Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Launches Summer Nights Initiative for Youth

2017 marks third-year of the program to extend operating hours and increase programming at city parks across the Commonwealth
For immediate release:
7/12/2017
  • Governor Charlie Baker | Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact

William Pitman

Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh with local children at the Summer Nights kickoff.

BOSTON — Governor Charlie Baker was joined by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton, and Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Leo Roy to announce the 2017 Summer Nights Initiative to increase programming and extend the hours of operations at select pools and athletic complexes in areas across the state. The Baker-Polito Administration started the Summer Nights Initiative in 2015, benefitting youth within the cities of Boston, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Malden, Springfield, and Worcester during summer evenings.

 “While Massachusetts youth enjoy their summer vacation, the Summer Nights Initiative offers recreational programs and extended hours at our pools and parks to provide a safe and fun place for all,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With over 450,000 acres of public land, including several parks within city neighborhoods throughout Massachusetts, our parks offer perfect locations for kids to get outside and explore nature, many of which are right in people’s backyards.”

“The Summer Nights Initiative has become an important yearly program for our Administration over the last three years, impacting the lives of children and their families in cities across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By extending the hours of operations at highly visible and frequently utilized facilities, we are able to help promote a healthy, active lifestyle at an early age for our children.”

"The Summer Nights Initiative is a great resource for the youth of Boston,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “In the summer, it's especially important to help kids stay active and safe. We're doing that through programs like Summer Learning, Summer Jobs, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families programming. In order to keep kids engaged in their communities, they need safe places to have fun both day and night, and DCR's Summer Nights Initiative provides more opportunities for kids in Boston to do just that. We are thrilled to welcome this valuable program back this summer."

The DCR has also commenced its popular Free Family Flicks movie series. Movies will be shown at Fall River Heritage State Park in Fall River, the Martini Memorial Shell in Hyde Park, Salisbury Beach State Reservation in Salisbury, Sylvester Baxter State Park in Somerville, the Charles River Esplanade’s Hatch Memorial Shell in the Back Bay, Lowell Heritage State Park in Lowell, and Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester. Featured movies include Secret Life of Pets, Sing, Jungle Book, Finding Dory, Moana, Lego Batman, Dr. Strange, and Star Wars Rogue 1. The Free Family Flicks program provides family fun and entertainment at no charge (parking fees may apply depending on location).

“The Commonwealth’s state parks system provides unique and exceptional opportunities to get out outside, explore the natural world that surrounds us, and enjoy some of Massachusetts best and most diverse greenscapes, such as parks, reservations, forests, and athletic facilities,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Ensuring children have access to the environment is important to both their physical and mental growth, and I am pleased that the Summer Nights Initiative will once again provide excellent recreational opportunities that will surely be enjoyed all summer long.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to prioritize a high level of access within the state parks system for people of all abilities, ages, and locations to enjoy and benefit from,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Administration works closely with several partners to provide excellent and unique programming for the Summer Nights Initiative, and I thank them for their continued dedication and support.”

“It’s my pleasure to join Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh and DCR to launch this vital summer program that helps to revitalize and activate our parks and make them a strong and integral part of the fabric of our community for youth activities during the summer,” said State Representative Russell Holmes (D – Mattapan).

“I commend the Governor on forming these partnerships with the Urban League of Springfield and other local organizations that serve our urban communities so well,” said State Representative Bud Williams (D – Springfield). “By providing these organized activities, we will take young folks off of the street and put them into situations where they will develop as individuals.”

“I’m always happy to see the state working together with local organizations such as the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club. Ensuring that youth are involved in positive summer activities is very important to me and I am especially excited for these wonderful programs that our youth in the City of Lawrence can participate in,” said State Representative Frank A. Moran (D-Lawrence).

The extension of summer operations will continue through August 17, 2017. Below is a full list of extended hours and programming for additional youth access.

The following 11 water/swimming facilities will have extended hours of operations on Thursday in July until 7:45PM and in August until 7:30PM:

  • Allied Veterans Memorial Pool (65 Elm St, Everett, MA).
  • Holland Memorial Pool (108 Mountain Ave, Malden, MA).
  • Olsen Pool (95 Turtle Pond Pkwy, Hyde Park, Boston, MA).
  • Sara Jane Sherman Memorial Pool (750 Meadow St, Chicopee, MA).
  • Southwest Corridor Park Spraydecks (Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA).
  • Bennett Field (Veterans Memorial) Pool (1260 Main St, Worcester, MA).
  • Lt. Colonel Edward J. Higgins Pool (180 Crawford St, Lawrence, MA).
  • Ryan Wading Pool (350 River St, Mattapan, Boston, MA).
  • Melnea Cass Pool (120 Martin Luther King Blvd, Roxbury, Boston, MA).
  • Vietnam Veterans Pool (339 Eastern Avenue, Fall River, MA).

DCR is working in conjunction with four community partners to provide an exciting schedule of recreational, educational, cultural, and arts programs for kids, teens, and young adults to learn new skills and socialize one another. Programs such as basketball, flag-football, kickball, dodgeball, volleyball, and ping pong, as well as, dancing, fitness, fishing, and arts and crafts will be featured. Program partners include:  Score4More, PIM, Urban League of Springfield, and Lawrence Boys and Girls Club.

Special programming through the summer months include:

Mondays:

Moynihan Recreational Complex (1015 Truman Parkway, Hyde Park); 6:00PM-9:00PM: the PIM Project will be hosting organized sports and games including basketball and flag-football.

Tuesdays:

Lorber Playground (Centre St. at Columbus Ave, Jamaica Plain); 6:30PM-9:30PM: Score4More will offer basketball games, fitness, dance, children’s youth and arts activities.

Lawrence Boys and Girls Club (136 Water Street, Lawrence); 6:00pm-9:30pm: Activities include: basketball games and competitions, dance instruction, fitness training and recreational games including pool, ping-pong and carpet ball.  No membership required, open to all youth ages 13-18.

Urban League’s Camp Atwater Campsite (Lake Lashaway, North Brookfield); 5:00PM-9:00PM: Urban League of Springfield will be hosting organized activities including basketball, kickball, dodgeball, fishing, music and food. The program is free of charge and open to greater Springfield and Worcester area youth ages 13-18. Call (413) 739-7211 ext. 103 to learn more and register. Transportation is provided from Springfield. 

* Additionally, on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, Urban League of Springfield will be hosting a special event at DCR’s Lake Park at Quinsigamond State Park in Worcester. Activities include volleyball, kickball, soccer and basketball and arts and crafts activities. This program is free of charge and open to all youth ages 13-18.

Wednesdays:

Roberts Park (Dunbar Ave @ Washington Street, Dorchester); 6:00PM-9:00PM: PIM Project will be hosting organized sports including basketball and flag-football (*note* this is a city of Boston park).

Thursdays:

Lorber Playground (Centre St. at Columbus Ave, Jamaica Plain); 6:30PM-9:30PM: Score4More will offer basketball games, fitness, dance, children’s youth and arts activities.

Lawrence Boys and Girls Club (136 Water Street, Lawrence); 6:00PM-9:30PM: Activities include: basketball games and competitions, dance instruction, fitness training and recreational games including pool, ping-pong and carpet ball.  No membership required, open to all youth ages 13-18.

Urban League’s Camp Atwater Campsite (Lake Lashaway, North Brookfield); 5:00PM-9:00PM: Urban League of Springfield will be hosting organized activities including basketball, kickball, dodgeball, fishing, music and food. The program is free of charge and open to greater Springfield and Worcester area youth ages 13-18. Call (413) 739-7211 ext. 103 to learn more and register. Transportation is provided from Springfield.

* On Thursday, August 17, 2017, Urban League of Springfield will be hosting a Special Event at DCR’s Lake Park at Quinsigamond State Park in Worcester.  Activities include volleyball, kickball, soccer and basketball and arts and crafts activities. This program is free of charge and open to all youth ages 13-18.

The extended hours of operations will compliment other programs currently offered by the DCR for families at the hundreds of state parks, forests, reservations, beaches and other facilities across the state year round. To read more about the expansion of hours at select pools and parks, and for additional programs by DCR, please visit the agency’s webpage.

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Media Contact

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and members of their administration are committed to making Massachusetts the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Department of Conservation & Recreation 

DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.

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