Congressman Richard E. Neal, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Patrick J. Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks, Building and Recreation Management and the Springfield Park Commission announced renovations to Van Horn Park, made possible by funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Community Development Block Grants and the City of Springfield.
The $300,000.00 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, $150,000.00 from a Community Development Block Grant and $150,000 from the City will allow the City of Springfield to initiate the redevelopment of the playground equipment, site amenities, and exercise stations, which are necessary to meet the growing needs for high quality recreation areas citywide. The project also includes a small pavilion at the middle pedestrian entrance of Van Horn Park. This will be a welcome point for the summer Child Road Races. These improvements follow a master plan for redevelopment of Van Horn Park. Over the past years, other improvements have included improved pedestrian paths around the upper reservoir, a new entrance and parking from Armory Street, site amenities upgrades, and the rebuilding of the lower dam.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “The City is grateful to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Community Development Block Grant for providing the funding for this project and the city is excited to begin renovations to Van Horn Park. The project illustrates the importance of having a master plan ready so when grants do come available we are ready to participate in the application process. The improvements will be a welcome addition to the Liberty Heights and Atwater neighborhoods. I’m especially pleased that Executive Director Patrick Sullivan will initiate the Childs Road Races next summer. This is a great tribute to the Childs family and an important component to get our youth involved in a lifelong sport.”
“This federal grant from the National Park Service is helping to fund a very significant recreational project in the City of Springfield. When completed, the renovations to Van Horn Park will help improve a vibrant urban open space that the residents of the Liberty Heights and Atwater neighborhoods will enjoy for years to come. The investment in the public park system is known as ‘green infrastructure’ and it greatly improves the quality of life for the citizens of our community. I congratulate Mayor Sarno and his team for their leadership on this important local project,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.
“We are very excited for this project to move forward. We have worked with the residents of the Liberty Heights and Atwater neighborhood over the years in developing a master plan for this park. We appreciate the Community Development Block Grant funds administered by Cathy Buono and Congressman Neal’s efforts in restoring funding of the Federal Land and Water Conservation funds. These funds are a lifeline to urban park systems. The grant award is a tribute to everyone’s hard work and input in developing a comprehensive plan for this urban park. We look forward to starting phase three of the plan and will continue to search future grant resources to complete the plans for the Carp Pond and upper dam. 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.
Brian Santaniello, Park Commission Chairman stated, “This is great news for the park patrons of Van Horn Park. The park improvements will ensure for quality playground, picnic and splash pad area. By local, state, federal government and the business community working together, we can make great things happen for our city. I would also like to extend a special thank you to our Mayor who continues to find the funding to improve our Park System.”