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Beautify Boston funds 36 city projects

A grant program called Beautify Boston is giving $286,000 to nonprofit groups to fund park beautification projects. One of the recipients was the Friends of Rambler Park, Inc., of Rambler Park in West Fenway. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

In an effort to enhance the city’s landscape, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino awarded $286,000 to the Beautify Boston Grant Program to fund 36 beautification projects, which will be completed by the end of 2013.

Jacquelyn Goddard, marketing, Communications and External Affairs Director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department said each of the projects funded by the grant program must be completed by Dec. 31.

“We don’t want them applying for money now that won’t help make the City of Boston beautiful this year,” she said.

Goddard said these grants would enrich scenic Boston in a matter of months.

“The mayor just wants Boston to be more beautiful and wants to encourage the public to help the City of Boston to make Boston more beautiful,” she said.

Menino created the Beautify Boston Grant Program in September to support the BPRD by offering grants to nonprofit organizations to enhance the aesthetics of Boston’s community areas and neighborhood open spaces, according to the Beautify Boston website.

“Beautify Boston carries on my administration’s tradition of working in partnership with residents and community groups to bring out the best in our neighborhoods,” Menino said in a Feb. 5 press release.

“Our partners help to keep our city livable and beautiful, and we are pleased to help them in these efforts.”

Among the 36 recipients of the grant are the Fenway Civic Association and Friends of the Public Garden. Both organizations will receive $10,000 for landscape restoration, according to the Beautify Boston spreadsheet for grants.

The Sustainability Guild International and the Boston Natural Areas Network received $25,000 — the most amount given to any organization — for Bowdoin Plaza and citywide tree planting respectively, according to the spreadsheet.

The Metropolitan Baptist Church received $750 for planting trees, the least amount of money granted by the program, according to the grant spreadsheet.

Community groups, civic associations and nonprofits had to fill out applications requesting a certain amount of money for their projects, Goddard said.

She also said the groups were required to submit letters of support from community members to ensure good public standing.

Organizations received grant money based on their request, and most were granted what they asked for. Projects were only denied grant money if their credentials did not meet the criteria for the program, Goddard said.

Some people said they enjoy the open spaces in Boston.

“I like the open space because it gives you a place to hang out and walk,” said Dan Sullivan, 54, a resident of the South End and certified public accountant.

Sullivan said Boston does a great job of adding more green spaces to the city to make it more livable.

“It’s just great to be able to hang out outdoors in the city,” he said. Qatherine Dana, a 20-year-old student at Northeastern, said she is used to being around nature.

“I grew up in the woods,” she said. “I live in the city for school, but I really need places around here that I can be with nature.”

Dana said she would like to see more places beautified for the winter season. I go to the Esplanade in the summer, but in the winter there’s very few places where I can go,” she said. “I just really love having green spaces, and anything that could encourage people to come and love it too would be great.”
Rachel Riley also contributed to this article.

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