Baker-Polito Administration Awards Over $12 Million for Park and Open Space Projects

Continuing its celebration of Climate Week, the Baker-Polito Administration  announced the awarding of $12,013,525 in grant funding for park improvements and open space acquisitions in 43 Massachusetts communities including Barry Park Playground in Lynn. The grants, administered through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC), Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND), and Conservation Partnership Grant Programs and funded through the capital budget, will aid municipalities and land trusts to protect land for future generations for outdoor recreation purposes.

“Investing in these important open space projects will make Massachusetts parks more resilient to climate change, increase the availability of open space and improve access to the outdoors for people in communities across the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration is proud to assist communities and land trusts acquire new land for parks and open space that will make available natural resources for children, their friends and family, and others to recreate locally.”

“Increasing access to open space resources throughout the Commonwealth remains a critical investment,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The PARC, LAND, and Conservation Partnership programs all play an important role for ensuring Massachusetts families have access to recreational opportunities where they can spend time together outdoors.”

The PARC Grant 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 LAND Grant Program was established in 1961 to assist municipal conservation commissions in acquiring land for natural resource protection and passive outdoor recreation purposes. The Conservation Partnership Grants provide funding to assist non-public, not-for-profit corporations in acquiring interests in lands suitable for conservation or recreation purpose.

“These great local projects being awarded through the PARC, LAND, and Conservation Partnership Grant Programs today will significantly help communities in their efforts to be more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “The Baker-Polito Administration has prioritized investing in parks and outdoor recreational amenities that are well designed to handle the more severe weather events that are expected to continue.”

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 $100,000, and a separate category for cities and towns with more than 35,000 residents, which has a $400,000 grant award maximum. The project will make improvements to the park’s playground 

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