SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Duggan Park located in the Sixteen Acres neighborhood of the City of Springfield was awarded funds to create recreational opportunities to the community.

A total of nearly $5 million in grant 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 Springfield was awarded $750,000 to Duggan Park, about 11 acres of conservation land. The 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.

Funding for Duggan Park include the following:

  • NFL Grassroots Grant: $250,000 – secured
  • City of Springfield: $250,000 – secured
  • Community Development Block Grant – $250,000 – secured
  • Land & Water Conservation Fund Grant – $750,000 – secured
  • Community Preservation Act – $1,000,000 ($250,000/year) – pending over 4 years

“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.”

The LWCF Grant Program was first established by Congress in 1964 to fulfill a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources, and cultural heritage, and to provide recreational opportunities to all Americans. Any municipality with an approved Open Space and Recreation Plan, as well as the Departments of Conservation and Recreation and Fish and Game, are eligible to apply for this program. The number of grants and amount of funding awarded this has significantly increased, due to the passage of the 2020 Great American Outdoors Act, which guarantees $900 million in perpetuity.

“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.