Updated: Haverhill Receives $180,000 State Grant for Riverside Park

Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and dean of the city’s legislative delegation.

Update adds comments of Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

Haverhill is receiving a $180,000 grant for the renovation and reconstruction of Riverside Park, which includes improved handicapped access and parking signage, exercise stations for older adults and 150 trees along the paths, state Rep. Brian S. Dempsey said today.

The grant comes from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and must and must be matched by the city. Haverhill was also chosen to be included in the state’s Greening the Gateway tree planting program.

“This grant will improve and enhance Riverside Park by creating greater accessibility and usability for everyone,” said Dempsey.  “It’s important that we continue to provide our residents with open space and opportunities for healthy living by investing in our parks and green space,” said Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and dean of the city’s legislative delegation. Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport), Rep. Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen) and Rep. Diana Dizoglio (D-Methuen) also participated in the grant announcement.

Money will also be used to improve the trail network throughout the park and along the Merrimack River bank to encourage more bicycling and walking. Work includes the addition of bike racks, signage and striping along the trails.

“I want to thank Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov. Polito, Secretary Beaton, Rep. Dempsey and the rest of our legislative delegation for their continued commitment to Haverhill and for giving us the ability to enhance our parks and recreation areas for the betterment of our community, said Fiorentini. “The additional tree plantings and exercise equipment for our children and adults will add tremendous value to our parks and help our community enjoy family time while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

“This funding through the state Gateway City Parks Program will result in improved recreational opportunities in Haverhill by investing in a popular park right here in the Merrimack Valley,” said O’Connor Ives.

“These enhancements to this tremendous public park along the Merrimack River are important environmentally and will be truly appreciated by the public for generations to come,” Campbell added.

“These funds will be immensely helpful in supporting the renovation and reconstruction of Riverside Park,” concluded DiZoglio.

The grants, funded through the state’s Environmental Bond Bill, are awarded through EEA’s Gateway City Parks Program. The program funds the creation or restoration of significant urban parks and trails in the 26 Gateway Cities. Priority is given to projects that support broader urban revitalization efforts; are ineligible for other funding sources; address critical park infrastructure needs; have strong support from city leaders; engage local businesses, neighbors and others in park financing, programming and stewardship; or are accessible to environmental justice populations, a statement said.

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