Investments made to provide increased access in time for summer recreational season BOSTON - July 28, 2016 - Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that it has made critical investments to outdoor athletic facilities at many of the state's campgrounds, and within urban communities and Gateway Cities. To date, the Administration has allocated $860,000 for the restoration of basketball, street hockey, and tennis courts, as well as the resurfacing of walkways and driveways in several of the state's most heavily trafficked campgrounds. "With students enjoying summer vacation, it is important that kids have access to quality outdoor athletic facilities to stay active, healthy, and safe," said Governor Charlie Baker. "From pickup games to sports leagues, our residents are drawn to the Commonwealth's vast recreational resources and the thousands of acres of protected public land, and it is our responsibility to ensure those lands remain protected and our parks available for years to come." "Today's announcement demonstrates a proactive, forward-thinking approach to providing cities and towns across the Commonwealth with the necessary recreational resources for children, families, friends and neighbors to congregate and enjoy the beautiful weather together," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. The recently made improvements coincide with the Baker-Polito Administration's continued commitment to ensuring positive recreational opportunities for children and their families during the summer months. Last week, Governor Charlie Baker announced the extension of operating hours at select urban pools and athletic complexes throughout the state as part of the Administration's "Summer Nights Program,"<http://www.mass.gov/governor/press-office/press-releases/fy2017/extended-hours-at-urban-parks-and-pools-for-summer-nights.html> which provides children and their families with special programming during the week to visit local state parks beyond normal operating hours. "Summertime offers residents a great opportunity to visit the states vast array of outdoor recreational resources, and these athletic facility improvements build on the Baker-Polito Administration's commitment to the public to increase access for us all," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. "It is important children are provided with increased access to state managed athletic facilities to incorporate an active, healthy lifestyle that will be benefit them for the rest of their lives." "The investments made by the Baker-Polito Administration to state managed outdoor athletic and recreational facilities serves as an excellent example of the dedication the Administration has to ensuring there are places for today's youth and their families to enjoy," said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. Communities that have recently received outdoor recreational facility improvements made by the Baker-Polito Administration include: * Riverfront Park in Lawrence (resurfaced basketball, street hockey, and tennis courts; installation of new backboards and net; and the repaving of parking lots and walkways); * Ryan Tennis Courts in South Boston (installation of new tennis posts and nets); * Tenean Beach in Dorchester (installation of new tennis posts and nets); * Ventura Playground in Dorchester (installation of a basketball half-court; and the rehabilitation of walkways); * McMorrow Courts in Dorchester (resurfaced basketball court; installation of new backboards and rims; walls painted; and fencing replaced); * Myles Standish State Forest in Carver (construction of a new basketball half-court at the campground; and the repaving of driveways and roads); * Daughters of the American Revolution State Forest in Goshen (construction of a new basketball half-court at the campground); and, * Otter River State Forest in Baldwinville (construction of a new basketball half-court). "The upgrades to the basketball half court and campground driveways and roads at Myles Standish are a wonderful 100th birthday gift from the Baker-Polito Administration," said State Representative Susan Williams Gifford (R-Wareham), who participated in the celebration on July 16th. "I share the commitment to preserving and increasing access for all to one of our greatest resources, our state forests." "Increasing access to recreational activities is important to bringing up a healthier generation of children," said State Representative Matthew Muratore (R-Plymouth). "The investments the Administration is making will go a long way in making improvements to our public spaces for children and families throughout the Commonwealth." "These state funds that have been used to improve and maintain existing recreational and parking facilities at Riverfront Park in Lawrence are a great investment by the state," said State Senator Barbara L'Italien (D-Andover), who represents Lawrence in addition to Andover, Tewksbury and Dracut. "Located on the banks of the Merrimack River, this is a heavily used park that provides many options for both passive and strenuous recreational activities for children, teens and adults, including street hockey, basketball and tennis, in addition to wooded walking paths that provide a scenic escape for residents."