Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management Patrick J. Sullivan, and the Springfield Park Commission held a Grant Announcement at Kenefick Park this afternoon to announce major renovations to the park.
Funding for the renovations is made possible by a $400,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s EEA PARC grant program, $250,000 from a Community Development Block Grant, $1,500 from Golden Years Home Care Services, and $150,000 from the city. The grant funding will allow the City of Springfield to initiate the redevelopment of this park — including new inclusive playground amenities and swings, a renovated splash pad, universal access to the park, picnic tables, field improvements (volleyball court and softball diamond), tree plantings, and landscaping. These improvements are necessary to meet the growing needs for first-rate recreation areas citywide. The project has great support from the New North Citizens Council and the residents of the Brightwood neighborhood. These improvements follow a master plan for redevelopment of Kenefick Park.
Mayor Sarno stated, “The city is grateful to the Commonwealth’s PARC Grant program and to the Community Development Block Grant program for providing the funding for this project and we are excited to begin renovations to Kenefick Park. Receiving these grants illustrates the importance of having a master plan in place so when grants do become available we are ready to participate immediately in the application process. The improvements will be a welcome addition to the Brightwood neighborhood and will be an important resource for the new Brightwood and Lincoln Schools being constructed across the street from this park project. I’m especially pleased with the recent donation for the new sign at this park; Cesar Ruiz of Golden Years generously donated funding to install a new sign and it is a welcome addition to this renovation. On behalf of the City of Springfield we are grateful to Golden Years for their commitment to Springfield.”
“These grants are funding a very significant recreational project in the City of Springfield. When completed, the renovations to Kenefick Park will redevelop a vibrant urban open space that the residents of the Brightwood neighborhood will enjoy for years to come. Golden Years and the Ruiz family are proud to play a small role in the renovation of this park. I congratulate Mayor Sarno and his team for their leadership on this exciting project,” said Cesar Ruiz, founder of Golden Years Home Care Services.
Park Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello stated, “This is great news for the patrons of Kenefick Park. These park improvements will include inclusive playground amenities, a picnic and splash pad area, and recreational space. By local and state governments and the business community working together, we can continue to energize our city. I would also like to extend a special thank you to Mayor Sarno who consistently finds funding to improve our renowned Park System.”
“We are very excited for this project to move forward. We have worked with the residents of the Brightwood neighborhood and North End Citizens Council over three years in developing a master plan for this park. We appreciate the Community Development Block Grant funds, administered by Cathy Buono, and the EEA PARC grant program for selecting Springfield’s project to be fully funded. These funds are a lifeline to urban park systems. The grant award is a tribute to everyone’s input and diligence in developing a comprehensive plan for this urban park. We look forward to starting Phase One of the plan and will continue to seek future grant resources to complete the plans for Phase Two. This park offers a positive setting for recreation for all ages and is a key component in ensuring the quality of life for the residents of the city,” said Executive Director of PBRM Patrick Sullivan.