University President William P. Leahy, S.J., far right, and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh flank some recipients of Allston-Brighton Neighborhood Improvement Fund and Community Fund grant awards. Among the projects supported are a new community playground and a tribute to Allston native and war hero George W. Casey. Photos by Lee Pellegrini

Representatives of 19 local organizations gathered on campus earlier this month as University President William P. Leahy, S.J., and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh presented the Allston-Brighton Neighborhood Improvement Fund and Community Fund grant awards.

The awards support area programs, projects and initiatives that benefit the community: Among those selected for funding were a new playground at the Jackson-Mann Community School, summer teen development programs for the Oak Square YMCA, and an adaptive sports program for Boston-area children with disabilities.

The Neighborhood Improvement Fund was 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.  

Students from Jackson-Mann school
Jackson-Mann Community School students check out the symbolic check for $100,000 in funding to support a state-of-the-art playground.

The Allston/Brighton-Boston College Community Fund supports programs and services that are available to the people of Allston and Brighton. Special consideration is given to the benefit of the potential award on the youth, senior citizens, and the needy in the Allston and Brighton neighborhoods; beautification projects are also encouraged.

A look at the grant recipients:

•Jackson-Mann Community School and Council: $100,000 for the construction of a state-of-the-art playground for children aged two to five years old.

•Allston Village Main Streets Inc.: $36,000 to replace 56 tree pits in Allston village with Flexi-pave, a permeable pavement, to create a smooth walking surface, increase accessibility and allow for healthy tree growth.

•Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation: $59,000 for improvements to Chestnut Hill Reservoir, including planting of new trees and vegetation, installing chip seal on pathways and new stone dust to address erosion and repair hazardous areas.

•VFW Post 669 and Boston Parks and Recreation: $100,000 for installation of bronze relief in the Smith Park Amphitheater of Allston native Army Major General George W. Casey recognizing his heroism and service in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War.

•Artists for Humanity: $30,798 for installation of life-size sculptural art works on Brighton High School lawn; the organization will work with Brighton High teachers and students to design works reflecting student activities such as reading, writing, scientific inquiry, sports and the arts.

•Allston Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force: $1,500 to fund 5K Annual Walk for Recovery, to raise awareness about substance abuse, treatment and recovery.

•Boston Police Department: $2,500 to purchase coloring books and other items for officers to use as teaching tools at area schools and camps, and to purchase materials for use in the annual Allston-Brighton “Halloween Walk.”

•Brighton Main Streets: $2,400 for directional signage and seating for Brighton Common events and farmers market.

•Charles River Conservancy: $2,255 for community volunteer projects including maintenance and repair of the Herter Park Public Theatre, painting park benches and picking up litter.

•The Civic Conversations Project: $1,860 to create a signature event for an initiative that encourages meaningful conversations about shared concerns and topics.

•Franciscan Children’s Hospital: $3,000 to support an adaptive sports program for children with disabilities.

•Friends of the Faneuil Library Branch of Boston Public Library: $2,100 to expand educational science programs for children aged six to 11 years old during school vacation weeks.

•Horace Mann School for the Deaf: $3,000 to aid research, organization and display of historical artifacts for the Horace Mann Sesquicentennial Archives.

•Jackson-Mann Community Center After School/Pre-school Program: $3,000 to incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics activities into program offerings.

•Oak Square YMCA: $3,000 to support summer teen development programs.

•Presentation School Foundation Community Center: $2,000 to aid a partnership with Boston College Music Department faculty member Barbara Gawlick that will provide subsidized music instruction to children of various ages.

•Tenacity Inc.: $2,500 to support a Summer, Tennis and Reading Program for youths in 23 public parks.

•West End House Camp Inc.: $3,000 to provide scholarships for 10 Allston-Brighton boys to participate in a summer camp program.

•West End House Girls Camp: $3,000 to provide scholarships for 10 Allston-Brighton girls to participate in a summer camp program.

–University Communications