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Chelsea Green Space and Recreation Committee (Green Space) began in 1994 when the City decided to build new schools on two of Chelsea’s largest parks. In a city that lacked open space, this was a concern for many residents, especially park users. The Collaborative organized the concerned residents and asked the group what they wanted to do. Rather than protest the building of new schools on parks, the group decided to formalize itself as a committee that would be dedicated to preserving the remaining parks and making sure the City lived up to its commitment to replace the open space lost through new parks. Green Space met these goals and continued to grow and expand to take on serious environmental justice issues.
Green Space has accomplished the following:
- Restored more than 2 acres of salt marsh wetlands along Mill Creek and built complementary waterfront walkways with interpretive bilingual signage.
- Led the community visioning, fundraising and design of the Creekside Commons park, Chelsea’s most dynamic open space featuring year-round outdoor ice skating.
- Implemented two diesel reduction projects resulting in the reduction of 1200 tons of pollutants annually.
- Established three community gardens, one is dedicated to youth, a second is dedicated to refugee populations.
- Fostered a strong partnership with East Boston residents under the auspices of the Chelsea Creek Action Group through which residents came up with their vision for a revitalized Chelsea Creek.
- Successfully fought the development of a dirty diesel power plant on the banks of the Chelsea Creek.
- Established the Chelsea Creek Restoration Fund, created to support the development of parks, walkways and open spaces along the Chelsea Creek and Mill Creek waterfront.
“As someone who became involved with Green Space on environmental issues, I was immediately impressed with the organization's deep commitment to issues of health and quality of life in Chelsea, the knowledge base within the organization from which to take effective action, and the organizational skills to mobilize the community. As fiscal sponsor for the Chelsea Art Walk, the Collaborative has been a joy to work with!”
In The News
What if terrorists targeting Boston attacked a train carrying 2 million gallons of a highly flammable, hard-to-extinguish fuel?
That’s one frightening scenario a coalition of activists believes could result from Global Partners LP’s plan to transport ethanol to its storage terminal in Revere using Commuter Rail lines.
“This ethanol train is basically a bomb train. It’s there for anybody” to attack, said Roseann Bongiovanni, associate executive director of the Chelsea Collaborative, in an interview earlier this month with a group of activists from the Chelsea Creek Action Group.
Bongiovanni said she was alarmed by the arrest — only days after the Boston Marathon bombings — of two men in Canada who planned, with Al Qaeda support, to derail a passenger train between Montreal and New York, she said.
She’s afraid of what might happen in her backyard, where Waltham-based Global Partners has applied for a state permit allowing it to transport ethanol by rail to its terminal on Route 1A, alongside Chelsea Creek, where the fuel is mixed with gasoline to comply with Clean Air Act standards.
The Chelsea Green Space Committee together with the City of Chelsea organized the Annual Earth Day clean-up and Keep Chelsea Beautiful celebration on April 27, 2013. More than 150 volunteers participated throughout the day at various clean-up locations throughout the city. More than 150 bags of trash, tires and other debris were removed from a dozen sites including the Island End River, Shawmut/ Bellingham Neighborhood, Downtown Broadway, Soldiers Home Hill, Highland Park and along Arlington St. among other areas. Volunteers also painted benches in Bellingham Square..Volunteers were treated to donated Kayem hot dogs, tofu dogs and oranges donated by D’Arrigo Bros. Produce at the celebration following at Anita’s Place. Participants included members of Chelsea Green Space, the Citywide Tenants Association, The Neighborhood Developers, REACH, Al-Huda Cultural Society, Roca, YouthBuild and the Chelsea City Council. Representative and Mrs. O’Flaherty also joined the clean-up efforts. The day could not have happened without the vast support of the Chelsea Department of Public Works under the supervision of Joe Foti and Sanford Hampton.
A crowd of Chelsea business owners and elected officials gathered on Tuesday afternoon to give input to the state Department of Transportation (DOT) for its study on transporting Ethanol through Chelsea on the commuter rail tracks.
Coverage regarding community organizing efforts, led by the Chelsea Collaborative and partners in East Boston, to stop the ethanol trains.
After the state’s Ethanol Transportation Study was unveiled Monday night in Chelsea, one thing was quite apparent: there’s not much that can be done to stop anything coming through on the railroads.
What can be done is pretty straightforward and limited.
Certainly, one thing that can be had is a robust public discussion – which has been going on for the better part of two years. And the other thing that can be done is to prepare like madmen, which was suggested in not-so-certain terms throughout the newly released report.
Facing a proposal by Global Petroleum of Revere to ship in large volumes of Ethanol via the commuter rail tracks, state officials last year commissioned a study by the state Department of Transportation (DOT) into the Ethanol issue within the confines of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Everett and Revere. It is the first time that Ethanol trains will have ventured into the densely populated eastern part of the state.
A coalition of activists from Chelsea, Revere, East Boston and Everett joined together at the Williams School in Chelsea last Thursday night to update residents on Global Oil’s plan to begin shipping ethanol into the area via train and storing the hazardous material at its facility on the East Boston/Revere line.
Chelsea Green Space organized the 2013 Annual Earth Day event which brought out more than 100 participants to clean-up various areas throughout the city. Participants included members and staff from Chelsea Green Space, the Chelsea Citywide Tenants Association, The Neighborhood Developers, REACH, the Al-Huda Cultural Society, Chelsea High School, Youth Build and the Chelsea City Council. These ambitious volunteers removed more than 150 bags of trash, tires and other debris. The City of Chelsea's Department of Public Works played a supportive and necessary role in providing supplies and picking up the trash at the end of the day. All participants celebrated their efforts at Anita's Place with donated hot dogs and fruit from Kayem and D'Arrigo Bros. Produce.
Sign the petition "Stop Ethanol Trains through Densely Populated Neighborhoods" to prevent flammable, explosive trains from traveling through Chelsea to Global Oil's facilities in Revere. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/685/875/129/stop-ethanol-trains-through-densely-populated-neighborhoods/
The Chelsea Creek Action Group (CCAG), a partnership between the Collaborative's Green Space Committee and East Boston's Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, organized a meeting for residents to voice their concerns about Global Oil's proposal to transport significant volumes of ethanol through Chelsea to Revere. Residents voiced concern with the Department of Transportation and made recommendations for the Department's public safety study currently underway. For more information on the ethanol campaign, please contact Jovanna at JovannaGS@chelseacollab.org.
Green Space and its partners in East Boston are fighting a proposal to bring large volumes of highly flammable ethanol on trains through Chelsea and other communities multiple times each week, every week. Help the community say “NO!” to the bomb trains!