Press Release

Press Release  Healey-Driscoll Administration Kicks Off 10th Year of the Summer Nights Program at Ryan Playground in Mattapan

DCR Celebrates a Decade of the Program, Launching the Largest Year Yet with 100 Partners Supporting Youth Engagement across Massachusetts
For immediate release:
7/08/2024
  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Kicks Off 10th Year of the Summer Nights Program at Ryan Playground in Mattapan

Karissa Hand, Press Secretary

Boston — As part of an ongoing effort to provide safe and fun recreational opportunities to young people across the state, the Healey-Driscoll Administration today celebrated the 10th year of the annual Summer Nights Program. Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll and Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Brian Arrigo kicked off the department’s successful program at the Ryan Playground in Mattapan alongside Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and local leaders and community organizations. During July and August, the state’s Summer Nights Program offers a variety of activities aimed at fostering community engagement and personal development to young people across Massachusetts. 

“Playing sports kept me safe, healthy, and disciplined when I was growing up, and I want every young person in Massachusetts to have that opportunity. For 10 years, the Summer Nights Program has provided critical programming to our young people every summer, keeping them engaged and active while schools are closed. This year, we’re proud to expand the program to make an even bigger impact,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Summer Nights is more than just recreational activities – our partners foster a sense of belonging and personal growth for young people, paving the way to a brighter future for all.”

“We're thrilled to see the Summer Nights Program thrive in its 10th year, reaching more young people than ever,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “This achievement highlights our belief in community-based initiatives that nurture leadership, creativity, and healthy lifestyles through sports, arts, and mentorship, empowering youth to reach their full potential and make positive contributions to society.”

The Summer Nights Program provides free recreational and educational opportunities for young people, ages 13 to 21, in urban areas across the state. Since beginning with four initial partners, the program has grown significantly, serving nearly 20,000 young participants, annually. This year, for its 10th anniversary, the Healey-Driscoll Administration has expanded the program to its largest year yet with a budget of $3 million, $2.6 million directly benefitting partners and additional funds allocated for police details, equipment, and marketing. This funding will support 100 organizations including municipalities, community groups, and public safety agencies that will provide free activities including sports, arts and crafts, music, and mentoring and life skills workshops at approximately 125 locations across the state.

“Summer Nights provides an opportunity for our young people to connect with nature and cultivate their roles as the next generation of stewards of the environment,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “This programming is critical in urban areas, where young people have fewer chances to explore nature. By encouraging outdoor exploration and engagement through these programs, we are able to foster a sense of responsibility and connection to creating a sustainable future for generations to come.”

“The Summer Nights program exemplifies our commitment to providing families and children across Massachusetts with safe, inclusive and supportive spaces,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “One of our top priorities at DCR is ensuring young people have access to welcoming and engaging outdoor recreational programming regardless of their financial ability. Through this diverse array of enriching and educational activities, we hope to empower young people and foster a sense of stewardship and leadership within their communities.”

“Summer in Boston is a truly special time for our residents, families and communities across every neighborhood,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. For ten years, the state's Summer Nights Program has provided young people and families with a range of opportunities to stay active, build community and grow in new ways. With this expanded program, we are thrilled to partner with the Healey-Driscoll administration to serve even more young people in Boston and across the state." 
 

This year, Summer Nights partners will provide programming in: Boston (Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Roslindale, Hyde Park, East Boston, South Boston), Attleboro, Bridgewater, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Easthampton, Everett, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Methuen, Milton, New Bedford, Norwood, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Somerville, Springfield, Stoughton, Taunton, Westfield, and Worcester. Norwood, Everett, Revere, Pittsfield, Somerville, Attleboro, Bridgewater, Westfield, Chicopee and Easthampton are new to the program this year.

“Summer Nights programming has been a game-changer to the near thousands of underserved families throughout the Commonwealth,” said Leroy Peoples Jr., Founder and President, The PIM Project, Inc. “In Boston, PIM hosts a fun, friendly and safe environment for children and families, where DCR, through Summer Nights, provides the much needed and necessary support. Without Summer Nights, it would be near impossible for us to provide PIM programming.”

“We are excited to experience the magic of our tenth summer serving the children and families of our community in partnership with DCR Summer Nights, where every sunset brings a new adventure and every gathering sparks joy, connection and unforgettable summer memories,” said Deronne Greaves, Co-founder of Score4More.

“Effective programs like Summer Nights continue to improve the cultural diversity and landscape in Mattapan and throughout the Commonwealth,” said Alex Seymour, CEO of Youth in Crisis.

Programming will continue through late August, featuring a wide range of activities such as basketball, volleyball, yoga, dance, martial arts, flag football, corn-hole, fishing, ping-pong, cardio boxing, swimming, camping, rowing, kayaking, cooking, painting, Zumba, dodgeball, tennis, and nature exploration. Programming also includes sessions on leadership skill-building, health and wellness, poetry, academic tutoring, storytelling, animation, music, media production, and career and college readiness programs. Additionally, three providers will provide accessible and adaptive programs, including theater, swimming, and kayaking. Every Summer Nights participant and their families also receive a complimentary ferry pass to the Boston Harbor Islands through Boston Harbor Now.    

For a full list of programming, please visit DCR’s Summer Nights Program webpage. DCR will hold additional events celebrating the 10-year anniversary this summer. 

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Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Kicks Off 10th Year of the Summer Nights Program at Ryan Playground in Mattapan

  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll 

    Since taking office, Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll’s top priority has been building a Massachusetts that’s competitive, equitable, and affordable for every family, worker, and business.
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