Youth and Family Programming
A next generation of park leadership
The Southwest Corridor Park is the natural home to youth and family activities. The playgrounds, spraypools, sports facilities, gardens and open spaces, and the proximity of neighborhoods, schools, youth programs, churches, sports leagues and more, make it a natural focus for year-round activity. This page describes initiatives of the SWCPC and PMAC to develop a 'next generation' of park leadership.
A Circle of Parks Curriculum Resource
Classroom and youth programs are invited to use our curriculum resource; "A Circle of Parks: Boston Parks and Greenspace as a Case Study in Civic Engagement." This curriculum project highlights the network of community volunteers and partners who support the Southwest Corridor Park, and explores Southwest Corridor Park history, along with parallel history from the Emerald Necklace, illustrating important themes in civic engagement. The project includes videos, readings and interactive activities.
Children's Garden in Jackson Sq.
The children's garden near the Lorber Family Playground in Jackson Square is an SWCPC/PMAC initiative, with gardening activities for children from the Bromley Heath/Mildred Hailey Apartments. Favorite garden plants include mint, borage, peas, strawberries, blackberries, peppers, squash, cucumbers and more. Children participate in turning over soil, planting and transplanting, weeding, watering, arranging stones for garden paths, maintaining a composting worm bin and other garden tasks.
In partnership with BostonCares, many school groups and others, the SWCPC hosts volunteer days for youth groups as well as the many adult and family groups that volunteer in the park. Tasks include preparing garden beds, planting and transplanting, weeding, pruning and other garden and landscaping work. While this work has been on hold during the pandemic, we look forward to future opportunities. In the photos below: In Spring/Summer 2018, one of our biggest volunteer events was the Earth Day Community Service Project with the Kingsley Montessori School, with children and families from the school helping up to plant seedlings and seeds to help us start our garden season. In Spring/Summer 2017, one of our youth highlights was the BostonCares spring vacation week program, with a group of teens who helped us expand our children's garden in Jackson Square.
As SWCPC/PMAC members work to gather resources on our HISTORY page, we are looking at ways of engaging school and youth groups in the study of Southwest Corridor Park history. Like other local history projects, the park history can be approached through many different lenses, connecting to history, civic engagement, science/engineering and other areas of study.
We welcome community partners who would like to develop lesson plans and projects based on this park and neighborhood history. Possible focus areas include the following and more.
- Civic engagement and community organizing
- Transportation and urban development
- Environmental awareness and urban gardening
- Understanding the political process
- Use of primary and secondary sources to study local history
- Geography, maps and GIS
- Architecture and neighborhood history
Each summer, PMAC, in partnership with the SWCPC and with support from Northeastern University, offers mini-grants to support youth and family activities in the park. Activities have included playground events for mothers and toddlers, painting in the park, photography, video production, arts and crafts, a zumba series with local police, bicycle excursions in the SWCP and other nearby parks, book publishing and youth leadership projects. Each summer, over 200 youth and adults participate in activities supported by these mini-grants, raising visibility and awareness for the Southwest Corridor Park while providing a variety of high quality park activities.
Summer 2022 Mini-Grant Application
A mini-grant highlight, children from the USES summer program displayed Southwest Corridor-themed art in a sidewalk art show.
Learn more about the mini-grant programs in our annual reports & other materials:
2017 Annual Report and Park Highlights
2018 Annual Report and Park Highlights
2019 Annual Report and Park Highlights
2020 Annual Report and Park Highlights
2020 Mini-Grant Project: A Circle of Parks curriclum project
2021 Annual Report and Park Highlights