AVON — Town Administrator Gregory Enos and Department of Public Works Director William Fitzgerald are pleased to announce that the Town of Avon has been awarded a $333,500 Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant by the Baker-Polito administration.
The PARC grant will be used by the Town of Avon to fund the DeMarco Park Universal Accessibility Redevelopment Project. The project is budgeted at $575,000, with $333,500 being a 58% match by the state.
The goals of the project are to provide full ADA accessibility for programs and other public use; expand the types and number of programs at the park for local and regional audiences, and install green infrastructure to manage stormwater as per the town’s site specific MVP plan.
“The DeMarco Park project is important not only because it increases opportunities for programming and amenities at the park, but because it increases critical ADA compliance for this popular spot in town,” Director Fitzgerald said. “We thank the Baker-Polito Administration and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for this generous funding and for all they do to make our state’s public green spaces more accessible and substantial for our current and future residents.”
The $575,000 of project funding will remove all existing parkway, driveway, and walkway surfaces. These areas will be replaced and expanded with permeable granulated stabilized pavement. A goal is to maintain ADA access long term. The funding will also expand previous parking, driveways, and walkways and make them meet handicap accessibility and safety/circulation needs.
This work will allow event service and emergency access, widening of the entrance to allow for two-way in/out traffic, as well as to allow relocation of the MBTA and BAT stops in front of the site. Relocation, expansion, and regrading of paths will provide fully accessible walkways to all parts of the project site.
Plans to improve trails and any other work in the passive open space to the east are not part of this PARC application scope.
“This funding would not have been possible without Town Meeting voters who voted in favor of this project, and we thank residents for their continued dedication and support,” Town Administrator Enos said. “We also would like to recognize the Old Colony Planning Council, who completed the Open Space and Recreation Plan that also helped us be eligible for this funding as well as funding for future projects. The extensive programming throughout the year offered by the Avon Civic Association and Avon Parks and Rec was also a major factor.”
The funding was also supported by multiple elected officials for the Town of Avon, including State Representative William Galvin and State Senators Michael Brady and Walter Timilty.
Work being done as part of this project will allow DeMarco Park to continue to be a focal point for Town activities throughout the year.
“The park hosts many events such as the summer concert series, and these improvements will open the park to be more of a jewel for the Town of Avon and open up to more events such as movie nights, food truck festivals and more,” Board of Selectmen Chair Eric Beckerman added.
The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced the awarding of $12,013,525 in grant funding for park improvements and open space acquisitions in 43 Massachusetts communities across the state. The grants, administered through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC), Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND), and Conservation Partnership Grant Programs and funded through the capital budget, will aid municipalities and land trusts to protect land for future generations for outdoor recreation purposes.
About PARC Funding
The PARC Grant Program was established in 1977 to assist cities and towns in acquiring and developing land for park and recreations purposes. Any community with an up-to-date Open Space and Recreation Plan is eligible to apply for the program. There are two categories of PARC grants: the Small Town grant category for towns with less than 35,000 residents, with a maximum grant award of $100,000, and a separate category for cities and towns with more than 35,000 residents, which has a $400,000 grant award maximum.
“Investing in these important open space projects will make Massachusetts parks more resilient to climate change, increase the availability of open space and improve access to the outdoors for people in communities across the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration is proud to assist communities and land trusts acquire new land for parks and open space that will make available natural resources for children, their friends and family, and others to recreate locally.”