Council President John J. Igliozzi (Ward 7) today joined Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci Jr. (Ward 4), Mayor Jorge Elorza, the Providence Parks Department, the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, the Providence Housing Authority and members of the Board of Park Commissioners to unveil recently completed improvements at Merino Park, located in the Hartford neighborhood of Providence.
“I am proud to unveil impressive new improvements to Merino Park today. Working with neighbors, the WRWC, the Parks Department, and the Mayor, we have been able to build on the growing list of amenities Merino Park has to offer our community., Residents can now enjoy a beautifully revitalized basketball court and soccer field, along with the other activities areas and green spaces. Parks are a crucial component of quality of life in our city, and I am always glad to allocate funding and resources to ensure that children, families, and people of all ages have access to beautiful, well-maintained parks in every neighborhood,” stated Council President John J. Igliozzi.
Igliozzi, an advocate for city parks, established the City Council Parks and Recreational Trust Fund Account in 2015, which requires developers receiving tax stabilizations to contribute a percentage of their reduced property taxes to the trust fund to go towards parks and recreation capital improvement projects. These recent improvements are the most recent in the Council President’s long-term effort to transform Merino Park. Throughout his tenure with the City Council, Igliozzi has invested nearly $1 million in the park, including the construction of the Woonasquatucket Adventure Park which opened in October 2019, a new playground, new lighting, a new parking lot, security cameras, and a water park.
“We are committed to making Providence a vibrant, thriving community, and that includes providing recreational and green spaces our community can enjoy,” said Mayor of Providence Jorge O. Elorza. “The improvements unveiled today at Merino Park make the park an inviting place for all, and I’m appreciative of our partners on the City Council and in the community who helped make these park improvements a reality.”
The Parks Department oversaw the design and construction for the project, which includes a newly resurfaced basketball court and installation of new backboards. Additionally, the soccer field was revitalized with new turf and irrigation. Council President Igliozzi allocated $113,450 in Capital Improvement Plan funding towards these necessary improvements.
“There is something for everyone along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway,” said Wendy Nilsson, Parks Department Superintendent. “We are thrilled to enhance and revitalize the well-used courts and field at Merino Park as part of our ongoing work to improve courts and fields throughout our City parks.”
Merino Park has over 18 acres of recreational and green space open to the public and is located at 265 Hartford Ave in Providence. This summer, the Parks Department has worked to revitalize seven parks across the city including Arthur and Ruby Lawrence Park, Major Park, Brown Street Park, Father Lennon Park, Morris Ave Tot Lot, Annie Morris Park and the Blackstone Park Woods Trail.
“I commend the Parks Department and my City colleagues for their dedication to the consistent improvement of parks and green spaces in our city. In my role as a city councilman and on the board of parks commissioners, I know the pivotal role that parks play in the social and physical well being of young people in our city. I look forward to continuing these improvement efforts across the city of Providence,” added Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci Jr.
To learn about parks in your neighborhood, visit the Parks Department interactive map here: https://bit.ly/3jsvoao