Suffolk Cares Foundation awarded Boston Harbor Now a grant to build its capacity to connect youth from vulnerable communities with the healing benefits of Boston Harbor.
Research shows that access to the water, and particularly the ocean, have positive benefits for mental health, wellbeing, and social connectivity. This award comes at a time when access to the healing benefits of our harbor are more important than ever.
“The Harbor, the waterfront, and the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park are essential for restoring our health and reconnecting with each other as we turn the page on the current crisis,” said Boston Harbor Now President and CEO Kathy Abbott.
“We’re excited to build on our legacy of supporting and engaging young people through meaningful, innovative programs. Boston Harbor Now has an impressive track record of connecting youth in vulnerable communities to recreational opportunities on the Boston Harbor Islands. This hands-on approach will be critical as we encourage and prepare our next generation of leaders to protect the Boston waterfront and our environment,” said Nick Dhimitri, Senior Vice President of External Affairs at Suffolk and Board Member of the Suffolk Cares Foundation.
A report from City Parks Alliance cited the critical role that neighborhood parks play in helping residents be healthier noting that “nothing increases park use and physical activity as much as programming-supervised activities to help people make use of the space—leading to a 37% increase in physical activity”. To achieve that goal locally, Boston Harbor Now typically provides as many as 40,000 children and adults with live fitness and self-guided programming, free-of-charge, on the Boston Harbor Islands and Harborwalk, thereby increasing public awareness about the important role open spaces play in their respite, recovery and fitness.
Each year Boston Harbor Now, along with our partners at the National Park Service and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, engages over 25,000 youth in meaningful experiences ranging from curriculum-based education programs to recreational opportunities, internships, service learning projects, career explorations and unstructured play. We strive to foster the next generation of stewards to ensure the continued vitality of Boston’s waterfront, harbor and Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park.
For opportunities to donate or support Boston Harbor Now, please contact Interim Director of Development Jack Garvey at email@example.com.