GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO CREATE PUBLIC PARK AT FERROUS SITE IN LAWRENCE
Governor Patrick announces a nearly $3 million investment to create a public park at the Ferrous Site in Lawrence. (Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor's Press Office)
LAWRENCE – Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced a nearly $3 million investment to help create a public park at the Ferrous Site in Lawrence. The funding will help the city of Lawrence and its community partner, Groundwork Lawrence, acquire the site and create a park that will provide a quiet, natural respite within Lawrence’s North Canal District and allow residents to access the Lower Locks waterfall and the riverfront.
“Growth requires investment, and creating and then upgrading our urban parks will create growth and opportunity in Lawrence and beyond,” said Governor Patrick. “This investment will improve the lives of the city’s residents now and for generations to come.”
The $2.75 million investment is one of seven projects across the Commonwealth funded through the Patrick Administration’s Signature Urban Parks program. Through this program, the Administration seeks to revitalize urban communities by opening up or upgrading green spaces for outdoor recreation, and improving access to natural resources such as waterways and historic neighborhood landmarks. Governor Patrick previously announced funding for projects in Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Pittsfield, Roxbury and Springfield.
“Creating green-space and public parks in urban communities is an excellent way to revitalize neighborhoods and further economic development in our cities,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “The City of Lawrence has worked extensively with Groundwork Lawrence to transform blighted areas of the city into usable community space. This partnership with Governor Patrick continues the beautification and renewal of Lawrence and highlights the incredible potential that exists here.”
Governor Patrick has made it a priority to invest in parks and open space across the state. Since taking office, the Patrick Administration has invested more than $6 million in parks and trails in the City of Lawrence. These investments include the design and construction of the Spicket River Greenway, a 3.5 mile trail pedestrian and bicycle trail that opened in July 2013. The Greenway connects parks, green spaces and community gardens through multiple neighborhoods. In addition to helping the city of Lawrence and Groundwork Lawrence with the design and construction of the Greenway, the Administration has funded upgrades to the Oxford Paper Site Park, Misserville Park and Manchester Street Park, which lie along the Greenway. The Administration has also invested over $1.2 million for improvements to Lawrence’s historic Campagnone (North) Common, a few blocks south of the Greenway.
“The Patrick Administration has made historic investments in open space, making Massachusetts a better place for our children and grandchildren,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan. “This park will provide a place for families and visitors to relax and explore all that the area has to offer.”
With its location at the confluence of the Merrimack and Spicket Rivers, the park at the Ferrous Site will serve as a capstone to the Spicket River Greenway at its southern end. The park will also complement significant investments that the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation have made in Lawrence’s North Canal Historic District. The city of Lawrence and Groundwork Lawrence are developing a preliminary design for the park at the Ferrous Site, and will seek community input this spring. Construction is scheduled to begin late this summer or early fall, with the goal of completing the project by June 2015.
“This project supports city, state, and federal redevelopment and economic initiatives that have been implemented over the past three decades to create a new gateway to Lawrence’s North Canal District and downtown,” said Heather McMann, Executive Director of Groundwork Lawrence. “More importantly it supports efforts to transform the entire North Canal mill district into a mixed use, healthy, thriving transit oriented development.”
"I stand with my colleagues in the Lawrence legislative delegation in cheering for this important investment in Lawrence,” said Representative Diana DiZoglio. “With the amazing talents at Groundwork Lawrence, including Heather McMann and Brad Buschur, working with the city to create the park, I have no doubt this project will be a great success."
The Patrick Administration 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 protection of more than 110,000 acres of land and the renovation or creation of over 170 parks since 2007, including projects in 310 of 351 communities and 50 of 54 cities. The land conserved and parks created are within a 10 minute walk of 1.5 million residents – about 25 percent of the state’s residents. For the 26 Gateway Cities, the new conservation land and parks are within a 10 minute walk of over 500,000 residents – about 33 percent of all 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.