The Everett City Council voted Monday night to accept a $300,000 Parkland Acquisition and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, which will help defray the cost of a planned $1.6 million renovation for the Whittier Playground on Swan St.
According to the office of Planning and Community Development, the city is planning a comprehensive rehabilitation of the Whittier Playground to include upgrades of the existing baseball/softball field, a reconstructed basketball court, a splash pad, tot lot, playground, and other site improvements like walkways, lighting, seating and trash receptacles.
The Whittier Playground improvements continue a trend of reinvesting in the city’s recreational spaces that has been a hallmark of the DeMaria administration.
In the past several years the city has carried out high-profile major rehabilitations of several other parks in the city including Glendale Park and Sacramone Park as well as current on-going improvements to the Jacob Scharf Playground on Chelsea Street.
When possible, the city has utilized state grant funding to help defray the cost of the projects to the city and, in fact, the $300,000 PAR grant for the Whittier Playground represents the second year in a row that the Planning and Community Development office has secured PARC funds. Additionally, the city received a $200,000 Our Common Backyards grant for an urban park renovation in 2014 as well.
The additional $1.3 million that is needed as part of the proposed Whittier Playground project will be funded from the city’s budget through borrowing or other appropriation.