Olmsted Now Partnerships Promote Equity, Community Connection and More

In 2022, Greater Boston will mark the bicentennial of America’s great placemaker and designer of the Emerald Necklace park system: Frederick Law Olmsted. To mark the moment, in early 2020, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (Fairsted) and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy initiated Olmsted Now, a coalition-led platform to connect communities and organizations in making parks and public space more vibrant, verdant and welcoming for all. Since then, the Olmsted Now coalition has hit an array of foundational milestones in equity, support, partnerships and outreach. To model anti-racist and trust-based resource development and distribution by and for park communities, Olmsted Now introduces the Committee of Neighborhoods; announces support through a “Come Together” fundraising initiative; and, in the past year, has doubled and diversified its partners, while expanding its communication channels. Community Power in Action

In 2020, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy commissioned Harvard professor Stephen Gray and Grayscale Collaborative to guide Olmsted Now through an equity analysis and action plan that would not merely “include” but would center communities who could potentially most benefit from bicentennial programming and investments, yet have historically been structurally excluded from park decision-making.


Girl Scout Cookie Sale at J.P. Licks January 8 & 22

Girl Scout Cookie Season has arrived! The Daisies and Brownies of Troop 64228 will be selling cookies for the first time at J.P. Licks on Centre Street on Saturday, January 8 and Saturday, January 22 from 11 am to 3 pm. Customers can get their pick of nine awesome cookie flavors, and support the girls' next big adventures! $5/package. Cash, credit card, and Venmo accepted.


Sherrill House CEO Patrick Stapleton Elected Vice Chair of State Board of Registration of Nursing Home Administrators

Patrick J. Stapleton, Chief Executive Officer of Sherrill House, a not-for-profit skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Jamaica Plain, has been elected vice chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Nursing Home Administrators. Stapleton, a national leader in the long-term care profession, first joined the board following his appointment by Gov. Deval Patrick. In 2016, he was reappointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to the board, which protects the health and safety of nursing home residents by ensuring that administrators adhere to quality standards and continuing education. Stapleton was unanimously elected vice chair on Nov. 19 by his fellow board members.


The Winter Solstice in Story and Song at St. John’s on Dec. 19

Storyteller Diane Edgecomb will be accompanied by Celtic harpist Margot Chamberlain and multi-instrumentalist Tom Megan in The Winter Solstice in Story and Song concert on Dec. 19. Celebrate the winter solstice with this beloved Jamaica Plain event, a theatrical storytelling of legends of light, interwoven with folkloric and original music and song. Traditional tales of the longest night include the beautiful Scandinavian myth: Balder and the Mistletoe, humorous English Wassail stories, and Evergreen legends from the Cherokee and the Swiss. Edgecomb offers a fascinating look at the stories behind winter holiday traditions while songs evocative of the season and lovely instrumental melodies played by Chamberlain and Megan.


Art Curator Jen Mergel Appointed New Role at Emerald Necklace Conservancy

As the Emerald Necklace Conservancy prepares to mark the bicentennial of Frederick Law Olmsted in 2022, the non-profit looks to deepen and broaden its community impact with the hire of Jen Mergel in the newly created senior leadership role of Director of Experience and Cultural Partnerships. To expand the Conservancy’s foundational commitment to connect people to and through parks, Mergel will integrate work across the teams in visitor welcome, education and programs. In addition, she will build the organization’s capacity and trajectory to invite more inclusive and impactful park experiences through a diverse mix of partnerships that honor the intersecting wisdom of local elders, the know-how of passionate community organizers and the bold vision of cultural luminaries. Mergel is a nationally respected contemporary arts leader and curator dedicated to exploring Boston’s histories and collaboratively reimagining its futures. As a guest curator, she organized for the Conservancy’s 20th anniversary the landmark award-winning project Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald Necklace in 2018. Since then she has been working with the Conservancy to steer next year’s Olmsted Now: Greater Boston's Olmsted Bicentennial. Named “Olmsted Now” to honor Olmsted's legacy and 21st-century relevance with, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "the fierce urgency of now," the 2022 bicentennial planning has been an important practice field for a growing multidisciplinary coalition to question what park experience is and should be. In her Conservancy position, Mergel is fully committed to building on groundwork laid with thought leaders in park equity, public-making and spatial justice to pilot neighborhood-led initiatives and cross-city collaborations for Olmsted Now.


Letter: JPNDC’s Relocating 21st Century Foods, Not Displacing Brewery Tenant

The following is a statement submitted by the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC):

Editor's note: The JPNDC has owned The Brewery at 31 Germania Street since 1983. In 2020, JPNDC launched a capital campaign to raise $2.7 million to renovate our headquarters, located in The Brewery, to create the Center for Equity & Prosperity. Many people have been asking us and commenting about JPNDC's plan to relocate 21st Century Foods so that we can build the Center for Equity & Prosperity. We have heard people's support for the business and their concern that JPNDC might be displacing them. We want you to know that we do not want to displace 21st Century Foods from The Brewery, but rather to relocate them within The Brewery.


Jamaica Plain’s Abby Maiello Boxing in Haymakers for Hope’s Belles of the Brawl for Dana Farber

Jamacia Plain resident Abby Maiello will be taking a shot at knocking out cancer by fighting in the annual Haymakers for Hope Belles of the Brawl charity boxing event. On Tuesday, December 7th at the House of Blues Boston, Maiello, along with 25 other brave individuals residing in the New England area, will be stepping into the squared circle at this year’s event to raise money for Haymaker’s beneficiary, The Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Haymakers opens registration to everyday professionals in the Greater Boston area who have never boxed and want to practice the sweet science in front of a sellout crowd at the House of Blues to literally fight for a cure. Participants get matched at local partnering gyms where they go through 4 months of intensive training with the culmination being a live fight night at the House of Blues. Since inception, Haymakers has raised more than $14.5 million.


Boston Children’s Chorus Film Environmental Justice Themed Opus at Arnold Arboretum

More than 90 members of Boston Children’s Chorus recently gathered in the Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden at the Arnold Arboretum to film this year’s Opus Nuovo Now is the Time focused on environmental justice against the scenic backdrop of beech and maple scenery. “We think that as a place to showcase the beauty of the natural world, the Arboretum is second to none," said CC Executive Producer Robbie Jacobs. "We were able to capture the distinctive New England fall colors as the backdrop for sharing our message and [were] delighted to partner with our ecologically minded friends at the Arboretum to share this critical message about preserving the environment for generations to come.”

Singers lip-synced during the film and recorded their voices later on their phones to accompany the visuals. More details about the production process can be found on the Arnold Arboretum's website.


St. Sebastian’s Jamaica Plain Students Receive Honor Roll

St. Sebastian's School is proud to announce the Honor Roll recipients for the first quarter of the 2021-2022 school year. Recipients of these academic awards fall into three categories: High Honors, maintains an A- or above in all subjects; Honors with Distinction, maintains a B or above in all subjects; Honors, maintains a B- or above in all subjects; Effort, for marks of 1 or 2 in all subjects; and Superior Effort, for marks of 1 in all subjects. The following Jamaica Plain students earned honor rolls:
Michael J. Kalinichenko, Grade 11, Honors with Distinction
Maxim D. Kalinichenko, Grade 9, High Honors
Luis E. Sosa Espinal, Grade 9, Honors with Distinction