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CBE News | E3C Youth Crew | Know What's Up Youth Concerts | CCAG | Renew Boston | CBE | CBE/Renew Boston Home

Community Building & Environment (CBE)
Kim Foltz , 617-418-8241 OutdoorClassroomRibbonCutting


NOAH's Community Building and Environment Department (CBE) works with community members to improve the environment, enhance the quality of life, and develop the leadership skills of residents in East Boston and beyond. Our goals include working to:

  • Re-green and protect the environment and communities
  • Educate communities about key environmental issues
  • Develop and diversify environmental leadership
  • Engage youth in leadership roles and environmental responsibility
  • Build "ownership" and "stewardship" of open space
  • Support community initiatives that grow from projects and needs

We achieve these goals by involving a broad range of residents (of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds) and community associations in the planning, design, implementation, maintenance, and programming of environmental projects, as well as community organizing projects. Although the most visible results of this program are transformed spaces, an equally important aspect is the transformation of people! Participants are learning new skills, developing new relationships, and often become sparks and catalysts for many other improvements in the community.MBTA_Pilot_Launch

Renew Boston
Kim Foltz, Director of CBE at 617-418-8241

If you live in the City of Boston in a one- to four-family home and pay your own heating bills, NOAH could help you cut your energy costs!

Renew Boston Logo

We hold free weekly Energy Efficiency Clinics where residents can learn about this no-cost program; come learn about this City initiative to help you conserve energy, save money and lower your utility bills. You could get up to $3,500 in air sealing and weatherization funding, plus a free home energy check-up and free energy upgrades.

Energy Efficiency Clinics are held every Tuesday at 6:30 PM at NOAH in English and Spanish. NOAH is located at 143 Border Street in East Boston. Please bring your latest tax return or other proof of income and a recent energy bill. No registration is needed. Homeowners and renters are welcome. For more information, please call Kim Foltz at 617-418-8241.

More about Renew Boston: By providing free insulation and other cost-saving measures, Renew Boston is helping income-eligible residents cut home heating and cooling costs by as much as 30%, while working toward the Mayor's aggressive climate change goals for Boston. Boston's older building stock accounts for nearly 70% of the city's greenhouse gas emissions, the leading contributor to global warming. Renew Boston will help lower citywide emissions, while saving Boston residents over $3.4 million in annual energy costs, and creating 58 local green jobs. All the air inside an average house in Boston is replaced by cold, outdoor air once every hour. If a house isn't well-sealed and insulated, residents pay to heat up that cold air only to send it out the cracks between the walls, and surrounding ducts and wires. The Mayor said "We expect to reach 3,000 Boston households with no-cost energy efficiency services" through this program.

COPN - Community Organizing Projects of NOAH
Manlio Mendez, Community Organizer at 617- 418-8242

The Community Organizing Project of NOAH (COPN) was originally launched by NOAH’s Community Building and Environment Department to organize residents to identify issues and implement solutions within their own communities. COPN applies a traditional grassroots, direct-organizing model based on personal relationships, power-building and participant control. Issues and solutions are participant-defined. COPN provides an opportunity for immigrants and others who have not yet been involved in, or in some cases have been excluded from, neighborhood participation to learn the power of civic democratic action and community organizing to bring about tangible improvements and lasting social and environmental change.

Chelsea Creek River Revel

The River Revel is a free multi-cultural annual festival organized by mutliple communities, and includes talent shows, a road race, music, food, games and youth activities. When possible, it is held on the Meridian Street Bridge, which is closed to vehicular traffic that day. In 2012, it was held on Saturday, June 16, from 9:30 AM to 3 PM.

ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages

ESOL Student These classes are an opportunity to learn and practice Beginners English at whatever level you are comfortable with and to learn from other participants and from the facilitator. This program charge is $20. Classes meet at the NOAH office on:

Level One: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 to 8:30 PM
Level Two: Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:00 to 8:30 PM
English Conversation Group: Saturdays from 9:00 to 11:00 AM

Everyone is welcome to come to the English conversation groups! For more information, please call Manlio Mendez directly at 617-418-8242.

Schoolyard Summer Program & Schoolyard Initiative

  • O'Donnell Schoolyard Summer Program, East Boston
  • Fun recreational activities for 6-12 year olds
  • 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Free breakfast and lunch served
  • Call or email Manlio Mendez at 617-418-8242 for more information

The Schoolyard Summer Program is held at the O'Donnell Elementary School. Breakfast and lunch are served to promote a healthy start to the day and good nutrition, and to help those in most need of food assistance. In 2012, it will begin on July 6th.

Schoolyard Initiative Means Renovation and Beautification
NOAH has helped renovate the following East Boston schoolyards:

  • Alighieri || Guild || Kennedy || McKay || O’Donnell || Otis ||Adams

NOAH’s East Boston Schoolyard Initiative involves school communities (parents, neighbors, students, and school personnel) in the revitalization of public schoolyards from barren, cracked asphalt to safe and attractive spaces for learning, recreation, and community use. After construction, schoolyard committees sustain the improvements by planning and implementing schoolyard-based programs, events, and educational activities. Along the way, community ties are strengthened, as participants become permanent stewards of these important spaces. NOAH has worked with and/or currently works with schoolyard committees at the Alighieri, Guild, Kennedy, McKay, O’Donnell, Otis and Adams schools.

We estimate that it takes two and a half years to develop a diverse Schoolyard Committee, complete the design process, and renovate the schoolyard. NOAH’s East Boston Schoolyards Initiative has been so successful that it served as a model for the citywide Boston Schoolyards Initiative.

E3C - Chelsea Creek Environmental Youth Crew

NOAH’s Environmental Chelsea Creek Crew (E3C) employs seven East Boston teens to work with the Chelsea Creek Action Group (CCAG) on projects/issues related to environmental justice and Chelsea Creek restoration work. The youth learn how to be local leaders as they participate in the clean up and redevelopment of polluted sites, long-term scientific field studies, and the development of programs related to ecological, environmental, recreational, and health issues associated with the Chelsea Creek and its shorelines.

E3C is a way for NOAH to provide environmental, economic, civic, and public-health education to East Boston’s youth while also providing them with year-round employment, hands-on experience and experimental learning. Read more about the E3C Program.

Chelsea Riverway Art & Community Landscapes

The Chelsea Riverway Art & Community Landscapes project was an artist residency project that supported the Chelsea Creek Restoration Partnership by providing opportunities for community members to create photographs, sound recordings, and puppets that 're-storyed' Chelsea Creek—that documented and communicated its history and ecology, people and places. Re-storying Chelsea Creek had three parts: 100 Views, 100 Sounds, 100 Puppets. Artwork, including photographs, from the project were displayed at Logan Airport and elsewhere.

CCAG - Chelsea Creek Action Group

Monthly meetings of community organizers, concerned residents and business leaders.

The Chelsea Creek Action Group (CCAG) is a coalition of Chelsea and East Boston residents (the Chelsea Creek Action Group) and two non-profit organizations: NOAH and Chelsea Green Space and Recreation Committee. CCAG seeks to reclaim the neglected, contaminated Chelsea Creek as an environmental, recreational, economic, and educational asset for East Boston, Chelsea, Revere and the region. CCAG is a vehicle for informing and empowering residents, including youth, to build stronger community leadership and healthier, more vibrant neighborhoods, as they learn about how environmental justice issues affect them directly.

KWU Dance Party

Button ' Know What's Up' Youth Crew

The ‘Know What’s Up’ youth concert series is based in East Boston and brings together young people and local performers - from all backgrounds and ages - by using multicultural music and spoken word as tools to reach out to and raise awareness among youth about community and global issues. They focus on environmental justice and other social justice issues such as youth violence, college access, voter registration, immigration issues, safe sex, and more. Concerts are held six times a year. Various projects and workshops are also held throughout the year, and have included poetry and song writing contests, photography contests, web site design and more. To view the 'Know What's Up' web pages, please click here.

KWU Block Party

Button Community Childrens and Youth Soccer Program Soccer Players

NOAH offers Youth and Family Soccer Programming during the mild weather. Both girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 18 are welcome. During summer 2011, this will be held on Wednesday and Friday evenings from 4 to 7 PM; and on Saturdays from 1 to 6 PM at the American Legion Field in East Boston. Coaches teach the basics about the game. There is a tournament at the end of the year; and NOAH typically participates in the Mayor's Cup Soccer Tournament each fall. For more information, please contact Manlio Mendez at 617-418-8242.

BulletLower Mystic River Watershed Collaboration

NOAH is part of a Lower Mystic River Watershed Collaboration working to create informed and active groups of residents - youth and adult - in the communities all along the Lower Mystic River Watershed. To learn more about its many initiatives, including one to restore the old Hess Site and other nearby waterfront parcels in East Boston to wetlands, please contact Kim Foltz at 617-418-8241.

BulletOutdoor Classroom at the Our Garden Site

Last fall, under the direction of local artist and architect Gretchen Shneider, NOAH's youth completed a project - with community input - to design and install benches, a mosaic demonstration table and inset solar lighting to create an outdoor learning area adjacent to the Our Garden location and directly across the road from the Umana Middle School Academy.

Mosaic Tile Outdoor_Classroom




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