Rivers PARC Grant Project

Project Description

Managing City Department: Parks & Recreation Department

Funding Source: Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) - Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) Grant Program and Chicopee City Council

Project Summary:  

The Rivers Park Oasis encompasses the goals set forth in Connections... the Open Space & Recreation Plan for the City of Chicopee. The vision for Rivers Park is to create an accessible oasis for visitors, providing reprieve from the bustle of life in the form of water recreation, a community garden, and a fitness complex. The design will breathe new life into existing infrastructure, including the replacement and expansion of a splash pad and the restoration of a WWI monument.

In a commitment to remembering and serving Chicopee Veterans, the Project will repair the Willimansett Fountain, a monument honoring the Soldiers and Sailors who fought in World War I. This Fountain was originally erected on September 27, 1919 and is one of the oldest monuments in the City, although it has not been functional for at least 20 years. The stone will be carefully cleaned and the additions of a tree-lined walkway and shaded fitness area will create accessible recreation options for Veterans visiting the Willimansett Fountain. 

Rivers Park will become the second location for Chicopee Community Gardens. The addition of this second community garden will increase access to fresh food for residents. This effort will be aided by its proximity to the Chicopee Farmers Market, which is a six minute walk to the north, and runs during the spring and summer months.  

First built in the 1960s, the Rivers Park pool is one of the most visited in the City. The unique shape of the pool will be preserved, while the filtration unit will be replaced with a high-efficient system. The new filtration unit will match the one at Ray Ash Park, which also received a PARC Grant in 2015. The existing splash pad will receive a new concrete deck, water features, and fencing. The shade from a tree-lined, ADA compliant walkway will provide connections for heat sensitive visitors to the pool and other park facilities.

A new addition to Rivers Park will be an exercise area, located adjacent to the existing basketball courts. This area will feature several pieces of fitness equipment with instructional signage and 3000 square feet of rubber safety surfacing. Additional rubber safety surfacing will be added to the existing playground area to allow for accessibility for everyone.

The final piece to this renovation project is the addition of ADA walkways throughout the park to connect the different facilities. Asphalt walkways will connect the pool, playground, fitness area, spray park, and pavilion to both parking lots and Meadow Street, while a stone dust pathway will safely link the baseball and softball diamonds to the rest of the park and complete a walking loop around the park.

We hope you like our draft plans for this exciting project at Rivers Park!

Feedback and Questions

Please let us know what you think or if you have any questions by sending an email to parksdept@chicopeema.gov by September 27, 2020.

Rivers Park Draft Site Plan

Rivers Park Fitness
Rivers Park Spray Rendering