Friends of Union Park to Highlight Improvements, Fundraise With Movie Night

The Friends of Union Park will take Friday night as an opportunity to show off some improvements to the Park, as well as highlight more than needs to be done, and they’ll accomplish all of that with a relaxing movie in the park.

Abigail Cohen, chair of the Friends, said they have had to do a lot of work on the trees lately, and now they need to look to raise money, support and recruit more volunteers to take care of restoring the grass in what is a neighborhood gem.

“We had to do work on the trees, and now we have to restore the grass and put down seed,” she said. “We did a lot of research and found a landscaping company that would work with us. All these things cost money and take time. Everyone on the Friends of Union Park and Union Park Neighborhood Association (UPNA) is a volunteer and I believe we are one of the most active committees in UPNA. The Park is one of the central features of the neighborhood, and it’s part of what makes the neighborhood a great place.”

And that great feature in the neighborhood is in a bit of disrepair, and that is a major concern because Union Park is a neighborhood where many consider the Park their front yard.

“The problem is so many feel like it’s just a park, but we’re a neighborhood where people sit on their stoops,” she said. “People take tours there and those tours stop at Union Park. We want to maintain the park for us, and for the visitors and for the future neighbors. It’s a City park, and it’s part of our community. A little bit from everyone every year will help us restore it.

Cohen and several other neighbors hope that by offering a fun movie night in exchange for donations, they can encourage people to help restore this gem.

“If every condo gave $50 one time a year, we’d be fine,” she said. “However, we saw that many on the park are renters and don’t know what’s going on. We have a game plan to make it better, and that’s where this fund-raising activity comes in. Step one was taking care of the trees, and they seem to be doing well. Now, Step 2 will be seeding the lawn and that’s the process we’re in now. The landscaping company said it could take 36 months to really restore it. Crews are still planting grass now and we have to do another re-seeding in the fall. Next spring, we’ll have to do another extensive re-seeding where we’ll have to stay off the lawn for one month.”

So it is that on Friday, June 21, the neighborhood will gather on Union Park at 6 p.m. to watch a Boston baseball-themed movie (which cannot be announced in print). Neighbors will be invited into the Park to relax, and the movie will start at dusk.

“A move is something that isn’t super active and is relaxing,” Cohen said. “We want to see who comes out. We’re asking for a $5 suggested donation. It’s not set in stone, but we hope everyone gives what they can.”

It will be the first time that neighbors will be able to go on the Park this year, as the landscaping company did their first seeding on May 8 and it has been close to protect that new grass ever since.

The Friends are also making a plea for volunteers to help set up the movie night and also to clean up afterward, especially because the Fete de la Musique will be held in the Park the next day. Anyone who would like to volunteer can do so by emailing:  [email protected]

“People in the neighborhood are very proud of Union Park and we want to keep them proud of it,” said Cohen.

The rain date will be on June 27 if need be.

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