Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Patrick J. Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management, will be announcing the formation of committees to complete the Master Plan for the Horticulture and Learning Center planned for Forest Park.
During the past year the Mayor has expressed an interest to enhance upper Forest Park and to ensure the Horticulture area of the park will be restored to its former splendor. Additional schematic designs are now complete and the Mayor and Director Sullivan are ready to form committees to further study the feasibility for the planned improvements. The committees will be comprised of volunteers and there are no costs to the city. The Mayor is grateful to the residents and the business community for answering his request to work with the Park Commission in developing a phased approach to implement the Master Plan. The city has completed its review of the state’s environmental bond package for potential funding for this project and the committees will assist in the development of the project scope and cost estimates.
The Master Plan highlights include restoration of the former Monkey House and Brick Barn, a new Conservatory Greenhouse, Camp star/ Angelina Lodge and relocation of the Park Forestry and Recreation offices. The overall Master Plan ensures an improved tranquil setting for the Farmers’ Market at the Cyr Arena parking lot by creating an improved entrance and pedestrian walks from Trafton Road. The plan also includes the final phase of the Camp STAR Angelina improvements with the rebuilding of a camp lodge, which replaces the former “A” Frame Lodge.
THE COMMITTEES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Executive Director Patrick Sullivan and Chief of Staff Thomas Ashe will serve and receive reports from all committees.
- Horticulture Building Committee — Park Commissioner Jay Griffin, John Bilodeau, Jon Carignan, Everett Skinner, Chris Skinner.
- Conservatory Green House Committee — Park Commissioner Gregory Drew, Charles V. Ryan Sr., Peter Garvey, Myron Hatchett.
- Park Historic Trail Committee — Kay Simpson, Joseph Carvalho, Leslie Bercume, Wayne Phaneuf, Pete Krupczak, Karen Fisk
- Horticulture Gardens Committee — Thomas Dougal, Luis Adames, Suzanna Reed, Anja Ryan-Duffy.
- Forest Park Arboretum Committee — Alex Sherman, David Bloniarz, Marcus Catlett, Beate Bolen.
- Carousel Committee — Park Commissioner Jennifer McQuade, Susan Lavoie, Everett Skinner, Chris Skinner.
- Grants and Fund-raising Committee — Park Commissioner Brian Santaniello, Tim Brown, Lyman Wood.
- Park History Book Committee — The Republican, Wayne Phaneuf, Joseph Carvalho.
- Camp STAR Angelina Lodge Committee — Park Commissioner Terry Rodriguez, Carol Aubin, James Aubin, Laura Walsh, Paula Thayer.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “I appreciate Director Sullivan’s efforts in developing these committees and am appreciative of the citizens and businesses that have stepped forward to assist the city with this next phase. We have a very special responsibility to protect and preserve this unique open space and I believe the continued work on this Master Plan will ensure the beauty of this park will be conserved for the next century. Having spent my summer vacations in Forest Park as a youth and often bringing my own family to this splendid oasis, I am constantly reminded of the importance this park has in providing a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of daily city life. I am also pleased with this Master Plan as it upholds the tradition of the Olmsted design of Forest Park. My goal is also to do floral shows such as done at Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges.”
Executive Director of PBRM Patrick Sullivan said, “This plan offers the opportunity to reopen buildings to the public that have been closed off since the early 1970’s. We have a civic duty to restore these iconic buildings and offer our residents additional open space opportunities. In developing key partnerships throughout the Pioneer Valley, we will start the process of finalizing schematic designs of the restoration of the Horticulture and Learning Center and further development of this Master Plan. We look forward to sharing this plan with area residents over the next few months. We will work with the Springfield community and beyond in identifying available resources to implement this master plan.”
Sullivan further stated, “We are hosting an event for October 4th and 5th with the Springfield Garden Club as they have joined with Springfield Parks in hosting the first official event in the former Monkey House — the Springfield Garden Club’s Autumn in the Valley Horticulture Show. We are very excited for the many opportunities that will be made possible by implementing this Master Plan.”
Park Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello added, “Forest Park holds so many memories for the residents of Springfield. When you consider this section of the park was developed in 1890, it is understandable that it is time to make a serious investment in this area of Forest Park; to ensure it continues to be a special place for park patrons for years to come. I am proud to accept these committees as presented by Mayor Sarno and Director Sullivan and I am excited to work with everyone on the plans over the next six months.”