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Caminatas Seguras: Advocating for Park Accessibility in East Boston

Caminatas Seguras: Advocating for Park Accessibility in East Boston

East Boston community members gather with GreenRoots and WalkBoston in Bremen Street Park

Last Tuesday, June 14, WalkBoston joined East Boston residents and members of GreenRoots, a non-profit dedicated to improving access to and enjoyment of the urban environment of Boston and its surrounding communities, on a walk through multiple parks in East Boston. GreenRoots hosts walks in East Boston every Tuesday beginning at Bremen Street Park, with the hope of building community among East Boston Residents through sharing the joy that can be found in exploring the neighborhood’s various parks and neighborhoods. The organization invited WalkBoston members along for one Tuesday walk per month, as part of both organizations’ collaborative work focused on improving walking access to parks and advocating for more inclusive park programming.

GreenRoots, WalkBoston, and East Boston community members began with a short introduction, sharing names, laughs, gestures of welcoming, and inspiring stories of challenges that led members to find purpose and connection through volunteering. The group then began their walk from the center of Bremen Street Community Park to the Mary Ellen Welch greenway. These two parks were chosen due to their tree shading, which was beneficial as it offered cooling on a hot summer day, but also reflected the limited cool areas in East Boston.

Both of these parks proved to be flourishing community gathering points, filled with people on foot, on bike, and in stroller, all sharing stories and smiles with one another. Along the way, group members introduced themselves and talked about community building, the importance of conserving our natural landscapes, appreciation of park amenities, and expressed a desire for the many still needed improvements to these landscapes, including accessible walking paths and signage. Residents also commented on the effect of neighborhood improvements on housing prices, advocating for an increase in affordable housing to combat gentrification in the area.

WalkBoston and GreenRoots, through generous funding from Boston Children’s Hospital, will continue working and walking alongside the many East Boston residents dedicated to cultivating their community, both as a physical and as an interpersonal space. This work will further our mission of improving walking safety and accessibility throughout Massachusetts, amplifying the voices of the many respected communities and community members with which we work.

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