Esplanade Association Receives a $50,000 Matching Grant from State to Implement Tree Plan

The Esplanade Association was awarded $50,000 last week through the Baker-Polito Administration’s 2020 Partnership Matching Funds Program to implement a tree-care management and succession plan for the park.

The nonprofit received the grant to carry out the plan that will include tree pruning, removal as-needed and plantings in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Energy and Environmental Affairs  Undersecretary  Daniel Sieger, Department of Conservation and Recreation Acting Commissioner Jim Montgomery, State  Sen. Mike Rush,   State Rep. Peter Capano, State Rep. Brian Murray  and  representatives of park advocacy groups, community organizations and municipalities  celebrate the  awardees of the 2020 Partnership Matching Funds Program at the State House  on  Jan. 22.

“We are thrilled to be part of DCR’s Partnership Matching Funds Program once again,” said Michael Nichols, executive director of the Esplanade Association. “Last year, we were able to partner to install three art murals in the park. Our collaboration this year will help secure the health of the Esplanade’s tree canopy for generations to come.”

Jim Montgomery, DCR’s acting commissioner, said: “A healthy tree-canopy provides tremendous benefits to local communities, including the improvement of air quality, the protecting of vital habitat and the beautifying of neighborhoods. The agency looks forward to this project and is proud to have a strong public-private partnership with the Esplanade Association.”

The Matching Funds Program, which is administered by DCR, helps underwrite projects that improve or enhance the Commonwealth’s natural, cultural and recreational resources contained within its state parks.

“The Massachusetts State Parks System provides residents throughout the Commonwealth with opportunities to get outside and experience some of the state’s unique landscapes,” Gov. Charlie Baker stated in a press release. “The Partnership Matching Funds Program serves as a great example of our efforts to enhance many of the natural, recreational and cultural resources contained within these parks for all to directly benefit from.”

DCR, the commissioner and agency staff carefully review project proposals, and once selections are made, the agency matches the private investment in a state park. All projects are managed by DCR, which oversees their implementation with in-depth consultation from contributing partners and other stakeholders.

DCR matches partner contributions of up to and including $25,000 at 2:1, and 1:1 for grants above $25,000. In thoroughly reviewed circumstances, DCR will consider a 2:1 match for contributions above $25,000 – for example, multi-phase projects with the same partner. Partner matches are donated to the Commonwealth’s Conservation Trust.

“Local parks, trails and key infrastructure not only build strong economies, but also strengthen community connections between the Commonwealth’s regions, cities and towns,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito stated in a press release. “Through the FY’20 Partnership Matching Funds Program, we are able to foster important public-private partnerships to support [29] worthwhile projects for the public to enjoy.”

In all, the Commonwealth awarded  $876,021 in matching funds to help underwrite these 29 projects that aim to improve opportunities the state parks system via the 2020 Partnership Matching Funds Program. 

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