|By Stephanie Brault|
HOLYOKE The developer of Edgewater Gardens Condominiums presented Mayor Michael Sullivan with $10,000 on May 17 as donation was the founding contribution to the new non-profit foundation, Friends of Pulaski Park.
With the presentation of the donation and a ribbon cutting ceremony, the event, which took the entire day, celebrated Pulaski Park, the future of downtown Holyoke, and the opening of the Edgewater Gardens Condominium community.
Edgewater Gardens Condos is, according to a press release, "an oasis community of 108 condominium homes on a campus of seven tree-studded acres near the South Hadley line. The residences abut the park and the Connecticut River and are part of a greenbelt running along Lyman Street." The community is over 60% sold and prices have steadily increased since the totally makeover conversion of the property.
President of the development company, Dale Schuparra, of Schuparra Properties, stated, "The restoration and upkeep of this magnificent park gives our homeowners confidence and pride in their community and moves the city of Holyoke in a positive direction. The 'total makeover' standard of our best-in-the-market condominium homes has made our project an unparalleled success."
When asked what made the Edgewater Condos decide to donate to Friends of Pulaski Park, Schuparra answered, "Well, number one, I think it's a good cause, and number two we are making a big investment in our development in downtown Holyoke; three, the investment has been very successful, and number four, with that success we were able to share some of it with the city, with Pulaski, which is like an extension of our property."
Schuparra also said that the park is an important part of the community and neighborhood, and the people want to make sure the neighborhood remains beautiful.
Friends of Pulaski Park is a park advocacy organization, founded by Maggie Bergin and John Aubin. Their mission is to work with the city Park and Recreation Department to keep up the park. Bergin said that although at this time they are uncertain what the money will go to, it would go toward a specific project. She also said that some projects they hope to complete and that the money may be used for are clearing the river view, which is now overgrown and other smaller projects, such as updating the benches and getting new trash receptacles.
Bergin said of the park, "Ask anyone who's visited the park on a sunny day and they will tell you that Pulaski Park is a treasure that deserves our support. We look forward to working with Mayor Sullivan and his Parks and Recreation Department, to support the already excellent job they do." Those who are interested in donating to Friends of Pulaski Park or contributing their time or expertise should e-mail Maggie Bergin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 509-998-5930.