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Local News

December 20, 2012

Salem, Marblehead awarded state grants for parks and recreation

Artifical turf coming to Salem's Bertram Field; Marblehead will purchase Lead Mills site

Salem and Marblehead were each awarded $400,000 grants yesterday through a state program designated to enhance and create parks and recreational areas.

Salem’s grant will help renovate the track and install synthetic turf at Bertram Field, Salem High School’s main football stadium. In Marblehead, the funds will go toward the purchase of the former Chadwick Lead Mills property to create a recreation area.

Rick Sullivan, Massachusetts secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, awarded the grants during a brief ceremony yesterday afternoon at Salem City Hall. Projects in East Boston, Brookline, Chelsea, Lynn and Somerville also received grants through the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities, or PARC, program.

PARC is a matching program, so the local municipalities will contribute funding equal or greater to the grant amount for each project, said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll.

Bertram Field, behind Collins Middle School, is used by SHS athletics as well as youth sports programs. The upgrades proposed for the complex will allow more people to use the field, said Driscoll.

“This will take what is a very nice facility and upgrade it to a superb facility,” she said.

Lead Mills, a 4.9 acre site area along the Forest River at the Salem/Marblehead line, was used as a lead mill beginning in the 19th century. A former owner of the property, National Lead Mill of Dallas, paid for cleanup and decontamination of the site in 2011.

“The word ‘beautiful’ isn’t a word we’ve been able to use for that property for a long time,” said state Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, at yesterday’s ceremony.

Marblehead Selectman Judy Jacobi said the property will be used for “passive recreation,” such as walking trails. The idea has been years in coming, Jacobi said, and is a collaboration between Salem, Marblehead and the nonprofit Essex County Greenbelt Association.

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