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$1.3 Million Revitalization to Springfield’s North Riverfront Park

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB)- The state is making more than a million dollar investment in Springfield’s North Riverfront Park. It’s an area of the city that’s long been neglected, but that’s about to change.

Right now, sits the park sits on 3 acres of concrete.

“The runoff from this pavement is deoxygenated, and pollution runs right into the Connecticut River,” says Jim Sotiropoulos, of the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club.

But the revitalization announced today by Governor Deval Patrick, will make the area more environmentally safe.

“I’m pleased to announce today a 1.3 million dollar investment,” Patrick says to the audience gathered on site today. “We will work with you to transform this very special site,” he adds.

Barbed wire will be taken down and the pavement will turn to green grass.  The goal is to make Riverfront park more welcoming to residents and those visiting the area. Trees and park amenities will make the riverfront more aesthetically pleasing and the transformation will provide opportunity for healthy living.

“It’ll be a fit course as well.  There will be pull up bars for people accessing the bike trail, so you can stop and get a work out,”  says Sotiropoulos.

Members of the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club spend time on this part of the river every day. They say they’ll appreciate the revitalization the most.

“It is everything to me. These people I see more than my family sometimes,”  says Emilee Smith.

“It is a huge asset to the pioneer valley; to get kids to realize that again is just huge,” Erin Sprong, concludes.

Project leaders say updating the park will create growth and opportunity in the city

Springfield is one of seven cities across the commonwealth that receiving money through the governor’s urban parks program.

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