There are a total of 16 playgrounds in Jamaica Plain managed by either Massachusetts' Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) or the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. So how accessible are all of them? The 16 playgrounds have varied features including age-based play structures, splash pads, spray decks, athletic fields, swings, a sandbox, and more. Currently, DCR is assessing opportunities to make improvements at their agency-managed playgrounds across the Commonwealth. In Jamaica Plain, DCR manages nine sites that include playgrounds, spray decks, benches, gardens, and sport courts.
The city's Boston Summer Eats program is offering meals at 53 sites, with 14 more coming later in the summer, with a goal of expanding access to free and healthy meals to youth and lessen the summer food gap. Meals are available to youth 18 years and younger at no cost and no registration or ID is needed. Last summer, the program served 1,894,748 meals across 91 sites in 16 neighborhoods, according to a press release. Boston Summer Eats sites can be found at boston.gov/summer-eats or find additional locations across the state by texting “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877. Hours of operation vary depending on the site.
A petition was recently created asking the city to improve the Murphy Field, and last week residents testified at city hearings, urging money be allocated to fix up the well-used site. As of June 6, more than 700 people had signed the online petition created by Jamaica Plain Youth Soccer (JPYS) board president Alf Gracombe. "The playing surface, surrounding fences and backstops, lighting systems, and concrete bleachers are in clear need of an upgrade. Ever-growing youth sports programs like Jamaica Plain Youth Soccer (JPYS) and the Jamaica Plain Regan Youth League (baseball) rely on spaces such as Murphy to run their programs that provide athletic opportunities for the children of JP, Roxbury, Roslindale, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Dorchester. The crisis is already upon us.
The Boston Public Copley Library opens on June 1, and all branch libraries (not under construction) will be reopening on June 14. Beginning on June 1, patrons will be able to browse select books in the Copley Library building, and patrons will also be able to ask staff to pull books on demand. Patrons will be able to pick up holds, check out books and DVDs. Patrons will also be able to spend time in the courtyard, renew their library cards, use public computers, print, and make photocopies. Starting June 14 branch library visitors will be able to pick up holds, check out books, spend time browsing, use the library’s computers for limited time slots, print and make photocopies.
Jamaica Plain resident Sean Lydon was recently named as the Interim Commissioner of the Inspectional Services Department (ISD). Lydon has worked for the city of Boston for 25 years, and most recently served as Deputy Building Commissioner of the Inspectional Services Building Division, where he managed more than 50 staff members, according to a press release. Lydon previously worked as a building inspector where he was charged with enforcing building and zoning codes. ISD administers and enforces building, housing, health, sanitation and safety regulations mandated by city and state governments. Inspectional Services is made up of five regulatory divisions charged with serving the public by protecting the health, safety and environmental stability of Boston's business and residential communities.