Springfield Park Damaged By Tornado Re-Opens

A Springfield park devastated by the June, 2011 tornado officially re-opened Tuesday. Camp Wilder is a 27-acre preserve located in Springfield’s Sixteen Acres neighborhood.

Patrick Sullivan, the city’s Parks and Recreation Director, says the tornado severely damaged about half the park.

“There was about 15 feet of debris deposited here and all the trees were just completely eliminated, they were just sheared at the base,” says Sullivan.

The project includes a new open field area, playground, pavilion and improved trails and walkways. Mayor Domenic Sarno says he’s thrilled by the restoration, noting that urban parks have been an oasis for immigrant families like his.

“Parks were our Riviera. We were unable to go to many places at all. So parks were there for us to recreate and relax and play ball,” says Sarno.

The Camp Wilder restoration cost nearly a million dollars in public grants and private donations.