For Immediate Release - May 25, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Grant for Renovation of Barry Playground in Charlestown

BOSTON - May 25, 2010 - In keeping with the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to support urban parks, Energy and Environment Secretary Ian Bowles joined city officials and lawmakers today to celebrate a grant to renovate Barry Playground.

The grant, valued at $469,220 over two years, funds the renovation of existing little league fields, the addition of a new segment of the harborwalk, a new skatepark, and new entry plaza at Barry Playground in Charlestown.

"These grants ensure that urban parks across the state can be enjoyed by generations of Massachusetts residents and visitors," said Secretary Bowles. "The Commonwealth has conserved more than 61,000 acres under Governor Patrick's leadership, and Barry Playground is just one of the facilities that will be better places for city residents to enjoy the great outdoors as a result."

Established in 1977 as the Urban Self-Help program, PARC grants are offered on a competitive basis and reimburse communities between 52 and 70 percent of the total project cost, depending upon the income level and other demographics of municipalities, with a maximum grant award of $500,000. Municipalities receiving PARC grants must have a current open space and recreation plan, an authorized parks and recreation commission, and the land must be under parks commission jurisdiction and be open to the public.

"The state is committed to maintaining vibrant parks and recreational areas in our communities. They are an integral part of making our neighborhoods more enjoyable for residents and their families and I look forward to seeing the residents of Charlestown benefit from this soon-to-be beautiful green space," said Sen. Sal DiDomenico.

"I am very thankful that the Patrick Administration, and Secretary Bowles, chose this project for the PARC Grant," said Rep. Eugene L. O'Flaherty. "Barry Playground will be a better asset to the community with much needed improvements and I am pleased we are getting the funding."

Funding for these state grants comes from the $1.7 billion Energy and Environment Bond bill signed by Governor Patrick in August 2008. These grants funded more than 1,000 conservation and park projects across the state.

"The PARC grants allow cities and towns to expand their investment in these important open space community resources," said Boston Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak.