Costa Park in the Shirley Avenue neighborhood is shining a little brighter after a revitalization project that added murals, fixed up the playground and planted new greenery around the much-loved community space. The project, co-sponsored by Republic Services, the City of Revere and The Neighborhood Developers, drew dozens of volunteers who live and work in Revere to the park on Saturday, June 8.
Republic Services General Manager Kurt Lavery was joined by company employees and family members who helped in the days leading up to the project day as well as on the day itself. “This is a special day for Republic Services, for The Neighborhood Developers and for all of our community partners,” Lavery said. “We are proud to join you in this rebuilding day project to achieve a safe, clean and welcoming Costa Park.”
The park is one of the busiest in Revere with hundreds of children and adults using the playground each week. Due to its heavy use, the city park needed some TLC to keep it in tip top condition. The playground’s rubber surfacing was worn away in many places, some playground and park equipment was broken, and the park’s murals and art installations no longer shined.
A planning committee composed of neighborhood children and adults had been working since late winter to plan the park improvements. Kyla Alterman, a community organizer for The Neighborhood Developers, worked with residents. “Each improvement that you see in the park was the result of engaged children and adults who showed up at design meetings. They helped select our new ball hoops, balance beam, and accessibility swing,” Alterman said. “We painted a hopscotch on the ground after dozens of children drew pictures of one as an element they wanted to see most in the park. Community members also selected the painted butterflies that will be installed on the park’s fence, came up with the idea to collect plastic caps to make murals, and to paint a welcome mural at the entrance of the park.”
During the event, a shiny new Republic Services truck was positioned just outside the park’s entrance. The company, which has a local division in Revere, is one of the nation’s largest trash and recycling haulers with 14 million customers. In his remarks, Lavery, the general manager, said, “This past year, our Foundation launched a substantial company-wide charitable giving program we call the National Neighborhood Promise. And, through this program with partners like The Neighborhood Developers, Republic is committed to helping rebuild, revitalize and restore neighborhoods just like here in Costa Park. Our goal is to help build stronger, more unified neighborhoods. And through our programs and volunteer projects we believe we can – with each of you – make a meaningful difference in the communities where we live and work.”
Republic Services has 200 employees working out of the company’s Revere facility picking up recycling and trash from regional residential and commercial customers, including the residential properties of The Neighborhood Developers that are home to more than 1,100 children and adults in Chelsea and Revere.
Mayor Brian Arrigo and City Councilor Ira Novoselsky were on hand to thank Republic Services, The Neighborhood Developers, community residents and city employees who helped to make the day productive and fun. Qin Li, a mother of two who regularly enjoys the park with her children, told the Mayor that she is recruiting volunteers to join a Friends of Costa Park group. “Our goal is to keep the park clean, and to use the park for organized activities,” she said.