In conjunction with community improvement efforts across the country organized by NeighborWorks America, The Neighborhood Developers and Chelsea Thrives organized a cleanup and flower-planting event at Bosson Park. Organizers gathered dozens of community volunteers, equipped them with tools, planters, and mulch, and served to brighten their neighborhood.
This NeighborWorks Week effort kicked off Chelsea Shines 2015, the second annual summer of neighborhood beautification projects organized by Chelsea Thrives and its Community Enhancement Team. The Community Enhancement Team brings residents’ needs and proposed solutions to the attention of the organization and drives their efforts.
Chelsea Thrives VISTA Associate and organizer of the day’s work, Sharon Fosbury, said, “Chelsea Shines creates an opportunity for residents to be part of the change that they want to see in their community.”
In 2014, 225 volunteers, consisting of residents and local organizations affiliated with Chelsea Thrives, organized to improve the streets around Chelsea’s Shurtleff/Bellingham neighborhood. They recognized the neighborhood’s needs, as litter scattered along sidewalks attracted more waste. After the summer’s efforts, new planters and flowers lined the streets, and residents responded positively. Polling indicated that they had were now encouraged to recommend their community “as a good place to live,” and felt empowered that they could make “a great deal” of positive difference in their community.
As the Community Enhancement Team planned for this year’s Chelsea Shines effort, they recognized the challenge of cleaning the streets along Bosson Park. The community decided to tackle this area when the most hands would be on deck, during NeighborWorks Week. The high volume of work that these streets called for were met with high energies and a long haul effort, as volunteers began cleaning and planting at 2 p.m. and worked until sunset. Music and free food fueled their efforts and the parkside neighborhood was boldly refreshed.