This January, we had a few teen represent Boston Makers at Youth Lead the Change, — a groundbreaking participatory budgeting (PB) process launched by the City of Boston to engage Boston youth in directly deciding how to spend $1 million of the city’s capital budget. Through participatory budgeting, young Bostonians will identify projects to improve their communities, vet those projects, consider trade-offs, and vote on how to spend the $1 million.
Last Summer, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the winning projects of the nation’s first, “Youth Lead the Change” participatory budgeting initiative. Over 1,500 eligible votes came in from Boston residents between the ages of 12 and 25.
The winning projects include:
Franklin Park Playground and Picnic Area Upgrade
This project will include infrastructure upgrades and repairs to the American Legion Picnic Grove playground to better serve children with disabilities. Renovations will include the following: 1) installation of exercise equipment for park goers of all ages (pending community and landmark approvals), 2) swings, modern slides, monkey bars, a jungle gym and go-green exercise equipment, 3) benches positioned closer to play area; parents will be able to monitor children, and 4) the resurfacing of playground foundation; softer grounds for safety precaution purposes.
Boston Art Walls
Designated Free Wall Space will be provided for local graffiti writers and other visual artists to showcase their artwork. Volunteers and local youth organizations will help designate additional free wall spaces, as well as provide ongoing maintenance.
Chromebooks for High Schools in East Boston, South Boston, and Charlestown
The students of East Boston High School, Charlestown High School, and Excel High School will receive approximately 30 Chromebook laptops. This will enhance student performance by providing them with the latest technology, allowing them to easily acquire information for academic assignments.
Skate Park Feasibility Study
A feasibility study will be conducted in the Dorchester, South Boston, and East Boston neighborhoods to explore the most sustainable methods of design and ongoing care for implementation of a skate board park.
Security Cameras for Dr. Loesch Family Park
Dr. Loesch Family Park and surrounding premises will receive 15 to 20 surveillance cameras to increase security and protection within the community.
Paris Street Playground Extreme Makeover
Paris Street Playground will receive additional, new creative water features, as well as USB park benches and handicap accessible infrastructures.
New Sidewalks for New Parks
Boston’s newly-renovated Howes Playground and Mount Pleasant Park will receive sidewalk and lighting improvements around the perimeter of both locations.