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Mayor Sarno and City Officials Highlight Environmental Stewardship at Watershops Pond

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Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreational Management (PBRM), Director of Capital Asset Construction Peter Garvey, Disaster Recovery and Compliance Director Tina Quagliato Sullivan, Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper, and East Forest Park Civic Association President Frank Ryan and neighborhood residents gathered today at Alden Street Park, by the entrance and arch of Springfield College, to highlight the Sarno Administrations continued environmental stewardship of city’s lakes and ponds by announcing plans of ‘hydro-raking’ Watershops Pond and Lake Massasoit.

The hydro-raking project is anticipated to cost $155,000, and is the final part of a larger $2.6 million project, utilizing Community Development Block Grant – National Disaster Resilience (CDBG-NDR) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to make significant resilience and modernization upgrades to the Watershops Dam.  This project is a partnership between the Development Services Division, Office of Disaster Recovery, the Division of Capital Asset Construction and the Division of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management.

Once completed, the hydro-raking will help to restore public open water access at key points along Watershops Pond and Lake Massasoit’s shoreline by removing vegetation that grew during the drawdown from the Watershops Dam project.  In total, this work will open up approximately 60,000 square feet of area along the Alden Street boat ramp, Alden Street Pond area, and the area around Gunnery Sergeant Sullivan Park, allowing the public to once again enjoy these recreational sites even more.   

Work will be performed by a contractor, Solitude Lake Management, LLC, of Shrewsbury, MA, in accordance with the City of Springfield’s commitments under the Federal lands to Park Stewardship program and in accordance with permits associated with the Watershops Dam resilience upgrades, and recommendations from the city’s environmental consultant. 

Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank my dedicated city team, especially our Springfield Parks Commission, Executive Director of PBRM Patrick Sullivan, CDO Tim Sheehan, Capital Asset Construction Director Peter Garvey, Director of Disaster Recovery and Compliance Tina Quagliato-Sullivan and everyone involved.  The neighborhood and residents are very excited to see the restoration of our beautiful Watershops Pond and Lake Massasoit, and this hydro-raking is the final step to restoring this wonderful recreational area to its glory so that everyone can once again enjoy this public body of water.  I am proud of my administration’s efforts to enhance our Climate Action and Resiliency Plan through these initiatives and programs that create a serene atmosphere offering beautiful ascetic quality for our residents, local businesses and neighborhoods.”  

PBRM Executive Director Patrick Sullivan stated, “We would like to thank Mayor Domenic Sarno for his continued commitment to the environmental stewardship of our lakes and ponds. His decision to allocate funds towards the hydro-raking of the shoreline areas at Watershops Pond, particularly at Alden Street Park and Sullivan Park, marks a significant step forward in preserving the natural beauty and ecological balance of our cherished local water resources. Hydro raking will not only improve conditions for fishing and kayaking but also contribute to the overall health and vitality of Watershops Pond. By removing excess vegetation and debris, this initiative will promote healthier aquatic ecosystems, mitigate the risk of algal blooms, and enhance water quality, ensuring a sustainable habitat for diverse flora and fauna. Mayor Sarno's commitment to hydro-raking Watershops Pond sets a commendable example for proactive environmental management and fosters a sense of pride and responsibility within our community.”

Capital Asset Construction Director Peter Garvey, CDO Tim Sheehan and Director of Disaster Recovery and Compliance Tina Quagliato-Sullivan emphasized the importance of the project to not only protect the neighborhood’s climate resiliency but the great work between all levels of government to make the environment, the residents and local businesses safe, “Not only will the Watershops Dam resilience improvements make Springfield residents safer and more resistant to increasingly severe weather patterns for many years to come, but this project continues to be a highly visible testament to the things that can be achieved when City departments and all levels of government (local, state and federal) work in tandem towards achieving a shared goal.”

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