Greenfield Energy Park
Built - 2003
Greenfield became a city in 2003 making it the newest in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as of this writing. It is located in the upper Pioneer Valley just 20 minutes from Vermont and the New Hampshire borders. The town boasts its proximity to the historic Mohawk Trail which offers grand views all year long and brings many tourists especially during the foliage season with the area being considered a "Crown Jewel" of Western Massachusetts.
In 1991, Greenfield saw the need for a site that would be used as a gathering place for its citizens and visitors in the downtown area. In 1995 it was decided that the present Greenfield Energy Park would be the ideal place for such an effort.
In 1999 the wheels were set in motion tohave a permanent structure in the park where concerts and other community events would be more enjoyable. Prior to that, just the grassy area and makeshift stages were used but the need for a bandstand was totally accepted. Three years went by with much hard work being given by many volunteers to raise the needed funds for the bandstand with a railroad depot-type structure accepted which was amazingly close to the original railroad depot which graced that same site from 1881 - 1963. Service clubs including the local Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary Clubs, the Greenfield Military Band, Arena Civic Center, the Northeast sustainable Energy Association and then town of Greenfield, now city, were all involved in the project. Fund raising efforts totaled $90,000 along with $50,000 by locally-owned Greenfield Savings Band and a generous donation from the Conti family, brought about the grand opening of the structure in June of 2003 just in time for the town's 250th anniversary. Also the park has a caboose at the far end of the green with an original train bell, called "The Nellie Bell," is rung at the start of each event.
Building of this magnificent bandstand was a total community effort with hundreds of people involved. Volunteers were used when possible other than to handle digging, pouring and installation which requested professional help. The structure, since its inception, has been used quite extensively getting heavy use having nearly 40 events every year from springtime festivals to plays, weekly concert series, and ending with Santa's Workshops.
Known as "The Station," the bandstand is the first one the city has had. The only problems in its construction were when it was being built during the winter months and things slowed down due to the season's bitter cold which stopped the workmen from continuously working. Materials used in the building were of high quality with 100% recycled plastic shingles used along with re-used cobblestones from the original train depot. TREX steps have been used with a beautiful clock ordered special for the structure above the roof.
Other than the original dedication ceremony, Greenfield's first Mayor, Christine Forgey, was inaugurated on the bandstand on July 1st which became a very historic occasion for the community and the most important event on the stage to date.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
Sandra Thomas, Director
Greenfield Energy Park