A big thank you to all who came out for the Fenway Civic Association’s 50th Annual Meeting! We enjoyed seeing so many of our members. Many thanks to the Museum of Fine Arts for hosting our group, and to Katie Getchell for the wonderful guided tour of the Art of the Americas wing.
Annual Meeting Report
Fenway Civic’s Annual Meeting was held on January 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm, in the newly opened Riley Seminar Room of the Linde Family Wing at the MFA. The meeting was well attended, with over 60 members turning out on a very cold January evening.
Review of the year’s accomplishments and special recognitions:
Year of the Tree – FCA announced a campaign in 2011 to raise funds for the reahabilitation and replacement of ailing trees throughout the Fenway. This complex undertaking has involved coordination with the various landholders in and around the Back Bay Fens, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Parks Department, the City, and Historic Parks. FCA conducted walkthroughs with representatives of all these agencies to identify trees in need of rehabilitation or replacement. Collectively, we identified 35 trees along Park Drive sidewalks within DCR jurisdiction, 41 trees and/or tree pits within Parks Department jurisdiciton in the East Fens, 10 trees and/or tree pits within Parks Department jurisdiction in the West Fens. We are also working with the City / Historic Parks to identify replacement planting opportunities for trees lost in the Back Bay Fens. In the Spring of 2012, FCA will supplement existing agency budgets with our privately raised funds to support the planting of dozens of new trees throughout the Fenway! Thanks to the generosity of our members, FCA will be contributing over $7,500 to this effort. (Marie Fukuda, Fredericka Veikley, Marco Baldassarre)
East Boylston Street – FCA worked to negotiate a new standard closing time for all new restaurants along East Boylston Street as each one came online, including uniform closing hours on patios. (Walter Hunt)
Symphony Park – FCA has been working with neighborhood advocates for the past few years to improve conditions at Symphony Park, which serves as the primary open space for the seniors at Morville House in the East Fenway. In 2010, FCA worked with the Community Outreach Group for Landscape Design to develop a community concept for a redesign of Symphony Park. Park users include many senior citizens, music and art students, and residents in wheelchairs. Through a series of public charettes and stakeholder meetings, we arrived at a design which improves the usability and appearance of the park, making it a safe and inviting place for all. In 2011, FCA worked with the design team and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. FCA will continue to work with park advocates to secure public and private funds to see the proposed design implemented. (Marie Fukuda)
Neighborhood Tai Chi Classes – This year FCA worked with the Mission Hill Fenway Neighborhood Trust, the Berklee College of Music, and the Mews Condominium Trust, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Friends of Symphony Park to fund Tai Chi classes in Symphony Park. 10 classes were held in 2011, and were quite popular with the senior residents in the adjacent Morville House. FCA has secured funding to return this wonderful program to the park again in 2012. (Marie Fukuda)
Ramler Park – FCA and the Friends of Ramler Park, with support from the Mission Hill Fenway Neighborhood Trust, sponsored a number of wonderful special events in Ramler Park this year, including the Summer Sunset Concert Series. Many thanks are due to our individual and institutional neighbors, who continue to donate countless hours of weeding, raking, and other maintenance services to keep this public private partnership going. (Fredericka Veikley)
Agassiz Road / Duck House – In 2011, FCA raised $13,000 from area organizations and was selected as a Matching Partnerships Grant recipient by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The $13,000 was double matched by DCR and the funds were used for a transportation feasibility study of Agassiz Road. The aim of the study was to identify environmentally sound opportunities that will enhance the Agassiz Road experience. The study commenced in the spring of 2011 and concluded with a community charette in the fall, at which area residents and other stakeholders had an opportunity to view and provide feedback on parkway improvement proposals. In the coming year, FCA will be looking to raise additional funds to apply for another DCR Partnerships Matching Funds Grant, this time for the purpose of design work that will build off of 2011 work and bring closer to reality the improvements to Agassiz Road. This process will involve preliminary and final designs, as well as permitting, and public meetings (Erica Mattison).
The results of this year’s board elections were announced at the annual meeting. Re-elected this year were:
Kathleen Brill, First Vice President
Walter Hunt, Secretary
Steve Chase, Second Assistant Secretary
Elected for the first time to fill a vacated position:
Paul Guglielmino, First Assistant Secretary
Paul has been a West Fenway resident since 2002. He has been involved with the Fenway Young Professionals organization for many years, and most recently is serving as an officer of the organization’s event planning committee.
Special Recognitions / Elected Officials:
Rep. Byron Rushing – As part of the redistricting process, Rep. Byron Rushing will be losing parts of the Fenway from his district (although he will remain the representative for the majority of the Fenway). FCA recognized Rep. Rushing with a gift of flowers for everything he has done and continues to do for our neighborhood.
Rep. Will Brownsberger – Rep. Will Brownsberger has won the democratic primary and is running for the State Senate seat vacated by former Sen. Steve Tolman. This district includes much of the Fenway. Rep. Brownsberger stopped by to introduce himself to the Fenway neighborhood.
Councilor Mike Ross – Councilor Mike Ross was recognized for everything he has done for the Fenway neighborhood. Councilor Ross noted that the City’s own redistricting process is underway and there may be additional changes from the draft plan as originally proposed that will impact the Fenway neighborhood.
Erica Mattison – Former long-time Board Member Erica Mattison resigned this year after she moved to Dorchester. Erica was recognized for all that she has contributed to the Fenway neighborhood during her time here, including co-founding the Fenway Young Professionals, co-founding the Fenway Graffitti Squad, bringing Big Bellies to the neighborhood, and encouraging property owners to adopt recycling in their buildings. Erica was recognized with a gift of flowers from FCA and a resolution from the Boston City Council commending her for her many contributions.
At the conclusion of the official business, the meeting adjourned for a tour of the MFA’s Art of the Americas wing with Katie Getchell, Deputy Director, Curatorial at the Museum. She provided FCA members with an insider’s view of the vision behind the MFA’s new wing and the process that went into designing and arranging the galleries.