Citizen complaint of the day: Would the mayor tolerate weeds like this?

Dorchester weeds

An irate Dot citizen complains from O'Donnell Square (the intersection of Neponset and Ashmont):

Weeds are growing huge! 2nd report on this ... let's compare O'Donnell Sq in Dorchester with another square, oh like Wolcott Sq in Hyde Park near the Mayor's house.

Yes, let's! Here was Wolcott Square around 12:30 p.m. today:

Wolcott Square

Oh, um, maybe the guy has a point.

Ed. note: After the Stevie Nicks fiasco the other day, you bet I was concerned about another prank. But compare the three deckas and that other house behind Mr. Thumbs Up and the ones in this Google Street View. Yep, he's in Dorchester.

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      Around the World

      Naaah, picking up random citizen complaints from across the globe would be a good regular feature. "Where in the World is Citizen Connect?"

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      Let me get back when I stop laughing - my whole body hurts from that one. He plans to deliver the maximum in salary and bennies to the city employees who (along with their friends and relatives) will deliver the winning margin to him in the next election.

      Are you sure

      that the Wolcott Square photo isn't a prank? I've never seen a city square that looks like that in Boston. Wellesley, however, is a different story.

      I think there's one in Lower

      I think there's one in Lower Allston that's equally well-groomed, if not as nice. They're also redoing all of the median strips on Comm Ave slowly, so they're not big dirt patches covered in broken glass.

      Weeds just say, "Eh, no one gives a f--k about this neighborhood."

      And as eeka will probably confirm

      That thing in O'Donnell Square isn't really a park - more like a traffic island with plantings (for that matter, the "park" in Wolcott Square is completely fenced off, so no going into the Wolcott Square General Store - and yes, Readville is so small and remote it has a general store - or Olympic Pizza and getting something for an impromptu picnic in the park).

      I prefer the wild look...

      to that ubiquitous, hyper-manicured, high-maintenance, shorn-lawn look in Hizzona's neighborhood.

      I live in Somerville, where many of the median strips have been "cleaned up" by planting lawn and closely clipped shrubs with annuals for summer color. That type of treatment generally requires the use of (potable) water for irrigation, plus pesticides & herbicides, and usually also noise-polluting mowers & blowers depending on the season - all to achieve the soul-less, sterile look of strip malls.

      Do we really want that? I suspect there's an implementable solution somewhere between the two extremes.

      I'd prefer it if they

      I'd prefer it if they landscaped with native drought-tolerant plants, rather than grass which needs constant mowing, water, and chemicals. These plants are about the size and shape as the weeds in the photo. The new park at Mass Ave and Main Street in Cambridge is landscaped like this.

      Agreed!

      Just say "yes" to Switchgrass, Sporobolus & Russian Sage (& the like).

      It's totally ridiculous to (have to) dump expensive, treated water in these places, just to sustain stupid turfgrass.

      Agreed redux, but why not use native plants?

      I'm down with making more resource-efficient choices louielouie, but how about varieties that are actually from around here? None of the plants you mentioned are natives to the North American East coast.

      When we were evaluating a new landscaping scheme at the Haley K-5 a few years ago, one of the things we asked the consultants to focus on was regionally-appropriate choices. From my notes: Switchgrass and Bluestem are ornamental grasses native to NE that are drought *and* salt-tolerant. And some good can't-kill-em local flowers are Purple Coneflower, Viburnum, Coreopsis, Eastern Blanketflower, et lots more.

      Also fwiw, I believe that when they reseeded Adams park in Rosi last year, they did so with grass varieties that were suited for high traffic and low maintenance (ie less watering). And during the setting-in period, they used kid/pet-safe organic fertilizer from a local firm (not sure if they've kept that up or just do simple watering now).

      hmmm, granted there are long-standing disagreements as to

      working definitions of "native", but you may want to check your sources, regardless of what definition you adhere to. There are multiple species of Sporobolus native to MA. Here's one source:

      http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SPHE&ma... (hope I linked that correctly?)

      But: for what it's worth, I only included 3 genera, so mine was not an attempt at an all-inclusive list of traffic-island appropriate plants. Indeed, that wouldn't be possible without more site-specific info. Also, native plants can succeed, and I agree we should use many more of them, but we need soils & wildlife bio-diversity, not merely plant bio-diversity, for those plants to succeed. From that, we are a long way off, given that most of our urban sites lack those conditions. We live in a built world. I think we need to emphasize plants that perform in terms of ecological function first, and from there native where possible. To me, it just doesn't make sense to exclude non-native, wildlife supporting, beautiful plants, if they have the chops to perform well in a given site. (provided they are non-invasive, in case that needs stating)

      To that end, I stand behind the undoubtedly non-native Russian Sage 100%, as traffic-proof, salt-tolerant, drought-tolerant, cold-hardy, and good-lookin', hence *maybe* able to sway a few more clipped-yew fanatics into thinking a little more broadly about how we plant out our public spaces.

      O'Donnell Square

      Does this have an official Boston Parks sign on it anywhere? I always thought that since it was named for Father O'Donnell and was across from the church and the school that the folks at St. Ann's were in charge of it.

      Weeds Run Amok

      I've been meaning to post photos on Facebook of the waist-high weeds growing out of the center island along the Arborway. It's disgraceful that a major roadway, that is part of the Emerald Necklace and that borders the beautiful Arnold Arboretum should be allowed to deteriorate like this. I don't care if it's a state road (DCR?), it makes BOSTON look bad and Boston ought to be doing something about it.

      MORTON ST TO GALLIVAN BLVD TO NEPONSET CIRCLE

      Once you leave the rotary at the Forest Hills cemetery in JP, the WHOLE OF RT 203 - AKA Morton Street, Gallivan Blvd all the way to Neponset Circle is completely derelict, full of overgrown weeds, trash, branches, broken fences and 3 foot tall grass on either side of the road. Plus no code enforcement of trash receptacles which leaves garbage blowing around & easy pickins for vermin.

      I called the state, i called the city, finally i called my council rep Frank Baker (he got the job done) but it was back to a jungle a month later.
      I ride the VFW & Jamaica Way daily - which are lovely, constantly maintained, so wondering WTF with the Dorchester end of these parkways??????????

      Anyone have an answer??? Plus thank the gent for sending in the proof of neglect, kept meaning to take a pic of Rt. 203 situation.

      If anyone can post some pics of what I'm talking about please do!

      The Point

      What exactly is the point of all these little, itty, bitty green spaces all over the city? I've noticed this as a child growing up in NYC and Boston: They generally are a waste of space, BORING, not properly maintained [maintenance is always the first thing to go south during economic woes and budget problems, or simply for a politician in charge to show his/her displeasure with a particular area], and as some point out, too bland and suburban looking for an urban area. And these SAD 'squares' where they post the signs named after dead vets; WTF is up with that? I'd be insulted if if one were named after me! Even bigger spaces like the silly Rose Kennedy 'greenway' are a terrible waste of space and resources for something that really only looks somewhat nice from 20 stories or more above looking down. NO ONE uses this 'greenway' / park for very obvious reasons if you spend anytime at ground level.

      NO MORE 'GREEN SPACES'. In fact, no more plazas in front of our surrounding buildings also. They generally make a place more dead than alive. A little 'green-Space' is no substitute for a nice, well maintained, good sized, not overly crowded park.

      Anyone ever bitch to the city

      Anyone ever bitch to the city about getting street cleaning in dorchester? I pay my taxes just like everybody else and my street has trash on it everyday that I pick up myself! It's bullsh*t!!

      i bitch and bitch and bitch

      i bitch and bitch and bitch and bitch and bitch and bitch and bitch
      but I also weedwack, pick up the trash, and sweep the front sidewalk & gutter in front of my house.
      I'm young though, and I have a weedwacker, not everyone is so lucky.