News Briefs

Wu to Open Swan Boats April 16

Mayor Michelle Wu, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Paget family will host the first ride of the season on the popular Boston Swan Boats as they open at the Boston Public Garden lagoon on Saturday, April 16, at 10 a.m. 

2022 marks the 145th season for the Swan Boats, a beloved tourist attraction and iconic symbol of Boston and the Public Garden. The oldest and smallest boat in the fleet just celebrated its 112th season, while the newest was launched in 1993. The swan on the boats is made from either copper or fiberglass, depending on the age of the boat, and encloses a paddle mechanism that is used to propel the boat through the water. 

Launched in 1877 by Irish immigrant and shipbuilder Robert Paget, the Swan Boats continue to be owned and operated by the Paget family. Mr. Paget designed the Swan Boats after attending the opera Lohengrin in New York City. At the end of the opera, the hero crosses a river in a boat drawn by a swan. 

Fully loaded, each Swan Boat weighs three tons and is powered by the driver using a foot propelled paddle wheel. The Swan Boats are built on oak-framed pontoons sheathed in copper just as they were initially constructed in 1877. After being stored in a safe place for the winter, the boats will return to the Public Garden Lagoon in the spring with Mayor Wu celebrating the first ride of the season.

Volunteers Sought for Earth Day Cleanup

An Earth Day cleanup of the Northern Strand Community Trail is being held on Saturday, April 23 in Lynn.

 Anyone interested in helping out should bring work gloves and meet along the trail at Spencer Street in Lynn, across from Market Basket.  The cleanup is being held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at this section of the trail, which is also known as the Community Path of Lynn.

 For more information contact Hildy Curran at [email protected]

 Bike to the Sea connects communities by building and improving shared-use paths, and promoting safe and happy trail use for all ages and abilities.

 The Northern Strand Community Trail is an off-road, car-free, paved path starting in Everett and winding through Malden, Revere, Saugus, and Lynn.

Department of Public Utilities Raises Awareness of Safe Digging Practices

 In recognition of April as Dig Safe Awareness Month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is joining with other states and utility companies around the country to remind excavators, contractors, and residents to dig safely and call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects. 811 is the line for “Dig Safe,” which is a nonprofit organization that notifies gas, electric, telephone, and cable companies about the intended digging project. At no cost to the excavator, professional locators visit the requested dig site to mark the approximate locations of underground utility lines with flags, spray paint, or both.

 “Utility lines are buried in the ground all around us on both public and private property, and sometimes these lines are only a few inches below the surface,” said Department of Public Utilities Chair Matthew Nelson. “Calling 811 is the best way to ensure a line won’t be hit when commencing a new project this year.” 

 State law requires calling 811 at least three days before digging is to start. Accidently striking an underground utility line can result in serious personal injury, property damage, and costly service disruptions for many. Additionally, failure to follow the provisions of the law and regulations can result in fines.

Excavations are the leading cause of damage to underground utility infrastructure. In 2021, there were 925 excavation-related damages to utility infrastructure in Massachusetts. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 include installing a mailbox or fence, building a deck, installing a pool, and planting trees and shrubs.

 For more information about 811 and safe digging practices, the public is encouraged to visit https://www.mass.gov/dig-safe or www.digsafe.com.

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