Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management Patrick Sullivan, Park Commission Chairperson Terry Rodriguez, the McKnight Neighborhood Council, and Bob Bolduc of Pride Stores, announce a KaBoom! Community Build Day taking place on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. to complete playground installation at the newly developed Westminster Street Children’s Park.
The McKnight Neighborhood Council, in partnership with Pride Stores, initially applied for a Community Preservation Act (CPA) Grant and a KaBoom! Let’s Play Community Construction Grant to develop a city-owned vacant lot on Westminster Street into a pocket park for the neighborhood.
The City of Springfield provided a match to the CPA and KaBoom! grants to ensure successful completion of this collaborative project. Funding for the development of this park included a $230,844 Community Preservation Act (CPA) grant, a $100,000 City of Springfield Community Development Block Grant, and a $15,000 KaBoom! Grant, as well as in-kind donations by Pride Stores and The Nunes Companies, Inc.
At the community build day, volunteers from the McKnight neighborhood will complete installation of the accessible omni-spinner play element and an accessible playground ramp. After the establishment of lawn and landscape areas, the city anticipates a Grand Opening of Westminster Street Children’s Park in the near future.
Mayor Sarno stated, “This collaboration between the city, the McKnight neighborhood, and committed private entities is another example of what can be accomplished when we all work together to further enhance our communities. The improvements made at this park will allow future generations of this neighborhood to enjoy this open space for years to come. I would like to thank the McKnight Neighborhood Council, Bob Bolduc & Pride Stores, and the Nunes Companies for their contributions to this project. I appreciate their efforts and allegiance to our city and its future.”
“We are happy to have been the catalyst for this project to all come together and for our significant contribution for this playground for local kids,” stated Bob Bolduc from Pride.
Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management said, “This project included installation of accessible playground elements and swings for youth of all ages and abilities, benches, accessible walkways, fencing, irrigation and landscaping. We congratulate Bob Bolduc and the McKnight Neighborhood Council for their vision to create a neighborhood park. This is park project is the best example of the importance of the Community Preservation Funding. Without this funding and the support of Mayor Sarno allocating CDBG funds this project would have never happened. Future phases of the project include installing an entrance arch, picnic table, sensory play, and site lighting. This new park will provide a comfortable gathering spot for neighborhood residents to relax with their friends and families while children enjoy the playground amenities.”
McKnight Neighborhood Council president, Walter Kroll, remarked, “This project came from a neighbor’s ask at our McKnight Neighborhood council meeting. It became a real project from partner Bob Bolduc with his generous funding and resources. The city donated the lot, and the Parks Department worked hard to incorporate the neighborhoods requests for special needs children and to ensure the looks of the park fit in with the neighborhood while incorporating safety requirements. We received funding from the CPA to secure the other funding needed to complete the project. It’s fitting that the neighborhood residents will help with a hands on community day to help finish parts of the playground. I’m proud of our board, the partners, the neighbors, the city partners and all that all worked together to deliver something needed and special in our community.”
Terry Rodriguez, Park Commission Chairperson added, “This is a great event for the McKnight neighborhood. I am especially pleased with the new playground. This will allow youth of all ages and abilities to enjoy the park. We are looking forward to the Grand Opening later this year.”
About Let’s Play
Let’s Play is an initiative by Keurig Dr Pepper to provide the funding, equipment and play spaces to help kids and families make active play a daily priority. KDP partners with KaBOOM! to build and improve playgrounds and with Good Sports to provide sports equipment grants to kids that would otherwise not have access. Let’s Play has already provided more than 11 million kids new opportunities to play. With year-round grants available for new or improved playgrounds and sports equipment, Let’s Play helps kids achieve balanced, well-rounded lifestyles. For more information, please visit LetsPlay.com or Facebook.com/LetsPlay.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – especially those living in poverty – the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. KaBOOM! inspires communities to make play the easy choice and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of PLAYces. KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build or improve more than 17,000 playspaces, engaged more than 1.5 million volunteers and served over 10 million kids. To learn why play matters for all kids, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom and instagram.com/kaboom. #playmatters #PLAYceforKids