One of the Flynn Administration’s first initiatives was to organize neighborhood cleanups, asking volunteer groups to “adopt” a public area and clean it up, with the city providing equipment and trash pickup. Michael Reiskind and I thought that the Jamaica Plain cleanup was such a great success that it should become an annual event and since then, with the help of the Mayor’s Office, we have organized “The Annual Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Cleanup.” One of my duties has been to write a “thank you” letter to the editor to all those who participated.
This year, it is a great pleasure to do this because participation was so great, with new groups and individuals joining us for the first time. I wish that I could thank everybody by name, but space does not permit, so naming the groups participating and group leaders will have to suffice.
Public officials: Mayor Menino’s Office of Neighborhood Services Liaison to JP, Jullieanne Doherty, and her assistant, Nancy (a.k.a. Mom) were indefatigable and indispensable. Our two stalwart state reps., Liz Malia and Jeff Sánchez, made their annual contribution of caffeine, calories and cleanup, and our two newest city councilors, Matt O’Malley and Ayanna Pressley, helped with tool distribution and enthusiasm. Valerie Frias of Matt O’Malley’s staff and Roland Fonseca were extraordinary as well.
Neighborhood associations: Stonybrook Neighborhood Association, Andrew Padilla; Jamaica Pond Neighborhood Association, Karen Wepsic; and Asticou-Martinwood-South Street Neighborhood Association, Bernard and Karen Doherty, shined.
Church groups: Bethel AME, Tom Burke; Cape Cod Covenant Church of Brewster; and Christ the King Presbyterian Church of Cambridge gave divine assistance.
Area Crime Watches: Parkton Road, Karaugh Brown; and Child Street, Matt Henzy, showed that clean neighborhoods are safe neighborhoods.
Main Street groups: Egleston Square, Betsy Cowan; Hyde-Jackson Squares, Carlos Schillaci; and JP Centre-South, Randace Moore.
Ad Hoc groups: Union Ave, Kathy Wilder; Woodlawn Street, Mary Lundergan; Beecher Park, Joe Porcelli; Montebello Road, Mary Peppard; Woodbourne, Brian Potter; Southwest Corridor Community Farm, Wendy Stander; and Tower Street, Angela Gordon; and Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council, Jesse Zoldak.
On behalf of Michael and me, thank you, thank you, to Julieanne and all the others for your labors of love. You’re the best. See you next April.