News & Updates

BRA awards $180,000 to five local nonprofits for beautification of Fenway neighborhood

Feb 26, 2016

Five non-profit organizations are poised to undertake a range of projects to help enhance the Fenway neighborhood thanks to $180,000 in grant funding that was recently awarded by the Boston Redevelopment Authority through an open application process. The funds stem from the Fenway Park Demonstration Project, an agreement made with the Boston Red Sox in September 2013 for certain game and event day easements on Yawkey Way.

As part of the agreement, the Red Sox will contribute $100,000 each year for ten years to support beautification efforts in the Fenway. After receiving the first two payments, the BRA began accepting applications from nonprofit organizations for the community benefits funding and is now happy to announce the first five awardees:

  • Artists for Humanity (AFH) works to bridge economic, racial, and social divisions by providing under-resourced urban youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. With funding from the Fenway Community Benefits Fund, AFH plans to design, paint, and install two large-scale murals on Ipswich Street that provide passersby with a bright and vibrant welcome to the community. Trans National Properties will support AFH’s project by matching the funding awarded by the BRA.
  • The Emerald Necklace Conservancy was founded in 1998 to maintain, restore, and protect the parks of the Emerald Necklace for all to explore, use, and enjoy. With BRA funding, the organization proposes to conduct the Gatehouse Woodlands Restoration Project in conjunction with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. The project will help restore a woodlands area between the Fenway and the river through several means, such as removing unsightly downed trees that have fallen into the Muddy River, aerating soil and applying gypsum to restore nutrients for plant health, installing new plantings, and undertaking other landscaping improvements.
  • The Fenway Civic Association (FCA) was founded in 1961 by a group of East Fenway friends and neighbors in order to clean their streets, beautify their surroundings, and protect their residents. The FCA plans to use this funding to complete a community-inspired, musically-themed sculpture by Jacob Kulin at Symphony Community Park in East Fenway. The sculpture, which has been reviewed and approved by the Boston Art Commission and the Parks Department, has already received funding to cover structural engineering reviews, the installation of a granite base, and the procurement and assembly of various materials. This new round of funding will allow the sculptor to complete fabrication, lighting, and installation.
  • Fenway Community Development Corporation works to improve the lives of low- and moderate-income residents by providing affordable housing, social support services, adult education, workforce development, financial literacy, and civic engagement. With this funding, the Fenway CDC has proposed to either sign a contract with an organization called Geese Police that specializes in Canadian goose population control, or initiate the construction and maintenance of a pair of solar-lit bulletin boards to help coordinate and broadcast community events in the East and West Fens. 
  • The Trustees of the Reservation preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts. The Trustees’ proposed project will utilize funds to beautify the Symphony Road Community Garden in East Fenway. The garden, which is owned by the Trustees, is approximately 13,000 square feet and hosts 42 individual garden plots. The awardees were asked to submit a detailed plan and budget that described how their organizations would utilize the grant to deliver a service or project that contributes in a measurable way to the beautification of the Fenway community. The Fenway community benefits fund was launched after the BRA successfully piloted a standardized application for similar funding associated with the D Street hotels development in South Boston last year.
The BRA will utilize this open application process to disburse funding to other communities in the future, when available. The BRA is pleased to announce the first five recipients of the Fenway Community Benefits Fund and looks forward to the results of these organizations’ projects!

A second round of funding is expected to be released in the spring.

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