For Immediate Release
December 24, 2013
Parks and Recreation
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Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced this week that the Boston Parks and Recreation Department has secured $650,000 in grants to help fund improvements to LoPresti Park located at 33 Sumner Street in East Boston.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation awarded the City of Boston a $250,000 grant that will be used in Phase 1 of the project with an additional $400,000 provided for the second phase by a Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The balance of the $1.35 million park rehabilitation project will be funded by the City’s Capital Improvement Program.
“These grants add to the City’s investment in local open space and will result in even better amenities for LoPresti Park,” Mayor Merino noted. “Thanks to the additional funding provided by the U.S. Soccer Foundation and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, East Boston residents will have a beautiful new facility to look forward to.”
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is a recognized leader in sports-based youth development programs for children in underserved, urban communities. New artificial turf will be funded with $200,000 of the Foundation grant with the remaining $50,000 earmarked for lighting. Bid documents are going out in January with construction scheduled to start in the spring.
Phase 2 will be partially funded by the $400,000 PARC grant. This phase of the project will include new entry improvements, two full-size basketball courts, a basketball half court, a spray plaza, additional lighting, walkways, and landscape improvements. Construction will begin in the summer of 2014 with completion slated for June 2015.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation, the major charitable arm of soccer in the United States, has awarded 37 grants totaling more than $1.8 million to non-profit organizations serving youth in underserved communities in support of soccer programming and field-building initiatives nationwide. Of the 37 awards distributed this grant cycle, 19 were bestowed as part of the Safe Places to Play program which seeks to build or enhance field spaces in underserved areas in order to provide spaces that are safe for children to play soccer. To date, the Foundation has helped create or improve over 1,000 safe places for children nationwide.
The PARC Grant Program (formerly the Urban Self-Help Program) was established in 1977 to assist cities and towns in acquiring and developing land for park and outdoor recreation purposes. Any town with a population of 35,000 or more year-round residents, or any city regardless of size, that has an authorized park /recreation commission is eligible to participate in the program. Grants are available for the acquisition of land and the construction, or renovation of park and outdoor recreation facilities with access by the general public required.