Hello Members and Friends of Egleston Square Neighborhood Association,
Here are notes from our May and June meetings and other updates:
- Police Report
- Franklin Park Zoo Programming Design Initiative
- Boston’s Grassroots Program, Boston Food Forest Coalition, & 174-176 Boylston St.
- Upcoming Events
The biggest news from our Police Report is that Officer Jones is retiring! And he is getting married! Officer Jones has been with E-13 since 1996, and he has certainly been a familiar and welcome face at ESNA and other community meetings throughout Jamaica Plain. We will miss him, and wish him all the best in his new endeavors.
Franklin Park Zoo
Franklin Park Zoo, Antioch University, and Americorp volunteers are working together on a design initiative for the Franklin Park Zoo. Nicole Conklin, Kayla Cranston, and members of the team spoke with us about their 3-year planning process to help Franklin Park Zoo better serve local residents by co-developing Zoo programming directly with residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.
For further info and to contact:
https://www.zoonewengland.org/discover/the-zoo-the-community/ – click the pull-down option entitled “Co-Designing Conservation with (not for) our Neighbors”
Boston’s Grassroots Program, Boston Food Forest Coalition, & 174-176 Boylston St.
Shani Fletcher of Boston’s Grassroots Program spoke with us the process for acquiring city-owned parcels for open space projects, such as the city-owned lot at 174-176 Boylston St. The process starts with a community meeting to explore the community vision for the site. The meeting must include notice to abutters. If there is a general consensus about the potential use, her office drafts and issues a request for proposals (RFP). The RFP usually takes 4-6 weeks to prepare, and is left open for about 30 days for project proposals from interested parties. The proposals are assessed by her office to see if they address diversity & inclusion, if they have community support and reflect the community vision, and if they demonstrate financial and administrative capacity to carry out the project. The selected proposal then goes to Boston’s Public Facilities Department (PFD) for approval. PFD approval may take up to a year, and during that time, the group bringing the proposal can finalize their design and raise funds. The next step is similar to a real estate closing: the City turns over the land to the group bringing the proposal. The open space projects have to be open to the public. Some open space projects include gardens, farms, food-producing lots, and passive park space. The City can contribute $75,000-100,000 towards development costs for the site.
Shani will schedule a meeting in the near future to consider an open space project at 174-176 Boylston.
Boston Food Forest Coalition (BFFC) member Alex Alvanos was in attendance and spoke about BFFC’s experience. BFFC has partnered with the City and with others and now have 13 sites, including the Egleston Community Orchard at 195 Boylston. BFFC supports neighborhood stewardship teams, the neighbors who actually care for the sites; BFFC provides support by running educational events and technical training, by providing design help, and by serving as a land trust. BFFC is very interested in working with people interested in creating new open space projects, including one at 174-176 Boylston.
One group that is interested in the lot at 174-176 Boylston is the Boston Outdoor Preschool Network. Sarah Besse, Co-founder and Director, told us BOPN would like to participate in creating community green space and a shared-use community room.
More info & contact:
1990 Columbus Ave., Doris Bunté Apartments
ESNA will work with Egleston Square Main Streets and the BHA Management Team at 1990 Columbus Ave to support the June picnic in honor of Doris Bunte. ESNA will also work with BHA Management Team and members of the Egleston Coalition to advocate for more resources for security services.
Egleston Square Branch Library
ESNA requested the Library Study Team hold a public meeting specifically focused on discussing Library programming and building design because the main topic at the other public meetings have been on the housing portion and there has not been substantial discussion of the library itself.