With Harvard's Help, Allstonians Look to Spruce Up Lincoln St. Green Strip

{shortcode-3cdae4bf40aafdcf136a80387878a6e6d2f1047f}A group of Allstonians are looking to restore a roadside strip of green land near Interstate 90 with the help of Harvard and state funding after a similar attempt a decade ago failed to take root.

Friends of the Lincoln Street Green Strip—a group dedicated to the strip’s restoration—received $4,000 from the Harvard Allston Partnership Fund last year to create a master plan. The group is currently seeking community feedback.

Residents call the Lincoln Street Green Strip a “gateway” to a residential portion of North Allston. During the previous restoration attempt, residents received several grants, including one from the New England Foundation for the Arts in 2006. In spring 2008, landscapers took down the chain-link fence, removed some weeds, and installed steel ornaments on the strip.

But Jason Desrosier, manager at the Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation, said those initial efforts are not sufficient to create a long-term green space.

“I think the issue the first time was that the roots weren’t coming out, and the roots weren’t properly taken care of, so the plants came back,” he said.


Allstonian Richard Rogers said he also believes the previous project lacked lasting power. He and his wife, Victoria Stock, are spearheading the latest restoration effort, focused on eradicating invasive species, replanting sustainable trees, and eliminating litter on the strip.

“There was a lot of excavation, they did a lot of work, but the strip has literally never been touched again except for maybe two times a year,” Rogers said. “I think after all those grants were awarded, there were various parties that were involved that made an early exit.”

Rogers added he believes the previous attempt fell short because it miscalculated the amount of planters needed for the land and failed to replant any trees after removing all the invasive species.

“Those propagate through the neighborhood,” Rogers said. “That area is the source of the invasives in the neighborhood, and those go in and damage the foundations of the houses around.”

Desrosier said he sees opportunities for the Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation to support the project.

“We haven’t had that conversation yet, but I think there’s some opportunity for us to do some neighborhood cleanup day or something during the summer months or after the project is done,” he said. “We’ll work as collaboratively as possible or as needed.”

After the group finalizes its master plan, Friends for the Lincoln Street Green Strip hopes to apply for funding from the Community Preservation Act in September.

The Community Preservation Act—which Boston approved in Nov. 2016—mandates a surcharge on property tax to support various community improvement projects. In 2018, the city started using community preservation funds to support historic preservation, affordable housing, and parks and open space.

Thadine Brown, director of Boston's Community Preservation program, said the committee has just received its first round of grant applications, and is looking forward to supporting community projects.

“Our committee is fairly new, so I can’t say that it’ll accept all projects,” Brown said. “We may take a variety of projects in different neighborhoods, because we want to make sure we’re tailoring all neighborhoods through the city of Boston.”

—Staff writer Truelian Lee can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @truelian_lee.

—Staff writer Jacqueline P. Patel can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @jppatel99.


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