- Department of Conservation & Recreation
Media Contact for DCR Celebrates the Installation of Reflective Coating at the John H. Thomas Memorial Pool Parking Lot
Ilyse Wolberg, DCR Press Secretary
Springfield — This week, the Baker-Polito Administration is celebrating Climate Week, and today the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced the completion of a pilot project to repave and apply a solar reflective coating to the parking lot at the John H. Thomas Memorial Pool in the City of Springfield. This solar reflective coating will help manage the heat and keep the pavement cooler in the summer months. The parking lot’s solar reflective coating uses a lighter color than traditional asphalt, enabling it to retain less heat than uncoated asphalt. This will reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect, which causes higher temperatures in urban areas that have a high concentration of structures and produce more heat waste than rural areas. Additionally, it will help resist UV damage and deterioration of the parking lot surface. The coating is a durable acrylic resin epoxy that fuses to new asphalt and is expected to last for several years. These effects work to moderate the ground temperature and to create a more comfortable environment for people using the space.
“Over the last several years the Baker-Polito Administration has made great progress in exploring new technologies to make state facilities more sustainable for the future,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Doug Rice. “This solar reflective coating will help reduce temperatures that contribute to the Urban Heat Island Effect, making our communities safer and healthier places to live and work.”
Recently, DCR began to explore how black asphalt absorbs and traps heat and sought solutions to reduce this effect. The application of solar reflective coating at the John H. Thomas Memorial Pool parking lot acts as a pilot for this material to be used on other DCR properties. Due to the seasonal nature of many DCR properties, many facilities are ideal locations for the use of this product to help create healthier environments, especially in environmental justice communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change.
“This pilot project aims to lengthen the longevity of our infrastructure in Springfield and hopefully will end up going to use in other communities in our Commonwealth to keep the Urban Island Heat Effect at bay,” said State Senator Eric P. Lesser (D-Springfield). “I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this pilot next summer as families across the city visit the pool to stay cool on hot days.”
“Today’s installation is a welcomed effort from the Baker Administration in Springfield,” said State Senator Adam Gomez (D- Springfield). “While the impact may feel small, residents enjoying the area will be able to directly benefit from this project. This pilot is especially important as our summer temperatures continue to rise each and every year. I hope that this pilot’s success will mean more projects like this across the state, especially in other similar environmental justice communities.”
This pilot project builds on the recent construction of the DCR’s new spray deck next to the John H. Thomas Memorial Pool. The spray deck was built with a rubber surface that is more comfortable for visitors, as they often walk barefoot when visiting the water recreational facilities.