BOSTON, Mass. -- Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department are celebrating the greening of the city with a year-long series of Boston Blooms events and initiatives that reward and encourage residents to enjoy plant life and gardening in the city.
The year kicked off with the Boston Flower Show Preview Party giving ticket holders an advance look at the show while supporting rehabilitation of the Parks Department’s greenhouses at Franklin Park.
In late March, Mayor Menino announced a new round of Seed Grants offered by the Parks Department to community garden and friends groups in all Boston neighborhoods so residents may have help in purchasing equipment, tools, and materials for this year’s growing season. The announcement marked the revival of a Parks Department program last offered in 2008 providing grants of up to $250 to local community gardens that, while small, can make a big difference to city gardeners operating on a shoestring budget.
In April, the Parks Department began its spring planting program with 145 planting beds, 188 planters, and 55 hanging planters citywide. The streets of Boston have also been spruced up with approximately 600 trees being planted citywide this spring by the Parks Department which is on target to meet or exceed the 2011 planting total of 1,100 trees planted throughout the city.
To promote gardening and beautification in the city, Mayor Menino presents each attendee at his spring Neighborhood Coffee Hour series with a flowering plant grown in the Parks Department greenhouses and will be hosting the second annual citywide Daffodil Planting in the fall with 40,000 bulbs to be distributed to volunteers. In addition, the Mayor was joined by Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill at the Fenway Victory Garden on May 12 for the giveaway of 2,012 “TOM-ato” plants grown by Mahoney’s Garden Centers of Brighton.
Mayor Menino also promotes the efforts of Boston’s green thumbs through his annual Garden Contest. Launched 16 years ago as part of Mayor Menino’s citywide beautification initiative, the contest recognizes gardeners who have landscaped, planted flowers, trees, and shrubs, and, in the process, helped beautify Boston’s neighborhoods.
This year’s contest includes new categories and the contest’s first Hall of Fame along with the exciting news that sponsor JetBlue has come on board this year to support the city of Boston’s green efforts by providing a Grand Prize consisting of a trip for four to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in spring 2013.
SOURCE: City of Boston