line to Route 16 in Everett and a conceptual plan for the remainder of the path to the Everett-Chelsea line.
  • Fall River - Quequechan River Bike Trail - $785,000 for the services of a surveyor, wetland scientist, landscape architect and civil engineer to produce design and construction documents for Phase II of the Quequechan River Path and a new 9,300 linear feet segment of shared use path that will connect downtown Fall River to the existing path along South Watuppa Pond.
  • Haverhill -- Swasey Park Renovation – $1.1 million for the first phase of renovations to a 14-acre park built for millworkers and their families over 100 years ago. When complete, the park will have a new accessible perimeter path, an attractive main entrance, a small accessible water spray park, new back stops, team benches, bleachers and infields at each baseball field and a new surface for the basketball court.
  • Holyoke -- Veterans Park Renovation – $1.4 million for the renovation of the existing park including the addition of handicap accessible ramps, new pavement, tree removal and pruning, tree planting, new lighting, fencing, trash receptacles and benches.
  • Leominster -- Monoosnoc Brook River Walk – $500,000 for the construction of the first section of the Monoosnoc Brook River Walk from Central Street to Mechanic Street including sidewalks and walkways, lighting, fencing, site furnishings, signage, plantings and “state of the art” storm water treatment using bioretention areas.
  • Lynn -- Lynn Commons Rehabilitation – $210,000 for the services of a surveyor, architect, landscape architect and civil engineer to produce construction documents for the rehabilitation of the historic Frederick Douglass Bandstand and immediate surroundings on Lynn Commons.
  • Quincy - Adams Green - $1 million for the design and construction documents necessary to build Adams Green, planned as a centerpiece of a reinvigorated Downtown Quincy. This planned park will be a new civic open space featuring a unifying town green and promenade.
  • Westfield -- Columbia River Greenway – $1 million for the city of Westfield to build a greenway along an abandoned rail line from the city’s border with the town of Southwick to the Little River, a distance of just over a mile. The greenway will also eventually connect to trails in Northampton, allowing travel along a substantial network of trails to the north as well.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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