A message from MassDevelopment regarding COVID-19. Read more

For the latest information on COVID-19: Vaccines, Cases, Restrictions: Read more


$50K for Outdoor Play Oasis

MassDevelopment Grant Transforms Underutilized Backyard of Hyannis Public Library into Downtown Destination for Families

October 6, 2021

Matthew Mogavero, 857-248-0868

Conceptual design courtesy of the Cape Cod Toy Library  

HYANNIS, Mass. – MassDevelopment has awarded a $10,000 grant to the Cape Cod Toy Library, which will use funds to transform the underutilized backyard of the Hyannis Public Library into the Outdoor Play Oasis, a space for families to spend time together in an inclusive environment designed to foster children’s curiosity, creativity, problem-solving abilities, social connections, and physical activity. By providing a stage, garden areas, benches, and several play features, the Outdoor Play Oasis aims to serve as a family-friendly destination that will inspire residents and visitors to spend time in downtown Hyannis, visit shops and restaurants, and support local economic recovery. The Cape Cod Toy Library will also crowdfund this fall, with donations being accepted at bit.ly/3lHNYLx; if the organization reaches its $40,000 goal it will receive an additional $40,000 matching grant from MassDevelopment. The funds are awarded through MassDevelopment’s special Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places, which was made available specifically to assist local economic recovery efforts as community partners prepare public spaces and commercial districts to serve residents and visitors.

“Before this pandemic, the vibrant centers of our cities and towns were not only a driving force behind the strength of local economies, they were the places where we gathered to dine, to shop, and to be entertained, and the Commonwealth Places program is one way that we can help these areas bounce back stronger than ever,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to support downtowns and town centers through various economic recovery programs, and these Resurgent Places grants are providing non-profit community organizations with the resources to activate public spaces, boost economic activity, and support an equitable recovery.”

“MassDevelopment is committed to assisting communities on Cape Cod and across the Commonwealth as they attract residents and visitors to their downtown areas and business districts and recover from the impacts of COVID-19,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “We’re pleased to help activate an underutilized outdoor area into a new attraction in downtown Hyannis, offering families an inclusive play space where children can explore their curiosities and use their imaginations.” 

Created in 2016, Commonwealth Places aims to engage and mobilize community members to make individual contributions to placemaking projects, with the incentive of a funding match from MassDevelopment if the crowdfunding goal is reached. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MassDevelopment announced the opening of the first Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places in June 2020 and from August – October 2020 awarded $224,965 in funding for 21 placemaking projects across Massachusetts. 

In December 2020, MassDevelopment announced the availability of $390,000 in funding for a second Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places. Nonprofits and other community groups can apply to MassDevelopment for seed grants of between $250 to $7,500 to fund inclusive community engagement, visioning, and local capacity building that will support future placemaking efforts, or implementation grants of up to $50,000 to execute a placemaking project. For implementation grants, up to $10,000 per project may be awarded as an unmatched grant; awards greater than $10,000 must be matched with crowdfunding donations. 

More information about the program is available at massdevelopment.com/commonwealthplaces.

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2021, MassDevelopment financed or managed 416 projects generating investment of more than $1.86 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 6,578 jobs and build or preserve 1,909 housing units.