For Immediate Release - August 28, 2014

Patrick Administration Celebrates Groundbreaking on New Mary Troy Park in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD – Thursday, August 28, 2014 – Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett today broke ground in Springfield on Mary Troy Park, a new park in the City’s Liberty Heights neighborhood, which will provide much needed green space and access to outdoor recreation for residents of a densely populated neighborhood. The park, which is set to be completed late next spring, was made possible by a $400,000 Parkland Acquisition and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant from the Patrick Administration.

“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 Bartlett. “We are proud to partner with the City of Springfield to create a new, vibrant, welcoming green space that will serve a busy, densely populated neighborhood.”

This project will include the installation of a series of freestanding play structures, including a water spray feature, and exercise equipment along a central pathway, as well as park amenities, such as drinking fountains and trash receptacles.  These site improvements will be universally designed for people of all ages and abilities and exceed ADA accessibility requirements.  The City of Springfield is contributing $380,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding towards the project.

The park will be named after Mary Troy, a lifelong resident and community advocate for the Liberty Heights neighborhood.  A former municipal employee, Mary served as the director of the Hungry Hill Senior Center, and was considered by many to be the heart of the Liberty Heights neighborhood.  A memorial wall and plaque honoring her legacy will be located at the park entrance on Liberty Street. The site will be formally dedicated as parkland to be maintained and operated by the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management.  

"I am thrilled about the proposed improvements. The reuse of this space as a park offers a positive environment for the Liberty Heights neighborhood,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. “I am also pleased to honor Mary Troy by naming the new park in her memory. Mary worked tirelessly for this community and her name deserves to live on so future generations know the importance of Mary Troy’s legacy of civic responsibility and what an effective advocate can do for a community."

The PARC Program (formerly the Urban Self-Help Program) was established in 1977 to assist cities and towns in acquiring and developing land for park and outdoor recreation purposes.  Any community with an up-to-date Open Space and Recreation Plan is eligible to apply for the program. Nearly $55 million has been awarded through the program under the Patrick Administration.

“I am excited to be here today as we break ground on the construction of the Mary Troy Park,” said Senator James T. Welch.  “This is an area of the city in need of green community space and I am thrilled we are able to support this project through the PARC grant.  I cannot think of a better way to honor the memory of Mary Troy.  This park will serve as a reminder of her commitment and dedication to the neighborhood and the Springfield community.”

Since taking office, the Patrick Administration has made a historic investment of more than $350 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 125,000 acres of land and the renovation or creation of more than 190 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.