Friends of the Community Path

Meeting Notes 14-April-2003

Attendees: Bryce Nesbitt, Jennifer Hill, Michael Mauceri, Turil, Nichole Bookwalter, John Hoppe, Sam Nejame, Tanya Paglia, Arun

Scribe: John Hoppe

Important Updates:

The Friends just received a generous $10K check from the industry group Bikes Belong. Well done! The check almost did not make it -- it was returned as undeliverable by the post office and brought to the meeting by hand.

A coalition including the Friends are finalists for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant of $200K. This is a nationwide contest to support community health, which the community path clearly does by encouraging walking, biking, and outdoor activity. Lets keep our fingers crossed!

The City of Somerville will shortly award the design contract (Vollmer Associates was the top choice) for the Cedar-to-Central St stage of the path. While the city design committee is doing the final selection, the funds for the design were raised by the Friends of the Community Path. This is great news as the idea of the path moves from grassroots support to design and construction stage. Well done!

Votes & Decisions

The Friends agreed to write a letter of support for The Charles River Conservancys general proposal to locate a skateboard park near the proposed Path and the Charles river, in the eventual post-Big-Dig construction on the Cambridge/Charlestown border. The current plan is that the skateboard park be located under the highway. Several people noted that youth and the larger community are best served when such parks are knit into the fabric of public areas as opposed to built on the margins, where crime and delinquency are more likely to occur.

Major Topics

Somersday is coming up May 17. Last year the Friends leased the Cedar-Central St. stretch of railway for the day and held a community clean-up. It was agreed that we should try to do something similar this year. We need volunteers to distribute flyers informing neighbors of the event and to clean up the area. Michael Mauceri volunteered to create the flyers.

Art Beat is July 19. What should the Friends attempt to do there? It was agreed to try to take full advantage of the thousands of people Art Beat will bring to Davis Square. First on the list is a request that our booth be in a shady and quiet spot, but near plenty of traffic. Turil volunteered to lead the design efforts and come up with some creative ways to advertise the Friends mission and gather support from Art Beaters. Please send your ideas to this list!

Somerville Open Studios is coming up May 3 & 4. The group decided there is too little time to organize a major initiative in conjunction with this, so group members are simply contacting artist friends who will be exhibiting and supplying them with some Community Path materials to make available to the viewers.

The continued lack of success to reach out to East Somerville was raised. The path will go through East Somerville, and the Friends want input and support from people there. It was suggested that holding a Friends meeting there might be a good way of attracting interest and support. The idea was well-received.

Ground Work Somerville representative Jennifer Hill solicited ideas from the group on how to gain sponsorship (primarily from businesses) for the beautiful plantings Ground Works has been doing on the Cedar St. gateway to the current path. It was agreed that when the Friends send out the emailing about the Somersday path clean-up that we would also include the Ground Works request for sponsorship.

Action Items Promised