Three local organizations from East Boston will receive more than $10,000 in grant money from Save the Harbor / Save the Bay for summer activities on the beach and along the harbor.
The East Boston YMCA will receive $5,000 for its Summer Food Service Program and annual Campfire at Constitution Beach.
The grant will enable The Y to again hold “Beach Kick-off Day” on Constitution Beach to raise awareness about their summer food service program. The event will feature face painting, sand castle contests, sports, games, arts and crafts, music, and an opportunity for community members to meet with organizations that will be offering programs on Constitution Beach during the summer.
The grant award will also support the Y late season movie night, campfire night, and beach activities for local youth in late August. The Y will also use the events to highlight the Lazarus Youth Center near the beach, which will give children the opportunity to continue their activities indoors and also provide the summer food service program when the beach is closed due to weather.
HarborArts received $2,500 to towards its annual end of the summer HarborArts Festival at the Boston Shipyard and Marina on Marginal Street. The Friends of Belle Isle Marsh will get $1,000 for educational activities at area beaches.
For the first time the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing was awarded $3,000 for a Kayak Week at Constitution Beach. NOAH’s Chris Marchi said this will be a unique event that will bring more water-related activities to the beach and to the rest of the waterfront in the future.
“The region’s public beaches are an extraordinary asset to the residents of Boston’s waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities from Nahant to Nantasket” said Save the Harbor’s spokesman Bruce Berman. “It was a wicked winter. We want to thank the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Metropolitan Beaches Commission and all our program sponsors and partners for making this a spectacular summer for the more than 1 million people who live just a short ride or drive from the coast.
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay launched the Better Beaches Program with the support of The Boston Foundation in 2008 to help local communities and beaches friends groups create and sustain free events and activities on the region’s public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket, as recommended by the Metropolitan Beaches Commission.
“We were proud to be there at the beginning to help found Save the Harbor/Save the Bay nearly 30 years ago,” said Metropolitan Beach Commissioner Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “And we applaud and support their Better Beaches Program. It activates our beaches and enhances their value to urban families, and provides another incentive for young professionals to settle in Greater Boston.”
Funds to support the Better Beaches Program come from the proceeds of the Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash pledge fundraiser. Over the past seven years, Save the Harbor’s community partners in East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, Nahant, Lynn, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull have leveraged $205,000 in small grants received from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay with $815,722 in cash and in-kind contributions from local government and small businesses for a total investment of $1,020,722 in 214 free events and programs for the region’s residents and visitors.
This year, with additional funds from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay awarded over $200,000 in grants to groups beach groups in Eastie, Revere, Winthrop, Lynn, Nahant, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.
“These Better Beaches Program grants offer a tremendous amount of value by financially assisting free, public events that are both enriching and engaging,” said DCR Commissioner Carol Sanchez. “By partnering with organizations like Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, DCR continues to seek different ways to make our beaches a fun, unique, and enjoyable experience.”
Berman said in addition to the grants given out on Saturday, each group was also given a small bag of marbles to scatter along the shore as a part of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and JetBlue’s summer-long “Simply Marble-ous” Treasure Hunt. If you find a marble on the beach this summer, send a picture along with your contact information to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay to be entered to win a free round-trip flight courtesy of JetBlue.