Officials Gather to Mark Start of Washington Park Project

Several City and state officials gathered to mark the beginning of the much-anticipated Washington Park Renovation project. Pictured are: (Front row, l to r) Sofia Gouriny, Councillor Paula Barton, Senator Sal DiDomenico and his son Matthew, Mandy Huynh, Representative Eugene O’Flaherty, Council President Leo Robinson and Eric Acker. (Rear row, l to r) Councillor Chris Cataldo, Councillor Paul Murphy, RoseLee Vincent for Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein, Councillor Brian Hatleberg and City Manager Jay Ash.

State and local officials gathered at Washington Park in Prattville to mark the start of the $700,000 renovation project there.  That project, funded through a State PARC grant and local appropriation, will introduce active recreational equipment, additional seating and gathering areas throughout the park, a trellis, additional tree plantings, new walking paths, retaining wall repairs, an irrigation system and additional pedestrian appropriate lighting.

“This is another great day for our community,” hailed Representative Eugene O’Flaherty.  “Our combined effort to improve and expand our open space and recreational opportunities for our residents is something we can all be proud of.  In this case, Washington Park will once again become a premier oasis for us urban dwellers who need spaces like this to enjoy the outdoors and meet our neighbors.”

“I’m excited at what our PARC Program continues to do for Chelsea,” added Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein.  “Chelsea’s rejuvenation is strong and taking firm hold, and work on our parks is one of the main reasons that the city is attracting the other investment it is.”

“While here, we had the opportunity to talk to some of the neighborhood kids, and they are so excited that there will be some play equipment, but also that the openness of the park will remain.  The community contributed to the plans for renovations here and all of us will be the beneficiary of a great new open space once the renovations are completed in the spring,” stated Senator Sal DiDomenico.

The PARC (Parklands Acquisition and Renovations for Communities) Program is contributing $500,000 towards the project.  City Manager Jay Ash says that without the State contribution, the renovation of Washington Park and the creation of new parks, like those at Chelsea Commons and in the Box District, would be near impossible.

“The PARC Program is one of the State’s most impactful programs, and we are seeing the impact all around us.  There really is nothing more rewarding than going by one of the new parks we’ve created or existing parks we’ve renovated and seeing kids and their families having fun.  I am so very grateful for the work of our legislators in helping to support PARC and our local applications to it,” cheered Ash.

Construction activities in the fall of 2012 will primarily consist of earthwork and retaining wall repairs. The rest of the necessary construction work will occur in the winter, weather pending, and the spring of 2013 when the park construction will be completed. Washington Park will be closed to the public during construction activities. The sidewalks surrounding the park will be open and free of construction activities.

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