For Immediate Release - May 02, 2014

Patrick Administration Celebrates Groundbreaking on Camp STAR Angelina Improvements in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD – Friday, May 2, 2014 – Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan today broke ground in Springfield on improvements to Camp STAR Angelina in the city’s Forest Park.

“The Patrick Administration is committed to creating open space and parks across the Commonwealth because recreational opportunities improve the lives of both residents and visitors,” said Secretary Sullivan. “We are especially thrilled to help make Camp STAR Angelina the first universally designed day camp in western Massachusetts.”

The Patrick Administration provided $1.225 million to help fund the construction of a zero depth entry pool and accessible bath house, a universal outdoor amphitheater and an accessible trail to Porter Lake. The pool is expected to open in time for campers to use it this summer and the amphitheater and trail are expected to be completed this fall. The city of Springfield is contributing $600,000 towards the project.

These upgraded facilities will also be made available to the public for a wide range of programs and events, such as picnics, family reunions, swimming, school field trips and outdoor theater. Camp STAR Angelina, situated in the 700-acre Forest Park, serves youth and young adults with and without disabilities, medical concerns and hearing and visual impairments.

“The City of Springfield is truly proud of this opportunity and is thankful to Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary Sullivan for this legacy project. They have stepped forward as true partners to aid in the construction of this accessible facility,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. “All of our residents, especially the youth of Springfield, deserve the opportunity to participate in outdoor recreation regardless of physical ability. Camp STAR Angelina will become the home of therapeutic recreation for the city.”

Springfield is one of seven cities across Massachusetts that is receiving funding through EEA’s Signature Urban Parks program. Through this program, the Patrick Administration seeks to revitalize urban communities by opening up or upgrading green spaces for outdoor recreation and improving access to natural resources like waterways and historic neighborhood landmarks. Governor Patrick previously announced funding for projects in Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Pittsfield and Roxbury. Yesterday, Governor Patrick announced that Springfield is also receiving $1.3 million to develop a public green space in North Riverfront Park that includes a fitness trail and a series of exercise stations. The city will contribute $300,000 towards these upgrades to North Riverfront Park.

“Forest Park is truly a Springfield treasure and I am pleased that the Patrick Administration has invested in these critical improvements to Camp STAR Angelina,” said Senator Gale Candaras. “This project has brought new life into an underutilized corner of the park and literally leveled the playing field for young people with disabilities throughout the Pioneer Valley.”

“This is a great investment in the Springfield community,” said Senator James T. Welch. “These improvements to Camp STAR Angelina will create a terrific resource for our residents.”

"I am especially pleased the environmental grant will be provided to Camp STAR Angelina, Springfield is noted for its beautiful parks and open space,” said Representative Benjamin Swan. “This grant will allow for a major addition to Forest Park." 

Since taking office, Governor Deval Patrick has made a historic investment of more than $300 million in land conservation focused on three goals: investing in urban parks, preserving working farms and forests, and protecting large natural landscapes for habitat. This investment has resulted in the permanent protection of more than 110,000 acres of land and the renovation or creation of more than 170 parks. The new parks and open space created are within a 10 minute walk of 1.5 million residents – about a quarter of the Commonwealth’s residents.

According to a report by The Trust for Public Land, outdoor recreation generates $10 billion in consumer spending, $739 million in state and local tax revenue and $3.5 billion in wages and salaries each year in Massachusetts.

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