neighborhood grants

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joined BC President William P. Leahy, S.J., in presenting nearly $450,000 to six organizations that serve residents of Allston and Brighton. From left: State Rep. Kevin Honan, Fr. Leahy, Brighton Main Streets Executive Director Allison Carter, Mayor Walsh, Brighton Main Streets President Richard Mulligan, Boston City Councilor Mark Ciommo. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

A Medal of Honor monument, new street signage, bike-share stations, and improvements to parks are just some of the enhancements on the way for Allston-Brighton residents, thanks to almost $450,000 in neighborhood grants from Boston College.

Alumnus and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined University President William P. Leahy, S.J., on Jan. 15 in Gasson 100 in presenting checks to six organizations in support of programs and services for Allston-Brighton residents.

The grants came from the $2.5 million Boston College Neighborhood Improvement Fund created by the University – along with the Boston Redevelopment Authority – as part of a public benefits package related to its Institutional Master Plan. The fund aids Allston-Brighton public and private non-profit entities undertaking projects that involve neighborhood beautification; public safety, transportation and roadway improvements; public art; and enhancements to public parks and open space.

“We know the neighborhood here has all kinds of connections to Boston College, and we in turn have all kinds of links to our neighborhood and to the surrounding community,” said Fr. Leahy. “Today, we are able to demonstrate an even stronger partnership with various entities in our neighborhood and in our city.”

 “Boston College is certainly a great and wonderful partner with the city of Boston,” said Walsh. “These projects are certainly going to have an impact on the quality of life in Allston-Brighton.”

The Allston-Brighton Veterans received $90,000 to help fund a Medal of Honor monument for Private First Class Ernest W. Prussman, killed during World War II. Boston Police will use $40,000 to buy two speed-alert display board units. Two solar-operated trash and recyclable compacting stations costing $25,000 are on their way to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir.

Brighton Main Streets will use $100,000 to install gateway signage along with an interactive kiosk that will provide information about local businesses, access to public transit, and a community calendar.

“The money is going to a project that we would never be able to do without a grant like this,” said Brighton Main Streets Executive Director Ali Carter. “The gateway signage will add beautification and help serve as a landmark, which I think is important to make Brighton a destination within the city of Boston. We’re hoping the kiosk will improve foot traffic around the neighborhood and into the businesses because people will have a greater awareness of what’s there.”

Boston Bikes-Hubway and the city’s transportation department will use $95,600 for two bike-share stations, while $95,538 will fund improvements to McKinney Park including a new automated, solar-powered scoreboard, three concrete chess tables, and transformation of the street hockey court so it can also be used for soccer and basketball.

“It’s going to be amazing,” said Siobhan McHugh, a Friends of McKinney Park board member.

Boston Police Community Service Officer Frank Hughes, another board member said, “I think people will see an awful lot of good things there: many more improvements in the way the park is utilized, and more kids in it. If there are more people using the park, it gets better maintained by the city.”

 “This is truly a community effort today, bringing together the University, the neighborhoods, the state and the city,” said Walsh.