Patrick Sullivan, Director of Springfield Parks, receives Lifetime Achievement Award from US Environmental Protection Agency
SPRINGFIELD – City Parks and Buildings Manager Patrick J. Sullivan has done his best to share the credit with others by presenting him last week with an Environmental Excellence Award for Lifetime Achievement. US Environmental Protection Agency.
“I was just very honored and humbled when I got the call from the EPA that the mayor nominated me for this award and they chose me,” Sullivan said, in an interview. with The Republican at his office in Forest Park. “I have always had an interest in the field of horticulture and the environment and as I progressed I tried to make decisions that are basically going to be in the best interest of our environment and of our residents.
Sullivan said credit should go to Mayor Domenic J. Sarno for his support of “Going Green” initiatives, and to city employees for the focus on environmental protection and energy efficiency related to the parks of the city. city, open spaces and buildings.
Beyond the protection of parks, the city is pursuing a major and multi-year effort to improve energy efficiency in city and school buildings, resulting in a 30% decrease in energy consumption in city buildings. the city since 2007, Sullivan said.
Sullivan said he was perhaps most proud of the organic lawn care program in the city, where the city has reduced the use of synthetic fertilizers in the city’s fields and parks, replacing them with organic products. Synthetic fertilizers contain chemicals that seep into groundwater and eventually enter rivers and streams, he said.
Sullivan continues to work on developing plans for a public education program on the impacts of synthetic fertilizers, officials said.
The EPA summary stated that Sarno, in naming Sullivan “was describing Patrick’s steadfast work in building an eco-friendly community.”
Sullivan, a native and resident of Springfield, worked for the city for 33 years, including as director of parks, buildings and recreation management.
Over the course of his career, Sullivan has led over $ 80 million in park construction projects, helped improve ponds and lakes, and oversaw over $ 500 million in school renovation projects, including roofs, windows, boilers and environmental management systems, the summary says.
Sarno, in a prepared statement, congratulated Sullivan on “a well-deserved and deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.” He called Sullivan his point of contact on the “Going Green” initiatives in Springfield.
“Pat has always been my ‘green person’,” Sarno said. “His visionary and practical leadership has not only benefited our environment, but also ‘most’ of our budget.”
Sullivan said working at Forest Park is “a dream job in itself”. He recalled that when he started with the department, the current area of the rose garden was only a “submerged” area that would fill with water. It has been restored to its present beauty, he said.
Some of the buildings were deteriorated and threatened years ago, including the Barney Carriage House and the old Forest Park Zoo building. The carriage house has been completely renovated and the old zoo building is planned as a horticultural learning center.
Sullivan was one of nine people in New England, including three in Massachusetts, who received the EPA’s 2020 Environmental Merit Award – Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and support to the environment.
Margaret VanDeusen of Boston and the late Barbara Cianfarini of Pittsfield also received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Massachusetts.
The recipients were honored by teleconference, due to the coronavirus, with the participation of Sullivan and Sarno. Participants in a remote video call included US Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Dennis Deziel and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg.