In the News

Mayor Sarno, Congressman Neal, and PBRM Executive Director Sullivan Announce $1 Million Grant for Springfield Bike & Skate Park at Gurdon Bill

|   City News

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Congressman Richard E. Neal, and Executive Director of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management Patrick Sullivan are pleased to announce that the City of Springfield has been selected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the National Park Service to receive up to $1,000,000 in Land and Water Conservation Fund grant assistance for the Springfield Bike and Skate Park project at Gurdon Bill Park on Liberty Street. The development of Gurdon Bill Park is a collaborative project between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts/National Park Service Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant program and the City of Springfield.

The Springfield Park Commission unanimously approved a feasibility study to determine the location of the Skate and Bike Park project which was conducted with input from the Springfield community.  An $80,000 grant from the Community Preservation Act funded the study. The Park Commission also unanimously approved moving forward with the city’s application for the Land and Water Conservation Fund grant. The City of Springfield plans to match the $1 million Land and Water Conservation Fund grant. The total project cost is estimated at $2 million.

Gurdon Bill Park will be an age-friendly inclusive community park. As a community park resource, Gurdon Bill Park will offer city residents the following recreation and park opportunities: bike and skate park elements, an accessible and inclusive playground, swings and splash pad, arboretum, site amenities, and landscaping.  As a component of the LWCF grant, redevelopment of Gurdon Bill Park aims to help mitigate heat island effects for city residents and to incorporate climate resilient design elements where appropriate. 

Mayor Sarno states, “We are now one step closer to having a bike and skate park in Springfield. The Bike/Skate Park project has been discussed for many years and I am looking forward to seeing it become a reality.  My administration directed Patrick Sullivan and his team to pursue this grant opportunity and our Parks Commission and residents were very supportive. The project, which was included in my administration’s FY 24-28 Capital Improvement Plan that was published in March, includes an inclusive and accessible park for wheeled recreation, such as biking and skating, a new playground and splash pad, climate resiliency strategies, tree plantings, and landscaping. My administration plans to invest further in this project by matching $1 million in city funds. To date, my administration has invested over $111 million in enhancing and creating new parks. Parks, or as I call them 'urban oases' are very near and dear to me and very important for our residents.”

Mayor Sarno continued, “Thank you to Director Sullivan, Deputy Director Peter Krupczak, and their team including Senior Projects Manager Laura Walsh and city residents Betsy Johnson and Yolanda Cancel for putting this application together. A shout out and thank you to the Park Commission, who voted unanimously to pursue this project and funding, for their devotion to our park system and our residents. We are grateful to the Healey-Driscoll administration for their continued belief and investment in our parks and to Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rebecca Tepper and team for selecting our Springfield project. I also want to thank Congressman Richard Neal – once a mayor always the heart of a mayor – as well as the National Park Service for their support of our city through this grant assistance program.”

“I applaud Mayor Sarno and Springfield Parks Director Patrick Sullivan for their continued efforts to invest in our city’s green spaces. Lyndon Johnson recognized the importance of building and expanding parks when he signed the Land and Water Conservation Act into law, and this project will help bring another great addition to the Springfield parks system,” said Congressman Neal. “As we celebrate the 140th anniversary of the Springfield Parks Department, I cannot think of a more appropriate time to announce funding for yet another initiative to improve and expand accessible green spaces throughout the city. That focus has been a pillar of the Parks Department, and this announcement is just one more chapter in their incredible 140-year history.”

Patrick Sullivan indicated, “Thanks to the leadership and support of Mayor Sarno, we have now invested over $110 million dollars in our parks over the past twelve years.  The city would also like to thank Betsy Johnson of WalkBike Springfield, Yolanda Cancel, members of the Lower Liberty Heights Neighborhood Council as well as President Teofilo ‘Teddy’ Alvarado and Secretary Gladys Rivera. Their tireless efforts on behalf of this project have been instrumental in getting us to this point.  Projects like these would not be possible without the city’s continued collaboration with our residents and our state and federal partners. We look forward to continuing our work to create the much-anticipated Bike and Skate Park.  Thank you to Mayor Sarno, Congressman Neal, our Park Commissioners, my Parks team, our residents, and to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the National Park Service for your support of this project and our parks.”

Park Commission Chairwoman Jennifer McQuade added, “We are thrilled to have this project initiated for our city. The youth of this city deserve this resource and we are appreciative of the collaboration of WalkBike Springfield and the Lower Liberty Heights neighborhood council.  We hope this will be the beginning of these types of recreational outlets in our city.”

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm