In FY23, $100,000 was awarded in CPA funding to the Department of Conservation and Sustainability in the category of Open Space and Recreation for the next stage of the Anniversary Hill/Scott Tower restoration. Holyoke’s 2018 Community Preservation Plan makes specific reference to the multiple benefits of restoring the park, stating that “improvements to Anniversary Park/Scott Tower could make this a more inviting destination, providing equitable access to natural resources for residents of the downtown” (pg. 24). As a historical, ecological, and social public resource, Anniversary Hill Park is worthy of full restoration. Phase I, completed earlier in 2022, consisted of acquisition and protection of 14.1 acres of additional park land, as well as conceptual design work, site planning, and preliminary community engagement efforts. A small portion of Phase II was concurrently funded through CPA in the previous FY22 cycle in the amount of $30,000 for survey work and 25% design. In this next stage of the project, an additional $100,000 from CPA funding was added to the prior $1,615,000 (a $100,000 Masstrails grant, $30,000 in prior CPA funding, $575,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, a $520,000 LWCF grant, and a $390,000 Gateway Cities Park grant) for the remaining design, engineering, permitting, and construction of Anniversary Hill Park improvements. This additional contribution will include trail improvements, landscaping, and restoration of historic stone structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1939-1941. We are required to relocate the overhead utilities that service the cell phone tower belowground per the requirements of the LWCF award. Though this is itself an important site improvement, the expenses associated with creating an access road, trenching, and laying conduits means that there is less funding for the more immediately appreciated park improvements.  The site survey and 25% design are contracted and expected to be completed by the end of February 2023. Utility relocation work and the access road (funded completely by CDBG, LWCF, and gateway Cities Park Grant) are on track to bid out and well underway by mid-April 2023. Bidding for the remaining 75% of park design and permitting is expected to take place concurrently with the utility relocation activities, and completed by the end of FY23. Remaining construction, trail improvements, stone structure rehabilitation, and other on-the-ground activities will then commence that fall and reach completion by the end of FY24 (which is the deadline for LWCF funding). Here are the links for the project's presentation