Local teens led a recent tour of improvements they had made to the East Boston Greenway this summer as members of the Boston Natural Areas Network’s Youth Conservation Corps.
Across the city and in neighboring towns, 40 teens worked in three crews to make improvements in a variety of parks and natural areas. This team focused on the East Boston Greenway, the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, and Revere Beach.
Stephany Franco, 16, of East Boston, and Bridget Lovejoy, 17, of Charlestown, described the work they had done on a planting bed at the Greenway’s southern edge. When they started, the bed was full of weeds.
“The weeds looked like grass, basically,” Lovejoy said.
“This bed actually had the most improvement out of all three” planting beds the crew worked on, Franco said. “It looked like nobody even took care of this.”
East Boston resident Eddie Funes, 17, also worked on the planting bed near the train caboose at Bremen and Marginal streets, just as he had last year in his first summer as a member of the Youth Conservation Corps. Next
East Boston resident Oscar Mena, 15; Roxbury resident Mario Matos, 15; and Crew Supervisor Matthew Boccuzzi, 23, shared a laugh as they displayed Raphael, a sea turtle sculpture made almost entirely of trash found on Revere Beach.
Even the hula hoop and the netting that make the turtle’s structure were found on the beach; only the cardboard head and feet and a few twist-ties and pieces of tape were added.
The shape symbolizes the sea turtles who could wind up eating trash left on the beach, which could sicken or kill them, they said.
Jenna Bocchino and Mariam Saib, both 16 and from East Boston, described their work watering trees using slow-release watering bags such as the one at left.
“They’re only supposed to be watered every other week, so we’ll water half one week and half the next week,” Bocchino said.
East Boston resident Jocelyn Martinez, 15, described work the teens did on the daylily bed behind her, where the plants were being choked by weeds. The tour was too late to see the lilies in bloom, though.
“Now the flowers are done for the season,” said Candice Cook, program manager for the Boston Natural Areas Network. “Three weeks ago it was just a rainbow.”
At the end of the tour, the teens relaxed in the shade and had a snack as Matthew Boccuzzi, crew supervisor, and Candice Cook, program manager, presented them with awards for their work.
The Youth Conservation Corps crew for East Boston gathered for a group photo. Seated, from left: Erix Morales, Jenna Bocchino, Eddie Funes, Jocelyn Martinez, and Bridget Lovejoy. Standing: Geoffrey Wood, manager of the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; Mario Matos; Stephany Franco; Oscar Mena; Matthew Boccuzzi, crew supervisor; and Mariam Saib. Back to the beginning
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below