Save the Harbor wants your ideas for free beach events!
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is dedicating $25,000 to make your dream event happen this summer on the region’s public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket. Your participation is necessary to make this summer the best one yet. Save the Harbor’s participatory budgeting process has already begun, so submit your ideas here.
Save the Harbor will host the five events that receive the most votes from the community. These events will take place on our region’s public beaches in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hull. The goal of participatory budgeting is to center community voices by asking the public what events they want to see on the region’s beaches. With this process, Save the Harbor hopes to bridge access to the beach by engaging communities that may face significant challenges accessing the beach.
“Community members across the state share ownership of so many incredible beaches, so it is exciting to create programming that empowers people to harness that ownership and entrust the community with directly selecting a variety of events that make people feel genuinely excited to get outside and experience programs that reflects them, said Maya Smith, Partnerships and Program Development Director at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.”
In 2022, Save the Harbor centered community voices by distributing $25,000 of Better Beaches funds through a participatory budgeting process. Over 200 community members submitted ideas for the free events they wanted to see on the beaches this summer. More than 600 people voted on the winners: the Teen Beach Bash in South Boston, the Beats on the Beach Block Party in Dorchester, the Diversity Matters Festival in Lynn, which connected thousands of youth, families and community members to the beach to experience free, fun and accessible summertime activities.
“We hope to center the voices of people of color, people with disabilities, and non-native English speakers,” said Maria Rodriguez Ortega, Public Policy Coordinator at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “These groups face barriers that prevent them from enjoying our region’s beaches due to discrimination and limited access. We strive to make our beautiful natural resources welcoming, safe, and accessible to all.”
Idea collection and voting are open for community members of all ages who live in Massachusetts or use Department of Conservation and Recreation beaches. To have your idea considered for the ballot, please create an idea that can be free and open to the public, can take place in Summer 2023, and complies with DCR beach usage guidelines. We will be prioritizing events that center people of color, people with disabilities, people who do not primarily communicate in English, and other groups that do not currently have equitable access to the waterfront.
To submit your idea for a free beach event, fill out the form here. You can also fill out the form here, translatable into over 100 languages.
Save the Harbor will be collecting ideas until January 27th. These ideas will be used to create a ballot to be voted on by the public. Voting will take place from February 5th to March 6th. The winners will be announced at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Annual Shamrock Splash in partnership with Harpoon Brewery on March 12th.
The work we do at Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay would not be possible without the support of our Youth Program funders, including Bay State Cruise Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, The Coca-Cola Company, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Massachusetts Bay Lines, Eastern Salt Company, Inc., Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, National Grid, Richard M. Saltonstall Charitable Foundation, Alexandria, The Boston Foundation, Boston Properties – Atlantic Wharf, Camp Harbor View Foundation, Cell Signaling Technology, City of Boston Department of Youth, Engagement & Employment, Comcast Foundation, Cronin Group, LLC, Exelon Generation, Goody Clancy, Hood Business Park, HYM Investment Group, Income Research and Management Charitable Fund, John Hancock Financial Services, Leader Bank Pavilion/Live Nation, Maine Community Foundation, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, National Development, National Grid Foundation.