This week the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $6,412,900 in grant funding for park and recreation improvements in 19 Massachusetts communities.

The grants, administered through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant program and funded through the capital budget, will help municipalities develop new parks, renovate existing parks, and acquire 13.85 acres of land for park and outdoor recreation purposes.

Governor Charlie Baker said his Administration “is proud to help communities acquire new parkland to provide their residents with beautiful places to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family. Investing in these important park projects will make our parks safer, increase recreational opportunities, and improve access for people of all abilities.”

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito called the PARC program “an important tool for ensuring all Massachusetts families have access to parks and recreational opportunities close to home. Improving the quality of parks across the Commonwealth makes our communities more livable, supports local economies and promotes healthier lifestyles.”

Established in 1977, the PARC Program assists cities and towns in acquiring and developing land for park and outdoor recreation purposes. Any community with an up-to-date Open Space and Recreation Plan is eligible to apply for the program.

EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton said the Baker-Polito Administration has prioritized investments in parks and outdoor recreational amenities to ensure residents of all ages and abilities are able to get outside and enjoy recreational resources. The great local projects being awarded through the PARC program will provide the opportunity to communities to come together and spend time outside.”

There are two categories of PARC grants: the Small Town grant category for towns with less than 35,000 residents, with a maximum grant award of $100,000, and a separate category for cities and towns with more than 35,000 residents, which has a $400,000 grant award maximum.