Garden Club Proceeds to Help Myrtle Street Playground Renovations

The Myrtle Street Playground, where pre-schoolers and their parents gather, is about to be radically transformed.

New playground equipment is coming this spring. The planting beds are being transformed and a special playground feature which will provide climbing space for small children will take the playground up a notch in its significance.

The Friends of Myrtle Street Playground, a group of parents, raised $50,000 for the playground improvement plan last June. The Beacon Hill Garden Club signed up to sponsor soil refurbishment, a garden design and the plantings for the garden area. But Zen Associates, a landscape architecture and construction firm, agreed to do that work on a pro bono basis, leaving the garden club with extra funds to help with more extensive playground improvements.

The work is slated for a late spring start. “Our goal is to be ready for the ribbon cutting ceremony with the installation of the new equipment as well as the start to summer programming on June 28,” said Renee Walsh, president of the Friends of Myrtle Street Playground. “Planning for the summer programming, which takes place every Thursday at 4 p.m. through the second week in September, is in full swing.”

Kim Stockwell and Diana Coldren, co-chairs of this year’s Tour of the Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill, offered to donate to the playground the proceeds from the Garden Soirée, the festive neighborhood event held in the King’s Chapel Parish House garden on May 16 at 6:00pm, the evening before the tour. These improvements include an irrigation system and plantings for the garden, a new paint job for the historic fencing, new iron fencing to match the historic fence, park bench refurbishment and ongoing maintenance.

Meanwhile, Beacon Hill Garden Club members were pondering how to meaningfully celebrate the club’s 90th anniversary. “We wanted to do something significant in the neighborhood,” said Jeanne Burlingame, the club’s president. Club members had already decided to install the new garden at the playground, but Civic Beautification committee co-chair Miguel Rosales urged the club to take on something of more significance.

So the club has agreed on a special gift to the city, which owns the park, and separate funds will be raised to pay for it. There will be a surprise guest at the Soiree, where details of the club’s signature 90th Anniversary gift will be announced.

“The garden club is making such a generous contribution to this project,” said Walsh. “We’ll have new equipment, a beautiful new garden and a stunning centerpiece with the garden club’s gift. We’ll have many happy children there for years to come.”

The Soiree is open to all who want to enjoy a festive evening and donate to a good neighborhood cause.  Tickets are available for $150 each at

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