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Four Boston parks to share $1.6 million in renovation grants

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  October 26, 2010 11:01 AM

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Three Roxbury parks and another in Dorchester were among 28 parks in 19 communities statewide that will receive a combined $8.9 million in grants over two years for renovations, state officials announced Tuesday.

The three Roxbury green spaces are all within one mile of one another. Alvah Kittredge Park, Laviscount Park and Howes Playground will receive a combined $1.1 million. The Cronin-Wainwright park near Codman Square in Dorchester will receive $500,000, the officials said in a news release.

The $310,000 for Alvah Kittredge will go toward removing concrete walls, tables, and dilapidated benches and replacing lawn space with two seating plazas, a curved walkway, an interpretive timeline of neighborhood history, and a water play area.

Laviscount will put its $330,000 grant toward renovating the park’s four entrances, adding a gated entry for vehicles, restoring the lawn and an ornamental metal fence, planting trees and installing a track surface around the park’s perimeter, play equipment, a water spray area and safety surfacing, said the release.

Half a million dollars – the maximum allocation of the competitive grants – will fund the restoration of a wooded area at Howes Playground in order to create a natural amphitheatre in the park’s rock outcropping. Work will also involve shade tree planting, installing exercise stations and interpretive panels, renovating the existing swings and water spray area, replacing paving and benches and installing an ornamental metal fence.

The Cronin-Wainwright Park will use its $500,000 to reconstruct much of its existing layout. The main entrance will be relocated and a new basketball court, tot lots, a water spray area, ornamental fencing, interpretive panels, shade trees and paths will be added, according to the announcement.

The grants are awarded through the Energy and Environmental Affairs Department’s Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program, which was established 33 years ago. Seven other parks spilt $1.1 million in grants from The Gateway City Parks program.

The grants will also fund projects in Beverly, Chelsea, Dartmouth, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Melrose, Northampton, Pittsfield, Somerville, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield, and Worcester.

(For details on how those communities are planning to spend their grant money, click here.)

"Parks are the centerpieces of any community, and investments like these ensure urban public spaces across the Commonwealth are renovated, constructed and maintained for the enjoyment of families, individuals and their communities for years to come," said Governor Deval Patrick in the release.

Over the past four years, the state has invested in creating or restoring 114 parks and protecting over 75,000 acres of land used for park space, farms, forests and land surrounding drinking water reservoirs. Massachusetts now has over 1.2 million acres of land permanently protected from development, which is the first time in decades that the protected land acreage has been greater than the developed land acreage.

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

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