Thursday, December 30, 2010

'Tis the Season

This season, please consider supporting a local organization that helps make South Boston a greener and healthier place. We have compiled a partial list.

Cheers to a green 2011!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 27 meeting rescheduled

Because of the snow, we will reschedule the December 27 meeting. New date to be announced soon. Stay safe and cozy Southie!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

Today, there will be no Friday Update so that we can celebrate Christmas Eve. Stay warm and enjoy the season!

Friday, December 17, 2010

What's green in Southie this week? Lots!

Oh my goodness! So much green stuff happening in South Boston this week! Check out our Friday Update.

The next Planet Southie Monthly Meeting is Monday, December 27 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: South Boston Branch Library, 646 East Broadway. Everyone is welcome at Planet Southie!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Update: How to plug into Southie's green initiatives

There is so much great stuff in this week's Friday Update! See for yourself :)

The next Planet Southie Monthly Meeting is Monday, December 27 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: South Boston Branch Library, 646 East Broadway. Everyone is welcome at Planet Southie!

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6 Tree Action Team (Southie Trees) Meeting Agenda

Below is an outline for the Tree Action Team (Southie Trees) meeting tonight. It will be held at:

Seapoint Restaurant
367 East 8th Street
Monday, December 6th, at 6:30 PM


Everyone is welcome!

The agenda is jam-packed  - there is much to discuss and many decisions to be made.  We’d like to stick to an hour if possible, but recognize we may run over that.  Please be ready for a streamlined meeting with optional time afterwards for extended discussions.

Southie Trees Dec 6 Meeting Agenda

    * Greeting and Check-in (10 mins)
          o Welcome newcomers and check in
    * Strategic Planning
          o Tree Map - What we have and what we will need  (10 mins)
          o Neighborhood Associations – How can we best partner with them?  (10 mins)
    * Materials (10 mins)
          o Documents - GBG flyers, etc.  What other docs would be helpful?
          o Tree Sources
                + Arbor Day (Bare Root, Pine Trees in a tube, etc)
                + Others?
    * Boston Tree Party Presentation (10 mins)
    * Timeline for next year (10 mins)

o   Kickoff party

Friday, December 3, 2010

This Week's Friday Update: Opportunities to Plug In to a Greener South Boston

This Week's Friday Update: Opportunities to Plug In to a Greener South Boston.

The next Planet Southie Monthly Meeting is Monday, December 27 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: South Boston Branch Library, 646 East Broadway. Everyone is welcome at Planet Southie!

Monday, December 6 is the next Planet Southie Tree Action Team (Southie Trees) Meeting 6:30 pm at Seapoint Restaurant, 367 East 8th Street. All are welcome!

Are you interested in a local green issue that is not currently a major focus of Planet Southie? Consider coordinating a Planet Southie Action Team to mobilize support for that issue. Come to our monthly meeting and share your ideas! Some ideas for new Action Teams: Energy efficiency, public transportation, biking, walking, asthma prevention, climate change, environmental justice, safe Rx disposal, neighborhood clean-ups and more. Action Teams can be short or long-term. You don't have to be an expert!

Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, November 26, 2010

This Week's Friday Update: Opportunities to Plug Into a Greener South Boston

Check out this week's update! Many ways to plug in.

Next Planet Southie Meeting is Monday, December 27 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: South Boston Branch Library, 646 East Broadway. Everyone is welcome at Planet Southie!

From a mosaic in the garden alongside Thomas Park. The work at the Garden at Thomas Park was done by Medicine Artists and Youth. The Project is called "No Man's Land Our Common Path Moving Beyond Diversity to Inclusion." Learn about Medicine Wheel Productions at www.mwproductions.org.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Time to Plug In Southie! Our Friday Update.



It is Friday, at last! Please read the update and check out all of the great opportunities to build a greener Southie. Then plug in! It doesn't really matter where you start...

Next Planet Southie Meeting is Monday, November 22 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: South Boston Branch Library, 646 East Broadway. Everyone is welcome at Planet Southie!


43 East and West Broadway Stores Sign Litter Pledge

Below is a draft of a letter that the South Boston Youth Ambassadors plan to send to the South Boston Chamber of Commerce.


To: The South Boston Chamber of Commerce
From: The South Boston Youth Ambassadors
Re: October 10 Broadway Clean Up and Shopkeeper Litter Pledges

Dear Chamber Members,

Thank you for inviting us to share more information about our work. Here is one example. On Sunday, October 10, Youth Ambassadors participated in a Broadway littler clean-up spanning the Broadway T station to L Street. Additional participants included over 15 other South Boston residents (including Sister Susan Morris, members of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association and members of the neighborhood volunteer group Planet Southie).

As you know, we have been doing West and East Broadway beautification and clean-ups for quite some time. We are continually saddened and frustrated to see that as soon as we clean up a sidewalk, new trash appears a moment later. It feels especially sad when we see trash littering one of the tree beds that we have just worked to clean, weed, plant and mulch. We share this frustration at our weekly Youth Ambassadors meetings. At a recent meeting we wrote a simple pledge for shopkeepers to sign. The pledge states the following:

I pledge that I will take responsibility to remove the debris in front of my store.

We did not know what to expect from shopkeepers in response. While some of us were cleaning up the sidewalks on October 10, some of us visited each shop along West and East Broadway between the Broadway T station and L Street. We teamed up with adults (like Sister Susan) and entered each store. Once there, we explained what we were doing and politely asked if there was a manager available who might be able to sign the pledge. We were thrilled and surprised by the positive response. Employees at 43 stores signed the pledge. Please note that some stores have been unable to sign the pledge yet because they were not open that morning.* They are (in no particular order):
  1. Broadway Dunkin Donuts
  2. News Broadway
  3. Blue Tierra Chocolate Café
  4. Burger King
  5. Shell
  6. Shenanigans
  7. Figaro’s
  8. Bailey’s Too
  9. Café Broadway
  10. Queen Spa
  11. Schuberts
  12. Donut Donuts
  13. Hub Video
  14. The Playwright
  15. Drogan’s Ice Cold Beer
  16. Terrie’s Place
  17. Cranberry Café
  18. Rite Aid
  19. Boston Beer Garden
  20. Metro PCS
  21. Nick’s Pizza
  22. The Blackthorn
  23. 7-11
  24. Lee Chen’s
  25. McGoo’s Pizzeria
  26. Amsterdam Café
  27. Gaelic Day Spa Salon
  28. Three Clover Pizza
  29. Tedeschi’s
  30. Pat’s Trattoria
  31. South Boston Chinese
  32. Radio Shack
  33. Land of Pizza
  34. Gulf
  35. Doughboy Donuts
  36. District Six Police Station
  37. J & J Discount Mini Mart
  38. Kim’s Market
  39. Broadway Pizza
  40. Edible Arrangements
  41. Broadway Lock Co.
  42. Motivated Fitness
  43. Dewberry Dogs
Above is a photo of some of us with the Playwright manager while he signs our pledge. Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to learn more. We would like to explore ways to collaborate with the South Boston Chamber of Commerce in our ongoing efforts to build a cleaner community for all of us to share and feel proud of.

Sincerely,

The South Boston Youth Ambassadors

* Any store wishing to make the pledge is welcome to email planetsouthie@gmail.com to do so and will then be added to the list.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Planet Southie Tree Action Team Update


11/9/10 Planet Southie Tree Action Team meeting: Tree Team co-coordinators Julie Gehring and Mike Kissenger will be holding an open steering meeting for the Tree Team.

What: Planet Southie Tree Action Team Steering Meeting
Where: Farragut House, 149 P Street, South Boston, MA
When: November 9, 7:30 PM
Why: To start a discussion and make initial plans for the Tree Action Team

Mike will be taking notes and will be sending them out for anyone who can’t make it. We’ll try to answer the following questions:
  • When is a good time to meet? (Monthly on Thursday evenings is currently the leading time slot)
  • What are good initial goals for adding trees in South Boston?
  • What obstacles will we need to overcome? 
  • Who else can we reach out to in the community?
If you cannot make it, but would like to contribute to the discussion, please send an email to Mike (mike.kissinger@techboston.com) and we will be sure to raise your ideas at the meeting.


In this update (posted on 11/4/10):

1. Welcome
2. Strategic discussion and initial suggestions
3. Connecting and expanding the group

1. Welcome!

Welcome to our first update. First, I'd thank you for your interest. This team is the branch of Planet Southie rooted in helping Southie recover its tree cover. We definitely have our work cut out for us. South Boston is currently ranked 14th out of Boston's 16 neighborhoods in terms of tree canopy (if you were looking down from an airplane, you would see fewer leaves in Southie). The upside to this situation is that we also have more potential to increase our tree cover than any other neighborhood!

The tree gap impacts the community in a real way. Trees reduce air pollution and asthma rates. They keep streets and homes cool in the summer. Studies show big trees reduce crime and tree-lined streets discourage speeding. On top of all that, a mature tree can increase the value of a home by thousands of dollars!

I'd also like to thank Julie Gehring who has stepped up to co-coordinate. Julie and I will be meeting next Tuesday evening to discuss possibilities for the group. Once a time and location has been decided, we'll let everyone know.

2. Strategic Discussion

I'd like to invite you to join the discussion. To seed the conversation, here are a few questions:
  • How can we best get trees in the earth and keep them there?
  • What are some points of resistance we may run into?
  • Who else would be interested in seeing our plan bear fruit?
Below are some suggestions based on prior conversations. Please feel welcome to add your thoughts and make suggestions!

Stakeholders to connect with:
  • Landlords
  • Developers
  • Homeowners
  • Community groups
  • Organizations/businesses
  • Local, State, Federal Government
Recognize and confront challenges:
  • Leaf raking is a pain, especially for the elderly - maybe evergreens are a better option
  • Trees can get too big for small yards - small ornamental or dwarf fruit trees might be ideal here
  • Some people just don't want them

3. Connecting and expanding the group

If you or your friends or neighbors want to get involved, please have contact planetsouthie@gmail.com to be added to the Tree Action Team email list.

We are also looking for a monthly meeting time and location that will work for the group. If you would like to attend, please email mike.kissinger@techboston.com with times in the evening that would work for you.

Thank you, Southie Trees!

Mike Kissinger
Tree Action Team Co-Coordinator

Friday, October 29, 2010

Plug in Southie: this week's Friday Update

This week's update is up!

Find out what is happening with the new Tree Action Team and other opportunities to plug into a greener South Boston.

Next Planet Southie Meeting is Monday, November 22 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: South Boston Branch Library, 646 East Broadway. Everyone is welcome at Planet Southie!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weekly Update: How to plug into Southie's green initiatives

Gardens and harvests and clean-ups! Oh my! Read all about it in this week's update.

Next Planet Southie Meeting is Monday, October 25 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: Tech Networks of Boston, 1 Wadleigh Place in South Boston, right behind the Andrew Square T stop.  All are welcome at Planet Southie!

Today's Harvest Day at the South Boston Grows flagship garden

Harvest volunteers

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's Friday. Time to Plug in Southie!

Want to make South Boston a cleaner and greener place to live?  Time to Plug in Southie!

Next Planet Southie Meeting is Monday, October 25 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: Tech Networks of Boston, 1 Wadleigh Place in South Boston, right behind the Andrew Square T stop. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

10/10/10: Here we come!

Well. Here we are! After two months of planning, our 10/10/10 Broadway Clean Up starts in less than 12 hours!  Go here to see who is coming and learn more. Photos will be posted below and on our Facebook page right after the event.

Special thanks to the South Boston Youth Ambassadors, The West Broadway Neighborhood Association and to our Clean Up Team Leaders: Sr. Susan, Mike C., Susan L., Mike M., Nicole, and Jake!

10/10/10 Broadway Clean Up Volunteers Get to Work!
video

Friday, October 8, 2010

10 Ways to Plug Into a Greener South Boston

Wondering how to help build a greener cleaner South Boston? Opportunities abound in this week's Friday Update.

Important Planet Southie news item: Heads up! We are forming a Planet Southie Tree Action Team. Please email us at planetsouthie@gmail.com to learn more. Many thanks to Mike Kissinger for leading this focused effort to protect our trees and to increase South Boston's tree cover (at 9% tree cover, South Boston has fewer trees than any other neighborhood in the City of Boston). Stay tuned for further details about tree information sessions, meetings and other opportunities to learn more and get involved.

What is an Action Team? Action Teams are dynamic work groups; composed of dedicated folks who roll up their sleeves to get things done in between our monthly general meetings. Interest has been expressed in organizing additional Planet Southie Action Teams on other topics, including asthma and climate change. If you are interested in one of these, or in another environmental focus, please let us know. The quantity, scope and impact of Action Teams are limited only by our community's passion, time, energy and creativity.

Next Planet Southie Meeting is Monday, October 25 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: Tech Networks of Boston, 1 Wadleigh Place in South Boston, right behind the Andrew Square T stop. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

South Boston's Farmers Market every Monday: Yum!

Through November 22, the South Boston Farmers Market is every Monday from 10 am - 6 pm at 446 W. Broadway. $10 of free food when you use an EBT card. 

There is still plenty of beautiful produce available. We just took these pictures last week! More photos here.

Summer squash, zucchini, corn and cabbage


Colorful gourds

Still lots of tomatoes in October!

Cara (The Food Project), Mary Lou (Marker Manager and WIC) and Altagracia (Boston Public Health Commission) at the Farmers Market

Graham from Freitas Farm

Get ready for Halloween!

Farm fresh eggs

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Update and Meeting Notes

Please check out today's Friday Update to learn how to plug into South Boston environmental efforts.
Please email us to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter: Plug In Southie. 

Also, Notes from our 9/27 monthly meeting are now available.

Next Planet Southie Meeting is Monday, October 25 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: Tech Networks of Boston, 1 Wadleigh Place in South Boston, right behind the Andrew Square T stop.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

October 2 Carson Beach Clean Up is 3 days away!

Jason Z helped out with the Beach Clean Up
With the help of other community members, Team Seaport will be cleaning up South Boston's beaches this Saturday. More photos here.
  • Where: Carson Beach at the McCormack Bath House on Day Boulevard across from Moakley Park, just a few hundred feet from the Bayside Expo Center and the State Police barracks. Plenty of parking is available.
  • When: Saturday - 10/2 from 8am - 10am
  • Who:  Fun for families and friends, so please feel free to bring whoever you would like.
  • Coffee, juice and donuts will be served.  
  • Seaport will provide the gloves and trash bags for the event. 
  • The weather looks to be mostly sunny with the highs in the mid 60's. As we will be there early you still may feel the chill from the overnight air so, dress appropriately. 
Please RSVP to matthew.moore@seaportboston.com

After the clean up, head over to Fort Point Channel for the Boston Local Food Festival from 11 am to 5 pm! Free admission. Support local growers. Look for the South Boston Grows table near the big milk bottle by the Children's Museum. Photos here.

Phoebe and Friends at the Boston Local Food Fest

Friday, September 24, 2010

This week's Friday Update: Opportunities to Plug In

Extra! Extra! Read all about it in this week's Friday Update:
  • 9/27 Planet Southie Meeting
  • 10/2 Carson Beach Clean Up


  • 10/5 and 10/19: First Street Development Meeting
  • 10/9 Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day


  • 10/10 Broadway Clean Up


  • 10/12 MBTA Service Plan Outreach Meeting
  • 11/5 MA Farmers Markets Fundraiser 
Please email us to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter: Plug In Southie. 

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Come to Planet Southie's next meeting on Monday, 9/27 at 6:30 pm

    Next Planet Southie Meeting is Monday, September 27 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: Tech Networks of Boston, 1 Wadleigh Place in South Boston, right behind the Andrew Square T stop.

    1 Wadleigh Place is a large brick building with two sets of blue doors.  The conference room is on the first floor.  We'll be sure to put up signs on the door to help anyone who gets lost.  Parking is available in the parking lot at 1 Wadleigh Place and also on Dexter St. 
    Here's a map.

    Agenda will include introductions and updates (which took over half the meeting last time) and some planning. Please feel welcome to submit agenda items prior to the meeting.

    See you there! All are welcome at Planet Southie.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Friday Update: How to plug into Southie's green initiatives

    Featured in this week's Plug In Southie Friday Update:
    • Our 10/10/10 event
    • First Street Development
    • Ongoing opportunities to plug in
    • Details about our 9/27 meeting
    Please email us to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter: Plug In Southie. 

      Tuesday, September 14, 2010

      Don't miss Planet Southie's 10/10/10 Broadway Clean Up

      At 10:10 am on 10/10/10, members of Planet Southie, the West Broadway Neighborhood Association, the South Boston Youth Ambassadors and others will meet at Broadway T station and then walk down Broadway to L Street, picking up litter and recycling along the way.

      • We will carry copies of the Mayor's Climate Change Pledge for people to sign as well as surveys about public transportation.
      • Youth Ambassadors will be visiting shops along the way, asking shopkeepers to sign a pledge promising to keep the sidewalks outside of their stores clean.
      • All are welcome! Sign up at the Event Website

      10/10/10 is a global day of action on climate change. Events will be happening simultaneously all over the world. More information is at www.350.org.

      How to Get Involved Planning the Event: We would love some help! Please email planetsouthie@gmail.com or call 617-962-1735.

      Friday, September 10, 2010

      This week's update: Plug In Southie!

      Check out this week's Friday update for opportunities to plug into a greener South Boston:
      • 10/10/10 global warming event planning meeting
      • Boston Local Food Festival
      • South Boston Street Festival
      • More!
      Next Planet Southie Meeting is Monday, September 27 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Location: Tech Networks of Boston, 1 Wadleigh Place in South Boston, right behind the Andrew Square T stop.

      Please email us to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter: Plug In Southie. 

      Friday, September 3, 2010

      Plug In Southie! Our Friday Update

      Check out Planet Southie's Friday Update: a neighborhood guide to plugging into a greener South Boston. The update highlights opportunities to get involved in South Boston-based environmental initiatives.
      Please email us to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter: Plug In Southie. 

      Thursday, August 26, 2010

      First Planet Southie meeting a smash!

      Wow! We are pleased as punch that 22 wonderful people showed up at our first Planet Southie meeting on Monday, August 23. Please see the Meeting Notes to learn who is involved how to plug into South Boston environmental projects including:
      • Anti-litter campaigns
      • Community gardens
      • Farmers market
      • Global warming event on 10-10-10
      • Public transportation
      • Recycling
      • Environmental justice
      • Saving the trees in Andrew Square
      • Solar power event
      There is also interest in asthma initiatives.

      We decided to meet the 4th Monday of every month from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Location to be determined (the library is booked).
       
      Next meeting is September 27, 2010. See you there!

      Stay tuned by following Planet Southie on Twitter and Facebook

      Thursday, August 5, 2010

      Planet Southie's First Meeting on Monday, August 23


      We're excited to announce that our first meeting will be at the South Boston Branch Library (646 East Broadway) on Monday, August 23rd from 6:30-7:30pm.

      The event is completely open to the public and all are welcome to join us in the official kick-off to this new community-based movement. After the meeting we'll be reconvening at the Blackthorn Pub to celebrate the launch of our group, get to know one another, and bask in the warmth of a proper Irish pub.

      Agenda items include, but are not limited in any way, to:
      Please leave comments and suggestions for these and other agenda items. We really look forward to meeting all of you and sharing our ideas and insights.

      For more information, contact Stefanie Valovic and Aaron Miller at 617-962-1735 or planetsouthie@gmail.com.

      Please share, email and post our promotional flyer!

      Wednesday, August 4, 2010

      Planning first Planet Southie communitiy meeting

      Please chime in on the comments if you would like to promote, attend and/or help coordinate our first Planet Southie community meeting!

      By the end of August (sooner than later), we will meet at the South Boston branch of the Boston Public Library (and visit the Blackthorn afterwards!). We will promote this meeting as soon as a date is jointly decided on.

      We have set up some online communication tools (website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and an email account), and our next step is to meet our neighbors and put our heads together. Some ideas for discussion at the meeting (please feel free to suggest others):

      • Plans to reach out to others in our community
      • Plans to promote the South Boston Farmer's Market (Mondays at 460 West Broadway)
      • Plans to research and promote Cooling Centers (places set up by the City of Boston for people with out air conditioning to go in a heat wave, since this is the hottest summer ever). View the map Aaron made.
      • Plans to post pictures of Southie gardens to celebrate folks devoted to growing things
      • Plan an event for 10-10-10
      • Plan to support Southie community gardens*. There is only one listed and it is called Foster's Nook Community Garden at 344 Athens St . It's on our South Boston community gardens Google map
      • More (please share your ideas)
      *Update: Suport these amazing South Boston Grows initiatives:

      1) The George Berlandi garden in the Old Colony Housing Development is under way with 12 raised beds thanks to the help of South Boston Basketball Academy and the Crittendon Women's Union.

      2) Visit the South Boston Grows community garden (and pick up some free produce!) Food will be distributed at South Boston Grows (70 Devine Way is the flagship site) on Thursdays at 1:30 pm.

      More info at www.southbostongrows.org

        Monday, August 2, 2010

        South Boston Cooling Centers

        We're building a map in Google showing locations of official City of Boston cooling centers for the South Boston area. The City of Boston website has more information to help residents cope with high temperatures. Suggestions on providing more information are always welcome, so feel free to post a comment.


        View South Boston Cooling Centers in a larger map

        Our first post: the inspiration for Planet Southie

        Welcome to Planet Southie!

        We are in the midst of reading a book about global warming/climate change by Bill McKibben entitled Eaarth (yes, there are two a's). Soon after we started reading the book, we realized that we need to find other people in Southie who share our worries and hopes for our community. We can do this by connecting as neighbors and don't necessarily need to get into debates or politics about the sources of climate change. Here is a snippet about the book.

        Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth...Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back—on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change—fundamental change—is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.

        After setting up some online communication tools (website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and an email account), our first step is to meet our neighbors and put our heads together. Some ideas:
        • Reach out to others in our community
        • Have a meeting at the South Boston branch of the Boston Public Library (and visit the Blackthorn afterwards!). We will promote this meeting as soon as a date is set  up
        • Promote the South Boston Farmer's Market (Mondays at 460 West Broadway)
        • Research and promote Cooling Centers (places set up by the City of Boston for people with out air conditioning to go in a heat wave, since this is the hottest summer ever)
        • Post pictures of Southie gardens to celebrate those who devote energy to growing things
        • Plan an event for 10-10-10
        • More (please share your ideas)

        We hope to hear from you!

        Stefanie and Aaron
        West 2nd Street
        South Boston, MA