Parents and Parks and Rec Department Work to Keep Toys at Tot Lot

If you're a parent with young children in Jamaica Plain you probably know about the Brewer Street Tot Lot. It's a great playground with swings, a bouncy seesaw, a structure with slides, benches and tables, and even a permanent sandbox. Before the pandemic, it was full of toys dropped off by community members, but after a public health emergency was declared, the city removed the toys. Seeing the toys be removed was hard for parents to see, particularly the beloved roller cars and tracks. As time went on during the last two years, parents wondered when would the city allow toys to be brought back by residents.

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Boston’s Most Popular Dog Names; Dog Licensing Deadline is March 31

The most popular dog name in Boston for 2021 was Luna. Residents registered 112 Lunas. That reminds us, Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Animal Care and Control Division would like city dog owners to know that the annual deadline for licensing their pets is March 31. All dogs in Boston require a new license each year. “Not only is licensing your pet the law, but a license is your pet’s ID and provides their fastest ticket home if they become lost,” said Animal Care and Control Director Alexis Trzcinski via press release.

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Jamaica Plain-Based Organizations Receive Arts and Cultural Grants

Numerous Jamaica Plain-based organizations recently received Boston Cultural Council and Reopen Creative Boston funding. In total, 192 arts and cultural organizations were award grants, totaling $3,422,000 in grants for general operations and COVID-19 relief, according to a press release. Jamaica Plain-based organizations receiving money included BalletRox, Boston Cyberarts, Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Circus Up, Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts, Guy Mendilow Ensemble, Hoopla Productions, JP Music Festival, Little Uprisings, New Gallery Concert Series, OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center, and the Urbano Project. The Boston Cultural Council (BCC) distribute grants yearly for general operations to organizations with budgets less than $2 million that offer some type of arts or cultural programming in the city. For the third year in a row, BCC grant amounts were determined by budget size, and this year BCC made the decision this year to shift the funding structure to help organizations with the lowest budgets to receive the highest grant amounts. The complete list of organizations that received grants can be seen here.

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Boston Creates Office for Black Male Advancement; Black Men and Boys Commission Accepting Applications

Frank Farrow will serve as the executive director of the newly formed Mayor’s Office for Black Male Advancement. Farrow will lead the office that seeks to ensure Black men and boys have support to thrive in Boston, announced Mayor Michelle Wu on Thursday. The new office will be part of the Equity and Inclusion Cabinet. Wu also announced that the Black Men and Boys Commission will be accepting new member applications through the end of the month. “I am honored and excited to lead the Office for Black Male Advancement, and to continue to uplift Black men and boys under Mayor Michelle Wu’s administration,” said Farrow.

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Meet Children’s Librarian of Jamaica Plain Branch Library; Lots of Library Fun for Kids!

The Boston Public Library Children's Facebook page recently featured Barbara, who's been working at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library for more than 30 years. "I love working in this community full of great kids and families and so many avid readers," said Barbara. "My favorite genre is fantasy and I'm currently reading The Last Cuentista. I love library programming and sharing books with children." Barbara said the South Street library is offering outdoor Preschool Story Times for children (ages 2-4) on Wednesdays at 10:30 am and Kids Club (ages 4 and up) on Wednesdays at 4 pm.

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