The Baker-Polito Administration today announced more than $2 million in federal grant awards for seven park improvement projects funded through the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant Program. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) administers the grants on behalf of the National Park Service for Massachusetts, and the Commonwealth’s parks and open spaces have been the beneficiary of more than $100 million since the program’s inception in 1965.
“Support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund is an important tool for the Commonwealth to continue building upon a legacy of land protection and park improvement,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration is pleased to work with Communities across Massachusetts to improve their communities by investing in their parks and open spaces.”
The LWCF was created in 1965 through an act of Congress. It is funded through off-shore oil leases and provides grants to states, as well as the federal government, for projects that protect open spaces, construct or renovate parks, and build trails.
“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to prioritize access to the outdoors, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund helps to ensure Massachusetts residents have access to parks and other open spaces,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As a direct result of this federal funding, the Commonwealth is positioned to work closely with seven communities across the state to renovate or build new parks for residents.”
Massachusetts maintains eligibility for the program by completing a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan every five years. The projects selected for funding must implement the findings of the plan. All applicants must have an up-to-date Open Space and Recreation Plan to be eligible for funding.
The Fiscal Year 2018 LWCF grant awardees are:
TOTAL GRANT AWARD
The project will construct a new splash pad, playground, pavilion, rain garden, accessible pathways, and site amenities.
The project will include overlook space, an accessible play structure and swing set area, basketball court, repaired and resurfaced tennis court and seating area, and a nature-inspired play space and outdoor classroom
Reservation Road Park
The project will include the construction of a new field, an inclusive skate park, parking lot, accessible picnic area, riverbank walking trail, woodland access trail, parking lot planting islands to provide shade/heat reduction and storm water management, a water access point, interpretive and wayfinding signage, a bioswale, a fitness area, a shade structure, and site amenities.
The project includes the construction of a new parking lot, renovations to pedestrian walkways, renovations to an existing parking lot, and planting 20 new trees.
The project will include new play equipment, a rope climber, a water play area, a children’s nature-play area and swing alley, a community garden, site furnishings, plantings, and accessible parking improvements.
Clapp Park at Fleming Field
The project replaces an aging playground with a new play area, as well as a splash pad plaza, a new multi-sport court and multi-purpose field will be added, along with walking/jogging paths, a picnic grove, and a scenic overlook.
The project will upgrade current walkways, drainage, and parking, install a new trailhead and site amenities, develop an overlook to Curtis Pond, replace an existing basketball court and playground, and plant trees.
“Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration and Secretary Beaton for prioritizing access to the outdoors, parks, playgrounds and open spaces,” stated State Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem). “It is such great news that Pete’s Park in Beverly will receive a $300,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant. Pete’s Park is an important project for the City of Beverly – it will be the first fully accessible public park in the community and is also named in honor of Pete Frates, an inspirational leader in the City who has raised millions of dollars to support ALS research and has dramatically increased awareness of this horrible disease.”
“I am extremely happy that Pete’s Park was awarded this grant to update and improve the space. Pete Frates has inspired individuals around the world to raise funds for ALS research and this park is a fitting tribute to all Pete and his family has done for Beverly and the Commonwealth as a whole,” said State Representative Jerry Parisella (D-Beverly). “This grant is an excellent example of city, state and private entities working together to improve the lives of our citizens. I’d also like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their continuous efforts in improving the parks and open spaces throughout the Commonwealth.”
“Thanks to the Baker-Polito Administration for this fantastic grant award,” said Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill. “These funds will allow us to build Pete’s Park, fulfilling Pete Frates’ vision to provide complete playground accessibility to all kids in Beverly and throughout the region. We are especially excited to honor Beverly’s own Pete Frates who inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge to strike out ALS and continues to demonstrate incredible courage and strength.”
“Harris Park is one of the many wonderful parks Medford has to offer its residents,” said State Senator Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville). “This funding will enhance the park for both children and adults, allowing new opportunities for playing and learning while also improving accessible parking.”
“I am very pleased that the City of Medford received this grant for Harris Park,” said State Representative Paul J. Donato (D-Medford). “The renovations will make Harris Park an attractive recreational facility for our families.”
“With the help of the Baker-Polito Administration, the City of Medford will make necessary improvements to revitalize Harris Park, home to our Summer Parks Program, which will now feature inclusive play equipment, to further develop recreational opportunities within our community,” said Medford Mayor Stephanie M. Burke. “These enhancements will include new play equipment for children ages 2-12, a rope climber, a water play area, a nature play area and swing alley, a community garden, site furnishings, plantings, signage and accessible parking improvements for all residents to enjoy.”