Baddour and Dempsey Announce $1.1 million Gateway City Park Grant for Haverhill
Funds Will Help Renovate Swasey Park
January 17, 2012 – Senator Steven A. Baddour (D-Methuen) and Representative Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill) today announced Haverhill’s selection for a $1.1 million Gateway City Park Grant to renovate Swasey Park.
The grant allocates $1.1 million for the first phase of renovations to Swasey Park, a 14-acre park built for millworkers and their families over 100 years ago. When complete, the park will have a new accessible perimeter path, an attractive main entrance, a small accessible water spray park, new back stops, team benches, bleachers and infields at each baseball field and a new surface for the basketball court.
“This grant will enable the City to – in a sense – reconnect with its past by providing recreational opportunities for a new generation of local residents,” said Senator Baddour. “Parks in urban areas like Haverhill are essential to ensuring a high quality of life and allow families to enjoy outdoor recreation near their homes.”
“The renovations to Swasey Park will allow for much needed access to parks and outdoor space,” said Representative Dempsey. “This funding will go a long way in supporting the ongoing efforts to improve recreational areas in the community.”
The Gateway Cities Parks Program is administered by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and has invested more than $72.9 million since 2007, creating or restoring 154 parks across the Commonwealth.
Gateway City Parks is a flexible program, providing municipal officials with a menu of funding options for all phases of park development. 24 Massachusetts cities are eligible for the program, which targets communities with population greater than 35,000 and median household incomes and educational attainment levels below the state average. Funding can be used for activities and costs such as brownfield assessment and cleanup, park planning and recreational needs assessments – including the development of open space and recreation plans, activities that were not eligible for state parks funding prior to creation of the Gateway City Parks program.
Cities can also use the grants for acquisition, design and construction of parks, greenways and other recreational facilities. Funding for both grant programs comes from the Energy and Environment Bond Bill, supported by Senator Baddour and Representative Dempsey in 2008.