OPEN LETTER TO THE RESIDENTS OF CHARLESTOWN
Peace is the concept of harmony and the absence of hostility. By definition it is the state of tranquility and quiet.
Neglect is to pay no attention or too little attention; disregard or slight until a group of kids with a vision and recognizing a need in the community, with the direction of Sarah Coughlin, Shannon White and Ginaya Green Murray from the Charlestown Coalition and Turn It Around won $2,700 from the City of Boston’s Love Your Block Grant.
The Charlestown Coalition found the perfect spot for a Peace Garden on a parcel of land between the bottoms of Prospect Street and Mount Vernon Street known as the Mt. Vernon Street Plaza. The Charlestown Patriot-Bridge covered the story back in March. Currently, there is a memorial stone dedicated to Robert McGrath from Prospect Street, a young Charlestown kid who was killed three decades ago. Residents from Prospect Street came out to help clean up the plaza and a gentleman came out with a half-dozen shovels for the kids to use. The Peace Garden will have landscaped areas, water features and a memory stone wall. On June 26th there will be an opening ceremony in which the family of Robert McGrath will attend – as well as many other families in the Town looking to promote peace.
Have I said anything to frighten you so far?
Last Thursday evening I got a call from my sister, Elaine Donovan. Apparently one of the residents from Mt. Vernon Street was trying to round up neighbors to put a stop to the upgrading of this neglected area. They didn’t like the color of the fence, which was spray painted gold. I know. I cringed when I first heard it too but it really looks nice. It’s certainly NOT graffiti, as was reported to Boston’s 311. One neighbor demanded it be painted black and said they had purchased eight cans of black spray paint and would paint it black themselves. Again, no one gave a second thought to this area.
Four residents of Mt. Vernon Street came out in opposition.
“A water fountain will attract mosquitos! A rock garden will promote vandalism! People will throw rocks through our windows! Nobody consulted us!” – they told us.
Get over yourselves! The City approved the Peace Garden. My hope is upon its completion it can bring peace to all, even those opposing it now.
On June 26, at the Mt. Vernon Street Plaza the Charlestown Coalition will unveil the new Charlestown Peace Park at 4:30 p.m. with a reception at the Knights of Columbus immediately following. All are welcome.
Mary C. Boucher