The East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) youth will be busy all summer long with a host of activities as well as introducing new projects focused on creating change and achieving environmental and social justice in the neighborhood.
N-Yo (NOAH Youth Organizers) is an all youth lead group where they focus on empowering and building strong relationships with the community, educating and creating public awareness on issues impacting Eastie, transforming the Chelsea Creek, fight against environmental racism, create change, and achieve environmental and social justice.
“In the past, they have done environmental justice boat tours along the Chelsea Creek describing different issues that both East Boston and Chelsea residents organized on, hosted different family community building events and activities along the Chelsea Creek, bi-Monthly concerts, clean ups, monthly events and stewarding at the Condor Street Urban Wild,” said NOAH’s Community Engagement Coordinator Melinda Vega.
While most of the youths’ work mobilized around environmental justice issues, N-Yo has expanded to running a trash initiative campaign, basement flood assessments, clean air campaign, a soccer tournament and free kayaking at Constitution Beach and the Urban Wild.
“They have also been present at youth summits and attend monthly community meetings throughout East Boston to update residents on some of their initiatives in the neighborhood,” said Vega.
The youths’ new initiative Scale-Up, which stands for Social Cohesion, Adaptation and Leadership in Emergencies in Urban Places includes canvassing and door knocking around the community to survey Eastie regarding emergency preparedness,
The Scale-Up project is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to enhance community resilience to both cumulative and sudden climate-related events in Eastie. The project accomplishes this by helping residents and community leaders be better prepared for catastrophic events.
N-Yo will try and get 1,000 residents to participate in the survey that involves speaking with an interviewer or completing a survey online and answering questions about one’s thoughts on climate change, disaster preparedness, the community, local government and local leaders.
The youth will also continue two other signature NOAH programs.
“This summer they are continuing to do our Kayaking Program at Constitution Beach Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Vega. “This is one of their favorite events but also a community favorite in which the community has free access to the harbor. In the past we’ve had 3,000 people attend and take advantage of this free and family event.”
Along with that N-Yo are continuing their efforts in their tree canopy campaign hoping to plant over 2,000 trees in East Boston.
“This campaign, which just celebrated two years, is centered towards increasing the percentage of tree the community has given that in their research they found that East Boston only has 15 percent tree coverage of what it could have if a tree was planted every 25 feet,” said Vega.