Special to the Sun
On August 19 State Representative Jon Santiago joined Claremont Neighborhood Association (CNA) to honor three neighbors for their various works of advocacy. Donna Gadomski won a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Citation for her animated film for the Humane Society International called Save Ralph, which was awarded a Grand Prix for Good at the Cannes Lions Festival. Franco Campanella won a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Citation for his work as president of the Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy and garden manager for the stretch between Harcourt and Northampton Streets. And Jim Gronemus was awarded the Frank Jordan Community Service Award for his tireless efforts cleaning leaves, picking up trash, and supporting neighborhood activities.
Wellington Green Stays Green Because People Care
How water came to Wellington Green makes for a wonderful story of human initiative and perseverance. This jewel of a garden patch now flourishes under the volunteer stewardship of Carey Erdman of Wellington Street and the ultimate oversight of the venerable Trustees of Reservations. But things were pretty rough in the beginning. Modest plantings replaced a rag-tag mostly vacant lot in the early 1990s, and Betsy Johnson of the South End Lower Roxbury Open Space Land Trust would occasionally tend to the much more modest plantings. In 1998 when Carey moved to the area, he planted a few additional flowers on his own and joined his neighbor Nanci Monahan maintaining the spot. To get water to the plantings, Nanci arranged for a firehose that she toted around in a wheelbarrow and hooked up manually to the nearby hydrant at a charge of $400 per summer. After a few seasons, Nanci bought an ordinary garden hose and hooked it up to a more convenient outside spigot on the wall of her building at 6 Wellington and then finally to a water source installed right in the garden through Betsy’s efforts. Even before retiring from his own landscaping business, Carey gradually became de facto manager, along the way donating a full irrigation system with financial help from his partner Carl. So Wellington Green is now kept nice and moist, and Carey’s ongoing work has brought amazing three-season color and texture to what started out as dirt, weeds, and trash. But in spite of occasional assists from groups of Northeastern students and neighbors during “Boston Shines” and “Love Your Block,” Carey could wish for more helping hands on multiple other chores. Consider this a shout-out to all CNA folks to step up when Bob Barney sends out his reminders about spring and fall clean-up!
All Muscles in Motion Keeps Older Adults Active and Connected
South End neighbors Grace and Jay Taylor had always known that human beings need regular activity and connection to stay happy and healthy. Finding no local service to address that need among older adults, they established All Muscles in Motion. AMIM Health offers a wide range of high-quality services and programs for seniors in Boston communities, including walkathons and weekly fitness classes led by professional personal trainers and yoga teachers. Already serving a network of over 200 families, Grace and Jay are eager to help additional folks set individual challenges and meet new friends to exercise with. To get in touch about an organizational partnership or to learn more about participating in AMIM Health’s programs, please contact Grace at [email protected], or fill out the contact form on the Web site at www.allmusclesinmotion.org.
Worcester Street Gardens Are a Community Success
Kory Wood moved to the South End in November 2020. He and his partner Dave live right behind the Worcester Street Community Garden – and its proximity was one of the reasons for their choice of location. Graduating from a first year of community action through holiday wreath hanging, Kory and Dave were thrilled to join the garden and have been maintaining a plot there since. Kory nominally runs garden operations but is quick to stress that the success of the venture is a community effort – and that there is up to 70 years of family history behind many of the plots. Dozens of gardeners pitched in recently to trim back bushes and plant hundreds of new perennial bulbs, along with a row of sunflowers right up to the Worcester Street sidewalk to put the garden’s best face forward. Community gardens don’t have trash pickup from the city, so Kory also helped institute a new compost service with Black Earth Compost. And thanks to Todd Erceg’s service as liaison, they formed a partnership with Dias Restoration, whose owner generously volunteers to pick up trash for free.