Chelsea honored Judie Dyer, one of its most beloved and admired residents, by dedicating a park in her honor during ceremonies Saturday inside the Council Chambers at City Hall.
The Judie Dyer Park is located at the corner of Heard and Spruce Streets. The park’s new sign unveiled at the ceremony saluted Mrs. Dyer’s “tireless civic engagement, activism, and noble service to the community.”
Family, friends, city officials, and leaders of many local organizations and groups came to the ceremony to honor Mrs. Dyer and tell of how her volunteerism has made Chelsea a better city.
“There’s nobody else in Chelsea who deserves this as much as Judie Dyer, a lifelong Chelsea resident, who’s not involved in one organization but 15-20 organizations who is always giving of her heart each and every single day,” said GreenRoots Executive Director Roseann Bongiovanni, who led the speaking program.
City Manager Thomas Ambrosino offered his remarks on behalf of a grateful Chelsea. “I just want to say on behalf of the city how thrilled I am to be part of this naming and dedication for Judie Dyer. As Roseann said, I can’t think of a more deserving person for whom we ought to be naming a park.”
Saying he had been in public service for 30 years, Ambrosino said, “I have never come across a more engaged private resident than Judie Dyer, whether I’m at a Healthy Chelsea lunch, a Beautification Committee meeting, a GreenRoots event, a public hearing of any kind on any topic in the city – Judie Dyer is there in attendance. And that’s incredibly inspiring to public officials, that kind of involvement.”
Ambrosino also lauded Mrs. Dyer’s commitment to the environment and green spaces.
“What more fitting tribute to Judie than having a beautiful open space named after her,” said Ambrosino. “Thank you, Judie, and congratulations on this tribute which really is truly deserved.”
City Councillor Enio Lopez and DPW Director Michael Sandoval both applauded Mrs. Dyer’s efforts in helping to beautify Chelsea.
“Thank you for what you do for the city and you deserve this honor,” said Lopez.
Sandoval said that Mrs. Dyer has been a volunteer working with the Beautification Committee for several years. “We’ve been able to do a lot of great work and she’s been one of my true inspirations to do this kind of work,” said Sandoval. “I’m personally very thankful to her for her advice. Working with Judie through the years and I’ve gotten to know her very well to the point that I’ve adopted her as a grandmother. She’s has accepted me an adoptive grandson, so I guess we are part of the family. I want to say to you, ‘we love you and thank you for being part of Chelsea and learning from you.’’’
Cara Cogliano, director of Chelsea Community Connections where Mrs. Dyer is member of the steering committee, said, “A dedicated park named Judie Dyer, where children and families gather and play, seals the deal that she a love of families and children in Chelsea, to see them thrive and grow. I am so happy and grateful to GreenRoots for spearheading this endeavor.”
Richelle Cromwell, executive director of CAPIC, where Mrs. Dyer serves on the board of directors, said, “Judie Dyer has been instrumental in policy changes that benefit our community.”
“She is a just a joy to have on our board,” added Cromwell, while also crediting Mrs. Dyer service on numerous boards in the city. “Thank you for all you have given to the board of director of CAPIC and to our community. It’s so wonderful to have people like you in our community because it’s what makes our community great.”
Katherine Gasper of the Chelsea Community Gardeners Association, said one of things she admires most about Mrs. Dyer is “your boundless thoughtfulness. She’s there for every special thing the garden does. She always brings food and it is very much appreciated.”
Mrs. Dyer’s granddaughter, Wendy Dyer, spoke on behalf of the family. “Ever since I can remember, my grandmother has been deeply involved in her community,” said Wendy. “She has always fought for the preservation and growth of her city, as well as supported the health and well-being of its individual citizens, families, and children. I have always been proud to say that my grandmother has a passion for the environment and conservation, is fiercely proud, and often brags, about the diversity of her city and is dedicated to ensuring that member of her community have reliable and affordable housing.
“Due to all of this, it is not surprising to me that her city would want to honor her care and service to the community by naming after Judie, the Queen of Chelsea. Grammy, I’m so proud of you and I love you,” concluded Wendy.
Mrs. Dyer received a warm standing ovation before she delivered her remarks.
“I want to say many thanks to all who nominated me for this unexpected honor,” said Mrs. Dyer humbly. “Over the years I have met many people and I have so many warm friendships because of my volunteering. It has introduced me to all sorts of learning experiences and so many varied interesting projects, committees and groups.”
She said she enjoys working with people of all ages through her participation on the various committees.
“There is no paycheck but the rewards are great,” she said. “It makes me feel so good to give back to my Chelsea community. I have lived in the same house for all my life here and raised my family here. Chelsea has been very good to me.
The large crowd offered one more expression of love and gratitude to Mrs. Dyer, singing “Happy Birthday” to the lifelong resident in commemoration of her 84th birthday (that she celebrated Tuesday).”