At a time of year when nearly every park and public place is bursting with decorative cheer, only a scrooge’s spirit would be lifted with the desolate bareness of the Greenway parks.
In the North End, the “Winter Lights” program sponsored by the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy (RFKGC) has seemingly been abandoned. A last-minute installation of lighted disco balls were inexplicably removed after about one day. Remnant wires and electrical boxes are the only signs of the failed presentation.
A member of the burgeoning Friends of the North End Parks writes:
I don’t know what happened to make them decide to take down the disco balls but it’s another waste of money. They could have installed the same lights from years past and we could have something more than wires and electrical boxes to enjoy. The North End gets nothing from the Conservancy as usual. Happy New Year.
People close to the situation tell us that the popular 2-year old solar-powered hanging ornaments on the pergola went missing or were damaged in storage since last year.
The series of seasonal disappointments started at the delayed “Northern Lights” event featuring the tree lighting of the Great Elm tree. Fewer than a dozen residents showed up for the promised “ornament making” and “bell ringing by the North End Music & Performing Arts Center.”
A folding table in the pitch black empty park was set up with two Panera beverage containers, a box of crayons and a folder of paper.
It was too cold and dark to make ornaments with crayons and the bell ringing kids were a no-show. We were told that a family member of NEMPAC, the bell ringing group, had a heart attack. Fortunately, a check-in later with the group revealed there was no illness or emergency. Instead, NEMPAC staff said that no one from the Greenway Conservancy even bothered to contact them about the event.
Although we did not know it at the time, it was about a week later that RFKGC Executive Director Nancy Brennan submitted her resignation.
New Year’s 2013 starts off the year with no First Night activities or ice sculptures on the Greenway. Despite having lights, the Great Elm tree is often remains dark at night. The darkness may be emblematic of the future of the Greenway Conservancy, a leaderless organization with an uncertain future.
The following photo gallery shows other parks in and around the North End / Waterfront with their holiday decorations and winter lights.
Photos by Matt Conti, unless otherwise noted.