Partnerships for Brownfield Redevelopment: Dr. Nina Scarito Park

Urban Infill & Brownfields Redevelopment

The following case study was presented at the National League of Cities' Congress of Cities & Exposition held in Boston, Mass. in 2012. It demonstrates the value and opportunities of broad-based community partnerships to advance sustainability goals in a city.  

Project Description

 The Brook Street site, a 2.7-acre former mill building and commercial laundry facility, located in a densely populated low-income neighborhood on the banks of the Spicket River in Lawrence, Mass. had been abandoned for 20 years and considered abrownfield. In 2001 residents identified this site as a priority area for revitalization.  

Through a broad partnership including the City of Lawrence, Lawrence Community Development Department, non-profit Groundwork Lawrence, and an engaged citizenry, the Brook Street site was dramatically transformed into Dr. Nina Scarito Park in 2006. Today the park provides safe recreational opportunities, fresh produce from its gardens, contributes to air and water quality, has renewed riverfront habitat, cultivated a community of ardent stewards, and helps to grow the City's tax base by adding value to the surrounding neighborhood properties.  

This case study describes the process and stakeholders involved in this significant achievement, including description of various federal, state, local and private funding sources. 

The transformation of the Brook Street brownfield site to a neighborhood park and garden was the first in a series of land redevelopment projects leading to the development of the Spiket River Greenway, conducted in partnership between the City of Lawrence and Groundwork Lawrence. More information about the history of Lawrence, additional projects resulting from this partnership and community impacts can be found in the resources below. 

Case Study: Development of Dr. Nina Scarito Park  prepared by Heather McMann, Groundwork Lawrence, and James Barnes, City of Lawrence Community Development Director 

Case Study: Urban Land Protection in Lawrence, Massprepared by Kate O'Brien and Heather McMann, Groundwork Lawrence