Boston Shines: Community comes together to clean neighborhood

By SUSAN DOUCET

Fort Point looks more like it’s now truly spring following the cleaning of gardens and the planting of flowers last week as part of Boston Shines.

Wormwood Park and A Street were the focus of a volunteer neighborhood clean-up effort on Friday and Saturday.

“That’s the spine of the neighborhood,” said Cameron Sawzin of the Fort Point Neighborhood Association while standing along the fence on A Street on Friday afternoon.

This was the neighborhood association’s 12th annual Boston Shines event. Boston Shines is a citywide initiative to clean Boston’s neighborhoods and is organized in different parts of the city during weekends in April and May. On Friday, members of local businesses gathered to clean tree circles and along the fences on A Street, where they also planted flowers. On Saturday, the clean up was to continue at Wormwood Park with local residential volunteers.

“It’s like the second living room in the summer,” Sawzin said of the small park on the corner of A and Wormwood streets.

The first local Boston Shines event more than a decade ago, Sawzin said, attracted only about seven volunteers.

“After that it just took off,” she said.

On Friday, about 40 people participated. Volunteers included employees from Boston College High School, Rue La La, Bergmeyer Associates, Inc., the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Casner & Edwards, Everybody Fights, among other local volunteers.

“Every year we get more and more cooperation,” she said. “This is an event that everyone gets involved (in) … everybody cares.”

The Fort Point Boston Shines event involved the planting of about $2,500 worth of flowers, said Charles Joseph of Fort Point Neighborhood Association. The association purchases the plants with donations from contributors.

“It’s very gratifying,” he said. Joseph waters the plants in this area during the summer. Among its projects in the neighborhood, the association has planted vines along the fence on A Street and in the fall planted daffodils, which are now blooming.

People in the neighborhood appreciate the gardening efforts. “‘It puts a smile on my face,’” Joseph has said he’s heard from people who frequently pass down A Street.

Boston Shines projects took place in other areas of South Boston on Friday and Saturday as well. Boston Shines was also planned for Bay Village, downtown Boston, Chinatown, Beacon Hill, Back Bay and the South End those two days and is planned for Allston, Brighton, Dorchester, the West End, Charlestown, East Boston and the North End on May 6 and 7. Clean-ups already took place earlier in April in Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Roslindale, Roxbury, West Roxbury, Fenway, Mission Hill and Mattapan.

Brian Fontaine (left) and Lauren Pulver, both of Bergmeyer Associates, Inc., volunteer along A Street as part of the Boston Shines neighborhood clean-up on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo by Susan Doucet)
Brian Fontaine (left) and Lauren Pulver, both of Bergmeyer Associates, Inc., volunteer along A Street as part of the Boston Shines neighborhood clean-up on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo by Susan Doucet)
Amanda Burley of Equity Residential plants flowers on A Street as part of Boston Shines on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo by Susan Doucet)
Amanda Burley of Equity Residential plants flowers on A Street as part of Boston Shines on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo by Susan Doucet)
Volunteers along A Street, in front of the site of the Boston Shines clean-up area, on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo by Susan Doucet)
People walk along A Street, in front of the site of the Boston Shines clean-up area, on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo by Susan Doucet)
Wormwood Park is part of the area that Boston Shines volunteers were cleaning and planting flowers at during the volunteer weekend of April 29 and 30. (Photo by Susan Doucet)
Wormwood Park is part of the area that Boston Shines volunteers were cleaning and planting flowers at during the volunteer weekend of April 29 and 30. (Photo by Susan Doucet)
Cameron Sawzin of the Fort Point Neighborhood Association (left) and Lawler Kang of Rue La La plan flowers to plant along the fence on A Street on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo by Susan Doucet)
Cameron Sawzin of Fort Point Neighborhood Association (left) and Lawler Kang of Rue La La plan flowers to plant along the fence on A Street on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo by Susan Doucet)

BRIGHTENING WEST BROADWAY

A Boston Shines group from the Saint Vincent Neighborhood Association fills the planters along West Broadway near F Street with colorful spring flowers. (Photo by Rick Winterson)
A Boston Shines group from the Saint Vincent Neighborhood Association fills the planters along West Broadway near F Street with colorful spring flowers. (Photo by Rick Winterson)

 

VOLUNTEERS SHOW SOUTHIE PRIDE

By KEVIN DEVLIN

From the South Boston Lagoon to Dorchester Avenue near Broadway Station, South Boston residents put their Boston Shines shirts on as they cleaned up and planted flowers at various locations.

John McGahan, the president and CEO of the Gavin Foundation and Rep. Nick Collins spearheaded a cleanup with enthusiastic volunteers at the South Boston Lagoon and Evans Field. Joanne McDevitt from the City Point Neighborhood Association was at the Medal of Honor Park with her volunteers cleaning up and planting new flowers.

Bill Gleason from the West Broadway Neighborhood Association was with volunteers on Dorchester Avenue near the Broadway MBTA station, cleaning up and planning flowers on the middle islands. Kathy Curley, a volunteer coordinator from the Devine Recovery Center, was with volunteers cleaning up the greenery across from the Mary Ellen McCormack Housing Development. Saint Vincent’s Association members were planting flowers on West Broadway.

It was a beautiful, sunny day to be outside and being productive in the community. And “Southie Pride” was evident everywhere.

Joanne McDevitt (left) is pictured with Boston Shines volunteers at the Medal of Honor Park. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Joanne McDevitt (left) is pictured with Boston Shines volunteers at the Medal of Honor Park. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
This man was doing his part cleaning up at the Medal of Honor Park. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
This man was doing his part cleaning up at the Medal of Honor Park. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Chris Spillane (left) is pictured at the South Boston Lagoon cleanup with Rep. Nick Collins. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Chris Spillane (left) is pictured at the South Boston Lagoon cleanup with Rep. Nick Collins. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
These two enthusiastic volunteers worked hard and got some sun. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
These two enthusiastic volunteers worked hard and got some sun. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Rep. Nick Collins and John McGahan, the president and CEO of the Gavin Foundation, are pictured with Boston Shines volunteers at the South Boston Lagoon. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Rep. Nick Collins and John McGahan, the president and CEO of the Gavin Foundation, are pictured with Boston Shines volunteers at the South Boston Lagoon. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Volunteers from the West Broadway Neighborhood Association are pictured on Dorchester Avenue near Broadway station, busy planting flowers on the roadway island. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Volunteers from the West Broadway Neighborhood Association are pictured on Dorchester Avenue near Broadway station, busy planting flowers on the roadway island. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Newly planted flowers on Dorchester Avenue by members of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Newly planted flowers on Dorchester Avenue by members of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Bill Gleason (left) from the West Broadway Neighborhood Association is pictured on Dorchester Avenue near Broadway station with Boston Shines volunteers. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Bill Gleason (left) from the West Broadway Neighborhood Association is pictured on Dorchester Avenue near Broadway station with Boston Shines volunteers. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Members of the Saint’s Vincent’s Association were planting flowers on West Broadway. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Members of the Saint’s Vincent’s Association planted flowers on West Broadway. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Devine Center volunteer coordinator Kathy Curley is pictured with Boston Shines volunteers on the greenery across from the Mary Ellen McCormack Housing Development. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)
Devine Center volunteer coordinator Kathy Curley is pictured with Boston Shines volunteers on the greenery across from the Mary Ellen McCormack Housing Development. (Photo by Kevin Devlin)

Jeanne Rooney

Jeanne Rooney is the Editor in Chief for South Boston Online.