Senate Passes Lesser Amendment to Authorize $4.5 Million in Upgrades to Springfield's Forest Park

BOSTON — The Massachusetts State Senate voted on Thursday to authorize $4.5 million in bonds to the City of Springfield for upgrades at Forest Park. The measure was proposed by Sen. Eric P. Lesser after discussion with city officials about the community’s needs in environmental and recreational investments.

A portion of the funds will be used to support Camp STAR Angelina, a universally accessible camp for children with physical and intellectual disabilities, with the construction of a lodge for daytime camp activities. Other funding in the authorization will upgrade the park’s comfort shelter and horticultural training center.

“This bill serves as an opportunity to bring attention to local priorities at the State House. Forest Park is one of Springfield’s biggest assets, and Camp STAR Angelina is a model program that is a vital resource for our community. These improvements are worthy projects that will improve the quality of life for our residents, and I hope Governor Baker releases the funds to make them happen,” said Sen. Lesser.

The funding request was added to a Senate bond bill that authorizes spending on specific projects regarding climate change adaptation, environmental and natural resource protection, and investment in recreational assets.

The bill also includes support for environmental programs at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies ranging from air and water quality monitoring to hazardous waste cleanup and the restoration of rivers, wetlands, streams and lakes.

The bill will now be reconciled with a version passed by the State House of Representatives, and the Governor must ultimately decide whether to release the funds from the appropriate executive offices to finance the projects.