Neighborhood Meeting Minutes – February 13, 2008, 7:30 p.m. – Susan Bailis Center
About 30 members gathered for refreshments and conversation while speakers were setting up. Vice President, Chris Coffin, introduced both speakers, mentioned that the next neighborhood meeting is April 9th, Election Night, when it is hoped the neighborhood will add a President and a new Vice President to the existing Board:
Chris Coffin, Retiring Vice President
Helen Powell, Clerk, running for the same office in April
Gary Dwyer, Treasurer, running for the same office in April
Claire Dargan, Membership Chair (not a board office), volunteering again in April, etc.
Nancy Restuccia, Past President, volunteering again in April, etc.
April 26 is the date set for the Spring Clean up. It is a Saturday morning.
Other dates are posted on the bulletin board and on the stbotolph.org website.
Speaker: Park Volunteer Representative, Franco CampanelloFranco Campanello, President of the Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy, represents a group of volunteer gardeners who are concerned about the condition of our one-wonderful park. The Conservancy has recently gotten non-profit, 501-C3 status and a grant of $26K with which it hopes to make modest improvements to save the rapidly deteriorating park:
Replace dead trees from West Newton to Carleton, est. $2-3K.
Establish a butterfly garden at Mass Avenue T stop area, est. $8K.
Install 24” fencing at Rutland Square, est. $8K.
Install Carleton Court planting bed, est. $1K
A number of park stressers have to be resolved: persistent drought, broken irrigation system, dog owner neglect, and an underground subway system. Here are the key players in park life:
The Southwest Corridor Park is managed by the DCR, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Boston Division of Urban Parks & Recreation. The park opened in 1987, is a 4.7 mile, 52-acre, linear park stretching from the Back Bay to Forest Hills. It links the neighborhoods of South End, Back Bay, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain with a street-level, green open space for parkland and recreation. Approximately a quarter of the parkland is decked over the railroad tracks, providing more space for grass and plantings, and such recreational facilities as 11 tot lot areas, 2 spray pools, 7 basketball courts, 5 tennis courts, 2 street hockey rinks, 2 amphitheaters, and approximately six miles of biking, jogging and walking paths.www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metroboston/southwestCorr.htm
PMAC, Parkland Management Advisory Committee
MDC, Metropolitan District Commission, no longer in existence
SBNA, The St. Botolph Neighborhood Association, which has agreed to work with the Conservancy and post a link to their organization on its website. www.Stbotolph.org.
South End Lower Roxbury Open Space Land Trust (SELROSLT) is a membership-supported, non-profit organization that owns, protects, and manages 16 community gardens and pocket parks in the South End and Lower Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston, email@example.com, (617) 437-0999
SW Corridor Park Conservancy, green park volunteers. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Boston Police Department: patrolling on a regular basis?
PRUPAC, the Prudential Project Advisory Committee, the official Citizens Advisory Committee to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Contact: Rodney.Sinclair.BRA@cityofboston.gov, 617-918-4349
Northeastern has an Environmental Department with engineering resources we might access.Lorraine Norwick might be a contact person here.
Helen Powell suggested we contact The Friends of Boston Garden, Henry Lee, to see how that group has organized itself and been so successful, working with the city and other agencies.
Speaker: Bill, Eddy, representing Big Belly Corporation
Bill Eddy made a presentation to the group explaining how these solar trash compactors save money and energy while helping residents keep neighborhoods clean. The Boston-based, 5 year old company has sold BB’s in New York, Chicago and as far away as Australia. Eddy showed a video and answered questions about the 330 pound, installed units that are animal and tamper proof. At the moment, the SBNA is investigating ways of getting funding from the city, area businesses, etc. For two BB’s, we would need about $7K. bigbelly.com.
Neighborhood BlogResident Dan Munson has set up an informal neighborhood blog where people can share ideas about the neighborhood: http://stbotolph.blogspot.com/.
Additional ParticipantsBoston City Councillor, John R. Connolly, sent his Policy Director, Adam Webster, to attend the meeting and report back. Councilor Connolly wants to be in the information loop: Adam.Webster@cityofboston.gov, 617-635-3115, zip 02201.
Betsy Johnson, Executive Director of the American Community Gardening Association and President of the South End Lower Roxbury Land Trust, a volunteer-run organization that owns and manages 16 community gardens in Boston. Betsy has 30 years of community activism experience in urban open space improvement, air quality, occupational health, recycling, and neighborhood development issues.
Janet Hunkel, who was not at the meeting, is another good resource. Jan.Hunkel@gmail.com
The meeting adjourned at 9:00.
Helen Powell, Clerk
Read our current and past meeting minutes here.