R1 Success Story: Charles Tartaglia Park, Brockton, Mass.
EPA Grant Recipient:
City of Brockton, Mass.
Factory and Repair Shop
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Charles Tartaglia Park, Brockton, Massachusetts (pdf)
A one‐acre parcel that once hosted a gas station, factory and auto repair shop has been cleaned and turned into a community park that was later dedicated to one of Brockton's local heroes. This park at the corner of Warren Avenue and Bartlett Street now bears the name of city icon Charles Tartaglia, a restauranteur with a long history of giving back to his community.
Dating back to 1915, the former home of the Gilbert Gas Pump filling station later became the Ralsco kitchen cabinet manufacturing facility and later hosted several auto repair shops. The site's 100‐year industrial history left the property contaminated with, petroleum, hydraulic fluids and lead. EPA's Brownfields program was instrumental in helping the city address the contamination and ultimately make a community park possible.
Tartaglia's close connection to the Brockton community began as a young boy delivering The Enterprise newspaper. Later in adulthood, Tartaglia preserved the legacy of his childhood friend and boxing legend Rocky Marciano and served in many roles for the city of Brockton and community organizations. He was a trustee for Massasoit Community College, volunteer for the local public TV station, member of the Brockton Park Commission, city councilor from 1990 to 1991, and for over 17 years the deputy boxing commissioner of Massachusetts. Over the decades, his family restaurant donated food to city events.
Priming the Property for Redevelopment
The city took over this long abandoned industrial site in 1999, setting the stage for environmental assessment work to begin in 2001. The city used $3,000 of EPA funding for Brownfields to evaluate the severity of the contamination. EPA then awarded Brockton $100,000 in 2003 to clean the site. The city used the Brownfields cleanup grant to remove 100 cubic yards of contaminated soil and backfill the area with clean soil.
With the former industrial structures demolished and a newly clean parcel, the community rallied to convert the property into a park and provide green space that would help alleviate flooding in the area. In 2014, partners leveraged $280,000 in state and local funding through the National Park Service/MA DEP Neighborhood Park Conservation Fund and the City's Redevelopment Authority to create that new park.
"Tartaglia Park is a great investment that creates a passive open space in an underserved area. It also provides access to Salisbury Brook as part of our Two Rivers plan to create an asset out of a long neglected waterway."Rob May, Director
Planning and Economic Development
City of Brockton, Mass.
Instead of a blighted and vacant property, the site has been revitalized as a public park, with flowers and trees, benches, walkways and open green space. The picture was complete when Charles Tartaglia was honored at the ribbon cutting for the Charles Tartaglia Park in the spring of 2017.