Pittsfield- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) and State Representative Christopher N. Speranzo (D-Pittsfield) announced today that Pittsfield’s Wahconah Park Improvements Project has been selected to receive a $500,000 Urban Self-Help grant from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). A total of $7.8 million in Urban Self-Help assistance has been disbursed through 21 grants statewide in this funding round.
“Baseball is in the air,” noted Downing. “This grant announcement is timely. As the nation watches the Fall Classic, the Commonwealth has wisely invested in the preservation of Pittsfield’s nostalgic Wahconah Park, ensuring that it will continue to be available as a sporting arena for all to enjoy.”
“Wahconah Park is such an important part of the history of baseball in Pittsfield and I am thrilled that the state has provided the city the funding to work to preserve this historic park,” said Representative Speranzo.
Wahconah Park is a vintage ballpark, and a relic from another time. As one of the last remaining wooden ballparks in the country, Wahconah Park is partnering with the City of Pittsfield to make vital restorations to this classic treasure. The Urban Self-Help grant will allow for renovations to improve storm water drainage into the Housatonic River as well as improvements to the stadium, ballfield and parking area.
Since its inception in 1977, The Urban Self-Help Program has helped cities and town to acquire and develop land for park and outdoor recreation purposes. The grants are administered through EEA’s Division of Conservation Services and are available for the acquisition of land as well as construction and renovation of property for park and outdoor purposes such as athletic play fields, playgrounds and game courts.
Any town with a year-round population of at least 35,000, or any city regardless of size with a park or recreation commission is eligible to apply to the Urban Self-Help Program. With a finite amount of grant funds and an overwhelming application response, the selection process is highly competitive.
For additional information on the Urban Self-Help Grant Program and to download application forms, please visit: www.mass.gov/envir/dcs/urban.