Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Summer's Not Over Yet!

It may be September already, but the beautiful days to enjoy our Harbor and our beaches certainly aren't over yet! And nobody knows this better than our Better Beaches groups- who are working to bring their communities to their beaches throughout the entire year. Our friends over at the South Boston Neighborhood House hosted their second "Family Fun Night" of the summer on September 2nd, reminding us that summer isn't over-- there's plenty more fun to be had, and plenty more memories to be made, on our beaches this year!

Sarah Appleton and I headed over to McCormick Bathhouse for Family Fun Night - one of my favorite Better Beaches events. The Neighborhood House consistently creates events that are shining examples of what the Better Beaches program is about: They've received just a small sum from the Better Beaches Grant Program (which the South Boston community raised themselves this year at the Cupid Splash!) and they've leveraged it into something so much bigger, tying in so many more pieces of the community and bringing families together against our favorite backdrop: the Harbor. Kids and their families listened to a local storyteller, created paintings and spin art with local artists, played on the beach, danced to the DJ, ate, and spent time together. Boston Public School representatives were there with information for parents about the new year, the South Boston Community Heath Center was on hand with information about healthier lifestyles for families, and Sarah and I were there providing some marine science. But my favorite part? Super Duck Tours donated free rides to and from Castle Island in the Super Duck Boat, an exciting new way for families to experience the Harbor together, and a great example of expanding the vision and creativity of what a Better Beaches event can be!

The South Boston community, and all of our Better Beaches groups, do a phenomenal job with pooling and leveraging what they have and what they are given through their grants. They don't just say, "We have this amount of money, what can we do with it?" They ask: "What are our resources as a community?" and "Who else can get involved?" It's really amazing to see what they create and who joins the fun.

The sunset brought some chilly air in South Boston, but the party continued. I know that some of my favorite memories as a child were on the beach on nights like this, late in the season, wrapped in a sweatshirt, cold sand under my feet, seeing lights sparkle all around me across the water. And in those memories, I was always with my family. The South Boston Neighborhood House is creating memories like that-- time spent together on a gorgeous night as the summer dwindles. I'm very proud to be a part of giving families the chance to make these memories together.

But hold on.... these kids get duck boat rides, storytellers, and spin art? Little elementary-school me is very, very jealous.

Hope to see you on the beach all year round!


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