There's no way the Francis Parkman Playground looked like this back in 1924 when it first opened. The city recently finished a $1.7 million renovation of the playground on Wachusett Street, and it's got some pretty darn cool features like a splash pad with a runnel, an adult size basketball court and a mini-basketball hoop for the little ones (please bigger kids, don't hang on the rim), and an embankment slide. The new playground has an inclusive play structure and springers for children ages 2 to 5, and a large inclusive climbing structure for ages 5 to 12. There's also a shaded and covered picnic shelter, a water fountain with a drinking bottle refiller, an exercise station, as well new seats and benches, LED lighting, trees, plantings, and a dish swing. The city will be celebrating the reopening of the playground on Aug.
The Boston Summer Eats Program, which provides free, healthy meals to youth, was launched by the city on July 10 at the Anna M. Cole Community Center in Jamaica Plain. The program is organized by the Mayor's Office of Food Access, in partnership with Project Bread, the YMCA of Greater Boston, and Boston Children's Hospital. The program is offered at more than 100 locations across Boston while providing free, healthy meals to youth ages 18 and under to "reduce food insecurity and fill the gap that occurs in nutritious food access during the summer months when school is out of session."
If you've driven along Francis Parkman Drive recently you may have seen a sizable forest area clearcut by the city to remove dead trees, some of which killed by an insect that feeds by sucking sap from hemlocks. The removed trees were between the Francis Parkman Drive and Prince Street, including a hemlock grove and individual trees that were dead or failing, said Margaret Dyson, Director of Historic Parks for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. The area looks to be several hundred square feet and is visible from Francis Parkman Drive. The culprit was the hemlock woolly adelgid, which is native to east Asia, where's it not a problem because natural predators keep it in check. But on America's east coast it goes unchecked.
On Wednesday, the city announced a wide-ranging plan with an eventual goal of having Boston be a zero waste city. The new plan includes launching a food scrap curbside composting program, extending residential yard waste options, increasing environmental education and more. "By implementing Boston's first zero waste plan, we will be a healthier and greener city for future generations to come," said District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley, Chairman of the Council's Environment, Sustainability and Parks Committee. "I am proud to have spearheaded the Council's efforts to institute curbside composting and textile recycling programs in the city of Boston and I look forward to seeing these programs develop even further." O'Malley added that expanding Boston's composting program will improve Boston's recycling rate, reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, while working toward carbon neutrality.
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) provides funding for affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and open space projects throughout Boston. This Friday, JP residents are invited to share their ideas for CPA funded projects. Jamaica Plain resident Christine Poff, director of Boston's Community Preservation Committee, will hold library hours on Friday, June 21 at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library (30 South St.) at 10 am to noon, and noon to 2 pm at the Egleston Square Branch Library (2044 Washington St., Roxbury). Please visit boston.gov/cpa for more information about the Community Preservation Act.