Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces Over $6 Million in Municipal Park and Recreation Grants

Funding Will Help 22 Communities Develop Parks and Outdoor Recreation Space
For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Media Contact

Katie Gronendyke

BostonThe Baker-Polito Administration today announced $6,385,785 in grant funding for park and recreation improvements in 22 Massachusetts communities. The grants, administered through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant program and funded through the capital budget, will be used to help municipalities acquire nearly 30 acres of land, as well as develop or renovate other land for park and outdoor recreation purposes.

“Increasing access to parks across the Commonwealth helps our communities grow and promotes healthier lifestyles,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to secure 30 acres of new parkland and help fund the renovation of existing parks to make them more accessible, usable, and modern.”

“Public parks are essential to the health and economic well-being of cities and towns, so our administration is focused on investing in important park projects,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Through the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program, we are partnering with communities of all sizes to ensure Massachusetts families can enjoy parks and recreational opportunities close to home.”

The PARC 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.

“The great local projects being funded through the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program will provide community gathering spaces and encourage people to spend time outdoors,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to invest in parks and outdoor recreational improvements to ensure residents from every corner of the Commonwealth and of all ages and abilities are able to experience our state’s beautiful natural resources.”

There are two categories of PARC grants: the Small Town grant category for towns with less than 35,000 residents, with a maximum grant award of $50,000, and a separate category for cities and towns with more than 35,000 residents, which has a $400,000 grant award maximum.

The following communities are recipients of the PARC grant awards:






Noyes Playground

The project includes the construction of two basketball courts, two picnic areas, an adult exercise area, a water spray feature, a renovated children’s play area, renovation of two natural turf ball fields, installation of an artificial turf field for softball and soccer use, installation of new energy-efficient LED sports lighting, addition of new paths and renovation of existing paths, and the addition of 33 new trees.



Buckland Recreation Area Playground

The project will construct the town's first playground.



O'Neill Playground Renovation

The project includes the installation of a 5-9 year old and preschool-aged playground structure with safety surfacing, creation of a splash pad, refurbishment of the perimeter retaining wall, and the installation of new fencing with two entry gates.



Nash Park

The project includes the demolition of the existing skate park and asphalt pad and replacing it with a modern skate park facility, construction of a basketball court, the addition of a pavilion, and accessible pathways.


Fall River

Accessibility Improvements

The project includes making accessibility improvements to the pathway systems in four parks - North Park, Maplewood Park, Ruggles Park, and Father Kelly Park.



Bailey Brook Park

The project will include the acquisition of 28.8 acres of land and provide for the development of athletic fields, a playground, walking paths, an accessible trail, and nature learning and exploration areas.



Halifax Open Play Space Renovation

The project includes the construction of 52 ADA-accessible play activities, new wooden carpet play surfaces, and rubberized surfacing at the ADA-accessible entranceways and pathways.



Valley Arena Park

The project will include the installation of park infrastructure, basketball courts, swing sets, benches, picnic tables, grills, bike racks, and public art.



O'Connell South Common Phase 2

The project will include converting the existing street hockey rink into a multi-sport court, constructing a formal volleyball court, and lighting/electrical improvements.



Mechanic Street Park

The project includes the development of a park with pathways, seating, and places to play and picnic.



Lynn Common

The project will restore the curb, walkways, and perimeter handicapped ramps in the east area of the Large Common, allowing for the installation of new metal benches, trash receptacles, and planting of new trees.



Oliver Mill Park Bridge and Stonework

The project includes the repair and replacement of two bridges and the restoration of historic stonework.


North Adams

Noel Field Phase 2

The project includes the construction of a spray park, upgraded basketball courts, new bocce and pickle ball courts, and final landscaping amenities.




The project will include the acquisition of 0.98 acres of land to further develop the city's Riverwalk Project. Can close in FY19.



Clapp Park

The project includes the relocation the basketball court, the addition of a small parking lot, improvements to the high school baseball field, including new dugouts and utilities for field lighting, and the construction of new accessible pathways and walking trails.



Holmes Park Revitalization

The project includes the installation of a new paved parking lot connecting to the park with an ADA compliant path, new parks, benches, and picnic tables will be added, improved access to the Town Brook Trail will be addressed, the trail from Jenney Park and Willard Place will be reconstructed, and lighting added.



Gibson Park

The project includes the installation of an accessible play structure with safety surfacing; the addition of adult exercise equipment; replacement of damaged and rusted fencing, seating, and walkways; and the addition of irrigation to the baseball field.



Prospect Hill Park

The project includes newly-accessible pathways for people with disabilities; new trees, grass, and plantings; pruning of old-growth trees; stormwater catchment and irrigation to reduce flooding and erosion; more effective fencing and railings; and new site furnishings.



Riverside Park

The project will include the construction of a lighted, paved walking trail loop with benches, a footbridge for river viewing, and fencing.



Riverfront Park

The project includes an inclusive playground and splash pad, establishment of a horticulture experience, increased viewing opportunities along the Connecticut River, renovation of “Festival Field,” and increased pedestrian and vehicular access.



Riverside Park

The project will include the development of a park entrance, a river trail and overlook, installation of picnic area and benches, plantings, and wayfinding and interpretive signage.



Playground Renovations Phase 2

The project includes the construction of a new walkway connection; installation and expansion of a new playground with poured in place safety surfacing; and the construction of new support facilities, accessible walkways, lighting, benches, utility upgrades, landscaping, park edge improvements, and signage.


“This provides $400,000 to continue key investments in North Adams' downtown recreation at Noel Field, $400,000 to upgrade Pittsfield’s Clapp Park and the high school baseball field, and funding for Buckland’s first-ever playground. These projects will make sure our children, families, local sports teams and visitors are able to congregate, play and be active outside in western Massachusetts,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield). “I am thrilled my hometown, Buckland, will finally host a playground for its children.”

“Clapp Park is a well-loved, multi-use recreation area for families in Pittsfield,” said State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield). “These updates, coupled with the amazing work by the Pellerin family in honor of their dad, Coach Buddy Pellerin, will allow more people in our community to utilize and enjoy the park. When city and state government work together, we improve the lives of the individuals and families in our community.”

“I thank Governor Baker’s administration for its continuous support for improvements toward the City of Pittsfield’s park system. Clapp Park is truly a four-season destination in Pittsfield, with activities that include sledding, youth athletics, and outdoor movies,” said Pittsfield Mayor Linda M. Tyer. “This funding aligns two strong community partners, Rotary International and the Buddy Pellerin Field Committee, which will work with the city to continue the revitalization of this cherished park on features that will include the construction of a splash pad, enhancements to the playground and fields, and increased accessibility.”

“The City of Fall River has made a concerted effort to maximize the potential of our local urban parks in order to promote and increase recreation throughout the community,” said State Representative Paul Schmid (D-Westport). “Thanks to the continued commitment of the Baker-Polito Administration, the North, Maplewood, Ruggles and Father Kelly Parks will be a safe and accessible site for all of our residents and visitors.”

“With the help of the Baker-Polito Administration, we continue to make strides in ensuring the sustainability and accessibility of the SouthCoast’s natural resources,” said State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport). “The PARC grant will go a long way in preserving our community’s parks, bicycle trails, and recreational spaces for future generations to enjoy.”

“Two Olmsted parks in my district, North Park and Ruggles Park, will be receiving funding for important accessibility improvements that will increase the enjoyment for our citizens for years,” said State Representative Carole Fiola (D–Fall River). “These are improvements that benefit the quality of life for our constituents.”


Media Contact

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.


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