CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Baker-Polito Administration awarded a grant to the Post 9/11 and Service Dog Park in Chicopee.

A total of nearly $5 million in grants were awarded to ten projects in Massachusetts, through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant Program. They are funded through the sales of offshore oil and gas leases to help strengthen communities, preserve the state’s history, and protect the national endowment of lands and waters.

The City of Chicopee was awarded $415,000 to the 7.15-acre park project that will include walking trails, an off-leash dog park, nature play and fitness areas, and elements designed to engage and facilitate interactions between community members of all ages and abilities. In its current configuration, it offers limited recreational opportunities to the Westover neighborhood residents.

The regional Post 9/11 memorial space will be located at the Westover Industrial Gate Park at the corner of Westover Road and Honeysuckle Drive adjacent to Westover Air Reserve Base. The plans for the park began approximately five years ago through a collaboration between its Veterans Services Office, Department of Planning & Development, and Department of Parks & Recreation.

9/11 Service Dog Memorial Park

9/11 Service Dog Memorial Park from ChicopeeTV on Vimeo.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is one of many critically important tools we utilize in the Commonwealth to safeguard Massachusetts’ natural resources for use today and well into the future,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to be able to significantly make an impact on regions throughout the state with these grants.”

“From the Town of Canton to the City of Chicopee, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants will enable further investments into worthwhile local projects,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These funds will help support making park improvements, acquiring public lands, and increasing access to the environment in communities throughout the Commonwealth.”  

“Supporting municipalities in conserving their local natural resources and enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities is a key priority of the Baker-Polito Administration,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides.“We remain committed to supporting both communities and state agencies’ efforts in our shared goals of protecting the environment and addressing climate change.”

The FY2020 Round 2 LWCF Grant awardees are:

ArlingtonArlington Reservoir RestorationThe grant will improve the park, perimeter trail, and water body through erosion control measures, removal of invasive plants, and installation of native plantings; construction of overlook seating and an improved boat launch; reconstruction of the parking lot and entrance pathways; and installation of interpretive signage with historic, environmental, and recreational information.$306,940.00
BostonMalcolm X ParkThe project will create new ADA compliant park paths, most entrances will be made ADA compliant, the basketball and tennis courts will be made ADA accessible, the playlot will be redesigned to include inclusive elements and a shade structure, and new interpretive signage, bike racks, and benches will be added.$750,000.00
BraintreeMiddle Street Monatiquot River TrailThe project will construction a 1/3 mile accessible trail to provide all people access to the Monatiquot River and allow for the viewing of the annual spring herring migration.$245,000.00
CantonEarl Newhouse Waterfront ImprovementsThe project improvements include enhanced ADA accessibility to allow a larger group of citizens to fully utilize the site with an expanded trail system, paved parking, and accessible picnic seating, kayak launch and fishing platform.$239,130.00
ChicopeePost 9/11 & Service Dog ParkThe project components include:  walking trails, an off-leash dog park, nature play and fitness areas, and elements designed to engage and facilitate interactions between community members of all ages and abilities.$415,000.00
Department of Conservation and RecreationAngelica Brook Hillside at Callahan State ParkThe project will acquire the 33.4 acre O’Donnell property and complete a state, regional, and local land protection goal that has been ongoing for decades and is threatened by a 17-20 lot subdivision.$750,000.00
Department of Fish and GameFava ProjectThe project will acquire 244 acres of land with 50 feet of frontage on the south side of Spruce Street containing a wide, flat, well-maintained woods road from the street to the cranberry bogs and reservoirs. $325,000.00
Department of Fish and GameSquannacook HeadwatersThe project will acquire 95 acres of land with 1,400′ of frontage on West Meadow Road that directly abuts 100 acres of the agency’s Squannacook River Wildlife Management Area, as well as 600′ of frontage on Walker Brook, a headwater tributary to the Squannacook River, one of the best Coldwater Fisheries Resources in eastern MA and a federally designated Wild and Scenic River.$325,000.00
SpringfieldDuggan ParkThe project will develop an accessible perimeter loop trail and fitness course, community garden, two basketball courts, picnic tables, baseball/softball field, a natural grass athletic field with regulation track for multiple sports and outdoor track opportunities, landscaping and tree plantings.$750,000.00
WorcesterCoal Mine BrookThe project will construct new fully accessible walkways and trails, including overlooks of Coal Mine Brook, educational/ environmental/ wildlife kiosks at the overlooks, accessible parking areas, benches with available companion seating, improved vistas of Lake Quinsigamond, picnic areas, pedestrian lighting, perimeter wooden guardrails and fencing, tree trimming and tree plantings.$750,000.00

The Baker-Polito Administration is using $100 million of the state’s direct federal aid from the the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support parks, recreation, and open spaces.