Special to the Gazette
Continuing to make significant investments within the Massachusetts state parks system, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $990,582 in funding to twenty five municipalities, non-profit organizations, and other entities as part of the Fiscal Year 2019Partnerships Matching Funds Program including a skate park in the Southwest Corridor in Jamaica Plain.
The program, which is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), provides critical funds for projects that are proposed by park advocacy groups, civic and community organizations, institutions, non-state government partners, and individuals with an interest in improving the Commonwealth’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
“Developing public, private partnerships remains a vital component of our Administration’s efforts to leverage state dollars with private funds for common goals that directly benefit the public,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The funding provided to these twenty-five projects through the Partnerships Matching Funds Program will have a long lasting impact on the Commonwealth’s state parks system.”
“By working closely with passionate advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, individuals, and municipal leaders, we are able to make significant investments that will enhance state parks throughout the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Organizations present strong project proposals for consideration every year, and I am pleased we are able to use this program to continue to focus on the needs of local parks, communities, and regions.”
Every year, DCR accepts applications from partner organizations that provide funds for park improvements that are matched by DCR. For FY 2019, there were 25 finalists with a total investment $1,821,400, and at least one of these finalists was in the 11th Suffolk district. The partnership work is to construct a community skate park in the Southwest Corridor Park. DCR matched Converse / Wheels of Steel’s $25,000 with twice the dollar amount, $50,000, for a total budget of $75,000.
Projects proposed within the state parks system are thoroughly reviewed by agency staff and the DCR Commissioner. Once selected, the agency matches the private investment in the park. All projects are managed by DCR to oversee the implementation of the project in close consultation with contributing partners and other stakeholders.
“The Partnership Matching Funds Program expands access within state parks across the Commonwealth by providing critical funds to support these twenty-five worthwhile projects,”said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Projects such as the construction of new pathways, trail improvements, and ADA compliant features are just some of the many enhancements that will be made utilizing these funds.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to work closely with dedicated individuals and organizations to foster strong public, private partnerships in order to achieve important shared goals,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “The state parks system offers a wealth of recreational opportunities, and the DCR is proud to work with park advocates to enhance our natural, cultural, and recreation resources for all to enjoy.”
DCR matches partner contributions of up to and including $25,000 at 2:1, and 1:1 for contributions above $25,000. In certain circumstances, DCR will consider a 2:1 match for contributions above $25,000, for example multi-phase projects with the same partner. Partner matches are donated to the Commonwealth’s Conservation Trust.
This is a project from FY14 that is finally underway thanks to the dedicated individuals at Converse, Wheels of Steel, and DCR. This project will fund the design and construction of a renovated community skate park in the Southwest Corridor in Jamaica Plain. “I’m incredible grateful for the partnership between DCR, Converse, and Wheels of Steel, which will fund the much-needed renovation of an outdoor recreational space for our community’s youth and future generations to come,” said State Representative Liz Malia (D-11th Suffolk).