Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Participatory Budgeting

For the summer of 2022, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is introducing participatory budgeting for the first time. We're using this process to bring community voices into our annual Better Beaches program. To let the community decide how money is spent on free beach events, $25,000 of Better Beaches funds will be put toward ideas from community members! Ideas are being collected until February 28, 2022. All community members who use the Metropolitan region’s public beaches are eligible to submit an idea through our website's form at this link: https://bit.ly/savetheharborpb 

 After the idea collection phase, Save the Harbor will narrow the number of submitted ideas through its steering committee. The committee, composed of young people, staff members, and partner organizations that engaged in designing the process, will prioritize ideas that increase access to the beaches for young people of color and young low-income residents. Ideas must be for free programs on the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull. 

After the ideas have been narrowed down to ten possible projects, organizations and individuals will be able to submit full project proposals that align with one of the ideas. The steering committee will review the project proposals and match each idea to the best proposal. Those projects will be placed on an online ballot, open to all Massachusetts residents over the age of 12. The projects with the most votes will be funded until the total of $25,000 has been allocated.

Save the Harbor conducted idea collections with senior students at Boston's public schools, including this class at O'Bryant High.

This democratic, participatory process is part of Save the Harbor’s annual Better Beaches program. Since 2008, Save the Harbor has partnered with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to award $200,000 annually in small grants to local organizations and artists who activate the region’s public beaches through free public events on beaches in the Metropolitan Region. Over $1,000,000 in grants have been awarded since the Better Beaches program started. For more information about the process, please contact Maya Smith at smith@savetheharbor.org or 617-451-2860 x1006.

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