A few years ago, kayaking and canoeing on the Chelsea Creek was a novel – and to some a dangerous – proposition for those in Chelsea.
However, after more and more have taken their turn at the paddle, the idea of getting on the water has become relatively normal – and fun.
The proof was in the paddle last Thursday night, June 27, when GreenRoots hosted their annual Paddle Night on the Marginal Street pier – and lines of residents waited their turn patiently to get a chance to paddle around in a kayak or canoe on the Creek.
GreenRoots Director Roseann Bongiovanni said it was the first of several Paddle Nights this year in Chelsea and East Boston – all an effort to normalize an activity that no one would have participated in 10 years ago.
“We are having these activities three times this summer in Chelsea and three times in East Boston,” she said. “We’re trying to get as many people out on the water as possible…The hope is that we’re attracting people from the neighborhood so they can come down. Many of them may have seen the water here for a long time, but didn’t know they could come on the water for recreation. Getting them out here on a beautiful Thursday evening give them hope they can do it more frequently.”
The biggest challenge of the night ended up being the fact that GreenRoots needed more boats to accommodate all of the young people and families that showed up to go out.
Jose Alvarado said it was the first time he had ever been on Chelsea Creek in a boat.
“I’ve seen it, but this was my first time ever going out there,” he said. “I will definitely do it again.”
Chelsea Paddle Nights this summer will be on Thursdays, July 25 and Aug. 15, starting at 5 p.m.
Kayaking in East Boston at 300 Condor St. will be on Saturdays, July 13 and Aug. 31, at 10 a.m.
FRONT – 0096 AND 0123 –
AHOY! Kimberly Vasquez holds on tight to the sides of the canoe while Jose Alvarez paddles to the dock on the Chelsea Creek last Thursday night, June 27, during the GreenRoots first Paddle Night of the season. Scores of residents came to the pier on Marginal Street and lined up for their chance to take a canoe or kayak on the Creek. Also pictured were a few resident who paddled into the Creek and were framed by the Mystic/Tobin Bridge while navigating the waters.
Paul Pivaral, Akanni Hernandez, Edgar Pivaral and Ann Moscoso ready to try their hand paddling on the Creek.
John Walkey of GreenRoots was all smiles in his kayak, providing safety for the participants.
David and Ivette Martinez paddle around the Creek.
Kenya B. and Sydney B. took out the two-person kayak and found tranquil waters off the pier.
On the pier were plenty of fun and games as well, with Catherine Paviola practicing her dribbling skills ahead of the Women’s World Cup matches last week.
Karalyn and Eduardo Montes play a game of Connect Four on the pier.
From the GreenRoots ECOYouth team: Bryan Hernandez, Skakaya Moore-Perkins, and Jary Perez.
Stacking it up! Little Pamela Pineda gets the blocks just right for a tall tower.
GreenRoots folks chillin’ on the pier at Paddle Night. (L-R) Maria Belen Power, Giselle Barahona, Noemy Rodriguez, Sarah Levy, Roseann Bongiovanni, and John Walkey.