With 2013 in the books, the members of Planet Southie, a group of South Boston green enthusiasts, are setting priorities for 2014.
Founded in 2010 with the goal of bringing together both old and new residents to create a cleaner, greener South Boston, the group has worked to bring more trees, less toxins, and better transit to the seaside community.
“Over the past year we saw a lot of participation and engagement around our work with natural gas leaks,” said Stefanie Valovic, the group’s co-founder. “We also saw a lot of movement around alternative transportation.”
On Thursday, a small contingent of the group braved the cold and gathered at the Distillery Building to discuss what they think the group should tackle in 2014.
“I think anything that helps tie in the new development with the people that have been here a long time is good,” said Fred Gordon, an area resident. “South Boston is changing, and it’s not always being handled in a coherent way.''
New development and the balancing act that comes with it was a common theme Thursday.
“I think there is sometimes tension between the longtime residents and the more transient population,” said Brian Clarke, an area resident and new member. “I do think there is a population that wants to get involved, but they don’t know how too.”
Louise Baxter, a long time activist in the community, echoed many of the concerns shared by other members.
“I think we’ve done a good job with bikes and the trees, but the T is not good,” said Baxter. “The buses are overcrowded and breaking down.”
From conversations Thursday it was clear that transit, natural gas leaks, and building connections in the community and outside of it are priorities for the group.
“Looking towards 2014 we’re excited to tackle the issues of balancing development in our community and addressing climate change both here and city-wide,” said Valovic, who is also involved with Mothers Out Front, a climate action group.
“We see ourselves as a green incubator and we want to foster collaboration, so I’m excited to bring neighbors together to work on quality of life issues in the neighborhood,” Valovic added.
Planet Southie meets on the fourth Thursday of the month, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Distillery Building located at 516 East 2nd St.
For more information about the group, visit its website.
For more information about the group, click here.