Office of Mayor Domenic J. Sarno
Eastman Chemical Company
Congressman Richard E. Neal
City of Springfield and Eastman Dedicate
Congressman Richard E. Neal Indian Orchard Community Park
Community celebrates reopening of one of Indian Orchard’s oldest parks
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., September 23, 2013 – The City of Springfield, Massachusetts and Eastman Chemical Company today dedicated the Congressman Richard E. Neal Indian Orchard Community Park. Located at 1708 Page Boulevard, the park has always been an important green space to the citizens of Springfield.
The 18 acre park has been an integral part of the Indian Orchard community for over fifty years. After acquiring Solutia, Inc. in 2012, Eastman continued the ongoing work to donate the private park to the City of Springfield.
David Golden, senior vice president and chief legal officer for Eastman considers the donation and dedication of the park “an investment in the future of Springfield.” “Dedicating this park to Congressman Neal and his legacy of providing green space honors the families in this and surrounding communities that will enjoy the park for years to come,” stated Golden.
Mayor, Domenic J. Sarno welcomed Eastman to Springfield and thanked the company for their engagement and commitment to the community. Sarno also reflected on the historical significance of the park and stated that dedicating the park to Congressman Neal is a testament to his continued commitment to the city of Springfield. Mayor Sarno stated, "The City of Springfield is truly appreciative and thankful for the donation of park land from Eastman. The addition of open space/park land to the City enhances the quality of life for all residents and businesses here in the City of Springfield."
A lifelong resident of Springfield, Congressman Neal served as mayor of the city from 1983-1989 and worked tirelessly to improve Springfield’s appearance by reviving and preserving the history of the city and its green space. "As we celebrate the re-opening of this magnificent public space in Indian Orchard, I am proud to have it dedicated in my honor. Like so many others, I grew up playing sports in the parks and playgrounds of Springfield, so they have special meaning for me. I have always believed that our park system is one of the best in America. And that is why I have diligently worked to preserve and protect them throughout my career. Now that this historic park has been completely transformed, I hope that families in Springfield will enjoy it for generations to come," said Congressman Richard E. Neal.
Patrick Sullivan, executive director of the city’s parks, buildings and recreation management, noted "The gift of open space to the city dates back to 1880 when the first park commission was being formed to preserve open space for our residents. Eastman now joins a select group of citizens which include Everett Barney, Orrick Green Leaf, Nathan Bill, and Daniel Marsh who knew early on the importance of creating a park system within an urban city. It is for Eastman’s foresight we will have an additional 18 acres of park land for our residents which will be enjoyed by future generations."
Springfield Parks Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello stated, "On behalf of the citizens of Springfield it is truly an honor to accept this generous gift. I believe this is the greatest legacy we can leave behind; the appreciation for open space. We are truly fortunate here in the city that over 130 years ago a group of citizens had the foresight to set aside land for the benefit of its residents. As you see our neighboring suburbs continuing to expand very little land is being set aside. We are lucky here in Springfield we have companies like Eastman who care enough to give back to their community."
Both the City of Springfield and Eastman consider this park a community landmark. The property has been officially transferred and the city has assumed ownership and maintenance of the property.