By Giselle Barahona
GreenRoots, with a generous grant from the Chelsea Cultural Council, hosted a pop-up park in the Chelsea Walk for residents of Chelsea during peak lunch hours recently.
The organization set up a turf lawn, lawn chairs, jumbo games like checkers and Jenga, art supplies such as sidewalk chalk and paints, and even a cotton candy machine that attracted residents in the area to stop by and enjoy the day. Many families were drawn to the event. Kids enjoyed running around trying all the snacks and drinks and playing in the park with GreenRoots staff. Parents enjoyed spending time with their children, outside in the lovely weather, listening to music, eating snacks and learning about how they can become more involved in their community.
Various produce and plants were given away to folks from GreenRoots’ urban farm for families to grow and enjoy at home.
The Chelsea Walk, located on Broadway in Bellingham Square in the heart of Chelsea, links public parking behind businesses to the busy sidewalks and businesses of Broadway.
Previously considered a bleak and underutilized space, GreenRoots led a major transformation of the area with a grant from MassDevelopment that was matched by more than 270 individual donors. Now, the Walk features a beautiful, color and culturally representative mural painted by local muralist Silvia Lopez Chavez.
The mural, entitled “City of Dreams” reflects a diverse multi-cultural background Chelsea celebrating the city’s rich cultural and ethnic history.
The Chelsea Walk is now a beautiful public space where the community can gather to enjoy and celebrate the vibrancy of community.
In order to continue to ensure the newly revitalized space gets utilized and to bring the community together, GreenRoots organized a public event in the form of a pop-up park.
“The event was great! It acted as a community unifier,” said Avery Hammond, GreenRoots summer intern and one of the organizers for the event. “We had some 90 year old. We had some 5 year olds. We had people from every walk of life. People who were passing by could come and enjoy themselves… people saw it as a nice surprise for the community, and to do it in that way was really rewarding to see all the smiles on the kids’ faces.”
“There were a lot of families there! I thought was really sweet to see kids playing and interacting with their family members,” said Leilani Mroczkowski, GreenRoots Food Justice Organizer and Youth Coordinator. “We gave out lots of plants and we got to talk about the different things that are happening here at GreenRoots, like our kayaking events and our community farm days.”
GreenRoots is located at 227 Marginal St. in Chelsea, and has some great events planned for the community for the rest of the summer. GreenRoots will host free kayaking and canoeing events at the docks located at 201 Marginal St. on Thursdays, June 27, July 25, and Aug. 15 from 5-7:30 p.m. There will be food, drinks and music. So, bring your family and come down to spend some time enjoying the beautiful summer weather and the Chelsea Creek.
As part of their Urban Agriculture and Food Justice Program, GreenRoots will be hosting community farm work days where community members can farm and harvest produce on the Chelsea’s First Urban Farm. Stop by on Thursday, June 27 from 1-3 p.m. on Miller Street in Chelsea to learn more about food justice and the urban farm! Also, look out for more dates being added on GreenRoots’ Facebook page.
GreenRoots will be surprising the community with more pop-up parks throughout the summer in various locations highlighting the beauty of Chelsea and bringing the community together for a great time! Follow us on Facebook for more details.