The Friends of the Phillips Street Play Area was named a finalist this summer in Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s 2020 Garden Contest for its work maintaining the gardens at the playground.
The Friends, a neighborhood nonprofit that serves as steward of the playground, was reportedly one of five finalists in the “Storefront, Organization, or Main Street District Gardens” category, but ultimately lost out to the competition.
“We hope that you are proud of your gardening efforts, as being chosen as a finalist is no small feat,” Ryan Woods, commissioner of the Boston Parks Department, wrote in a letter to the Friends dated July 30. “We received a large number of applications and the selection committee chose your garden as a top contender in its category, however, this year your garden was not selected as a winner.”
Woods added, “We thank you for your effort in beautifying your green space and appreciate your participation. We encourage you to enter the Garden Contest again next year. Your hard work in caring for the Phillips Street Play Area has not gone unnoticed. In addition, the finalist selection committee and the contest judges change each year and we often see gardens move up in their rankings.”
Adam Whitney, age 13, and his 11–year-old sister, Jordan Whitney, entered the gardens at the playground in the contest on behalf of the Friends group. They both pitch in by watering plants and cleaning up the gardens on a regular basis.
“As one of the original founders of the Friends group, I am very proud of the efforts of everyone in the Friends group – especially my kids – in keeping the Phillips Street Play Area clean and safe for all the residents of our neighborhood, and in keeping our garden space beautiful,” wrote their father, Rob Whitney, of Phillips Street.
A virtual awards ceremony for the Garden Contest is set to take place later this month, according to the city.