HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The first phase of making improvements to Holyoke’s largest park, Anniversary Hill, is set to begin this week.

The City of Holyoke partnered with Kestrel Land Trust to help expand and restore walking trails and Scott Tower. An online survey was conducted which received more than 450 responses from city residents. The community outreach process helped create a master plan for the park improvements.

The city’s Office of Conservation and Sustainability gathered $1.7 million in funding from grants made by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, MassTrails, Community Development Block Grant, and Gateway Cities Parks Grant all leveraged in match by additional local CPA dollars.

The first step is to bury overhead utility connections and create an access corridor off Overlook Drive with stone dust trails and benches. The upgraded trail will allow wheelchair access to Scott Tower. The tower is expected to be restored in future phases.

The multi-year project included purchasing an additional 14.1 acres of land in 2021 to create an alternative access section. Funds to do so were from the Community Preservation Act (CPA) and a grant from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to complete the $300,000 acquisition.

The City of Holyoke announced that they are working to re-open the park to the public by June 2024.

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