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April in Newton

This month, we are excited to continue our community spaces tours with a guide to the Newton Free Library. We also hope you will consider volunteering with our next project - a gardening initiative with the Newton Housing Authority and partners. We wish a happy and meaningful Ramadan, Passover, and Easter to all celebrating. And a big cheer and best of luck to everyone running the Boston Marathon! Read on for local events, news, and ways to find and give support and connect with our community in April.

COMMUNITY SPACES TOUR: Newton Free Library

Previous community spaces tours and village guides are available under the "connecting neighbors" tab on our website.

Your name/role, and anything you’d like to share about your connections to Newton:

Ellen Meyers, Newton Free Library, Programs and Communications. I have lived in Newton for 33 years and love serving our community through my work at the library.

Tell us about your organization - where is it located, when was it founded, what is your mission?

The Newton Free Library is located at 330 Homer St., Newton.

Attached is a document I prepared 10 years ago for our 20th anniversary in the Homer St. building. It covers much of the history of the library system in Newton.

Our mission statement reads as follows: The Newton Free Library brings the community together to enjoy, explore, create, and discover.

What programs do you offer?

The Newton Free Library offers a wide variety of programs and services for patrons ages 0 to 100+. The services page on our website is a good place to start.

While too numerous to list in their entirety, programs include:

  • A full schedule of programs for kids including storytimes, crafts, book groups, STEAM based programs and more.

  • A wide variety of programs for Tweens and Teens including crafts, book groups, Maker and STEAM based programs and more.

  • An array of programs for adults including lectures, Maker programs, panel discussions, concerts and more

  • We have an extensive ELL program with many volunteer opportunities available

  • Museum passes are available to our patrons

  • Free wireless access is available to anyone in the building, or grounds in close proximity

  • We have two galleries that rotate on a monthly basis and feature New England area artists.

Do you offer scholarships, free programs, or other ways people can access financial support? (if applicable)

All of our programs are free and open to the public.

What is your favorite thing about the village/neighborhood near your building?

I love the Winnie-the-Pooh and Friends sculpture garden on the grounds of the library. Knowing that life-long Newton resident and library patron, Nancy Schon, created the works specifically for us is indeed quite special. And, this fall, when we celebrated our 30th anniversary in the Homer St. building, we were delighted to unveil the Newton Villages Sunflower sculpture that Nancy created.

An added benefit of working in this area are the grounds at City Hall which were designed by the Olmstead firm.

Lastly, the Newton Cemetery is a great place to walk - the park-like grounds abound with trees, small ponds and lovely greenery.

How can people find out about programs or events? How do people stay in touch with your organization?

We encourage all members of the community to apply for a free library card. We send out weekly email updates which keep patrons abreast of our program offerings (by age group). Our Director, Jill Mercurio, sends out a monthly Director's eNewsletter as well. People can decide which of our eNewsletters suit their needs and sign up for them here.

Calling All Gardeners

Get your hands dirty! NN is partnering with the Newton Housing Authority, Newton Community Pollinators Project, and Newton Community Farm with a variety of gardening projects. We are looking for volunteers in two areas:

  1. Partnering with a NHA Newtonville resident to help with one of a variety of gardening tasks, from repotting indoor plants and putting pots on a balcony to supporting experienced gardeners. You will sign up to work directly with a NHA resident. There are an array of different needs so this is appropriate for gardeners with varying levels of expertise & availability. You can sign up to work with an individual residents on a discrete project here: https://tinyurl.com/mr452nzz

  2. Work with other volunteers to plant a pollinator garden at a Newton Housing Authority property in Newtonville. This is a great opportunity to learn more about pollinator gardens & native plants from our partners at Newton Community Pollinators Project and Newton Community Farm. The first big push for this project will be the ground breaking on May 7th, with other volunteer opportunities coming over the summer months. Sign up to volunteer with the pollinator garden here https://tinyurl.com/2ban9kdf

Other questions or want to learn more, please contact us at newtonneighborshelping@gmail.com.

NEWTON NEWS

Yard Waste Pick Up begins week of April 11th. Marathon Monday: On Monday, April 18 the running of the Boston Marathon through Newton, entering from Wellsley on Washington St heading east, then travel onto Commonwealth Ave, heading east to the Boston line. Road closures will start at 8 AM and be in place until approximately 6 PM. No vehicles will be allowed to cross the Marathon Route until the route is opened.


The Book Shed at the Newton Resource Recovery Center will reopen on April 1, 2022. Hours: Tuesday 10am-2pm, Thursday 10am-2pm, Saturday 9am-12pm (depending on the weather and availability of volunteers.) The Resource Recovery Center is at 115 Rumford Avenue, Auburndale.

Soccer Exchange: Looking to get rid of soccer equipment, or find used stuff? Check out the Newton Cleat Exchange Facebook group.

Zoning Redesign: Apply to join the ‘Community Engagement Network’ for Zoning Redesign: Village Centers! The network will be a space for community members to collaborate with city staff on making engagement material & efforts as fun and accessible as possible - for the phase II of village center zoning updates. Click here for the application and full details; applications due by midnight on Sunday, April 10!

APRIL EVENTS

Concert for Ukraine: On April 10, JCC Greater Boston is hosting a Concert for Ukraine. This will be an afternoon of music, activities, community, and a chance to raise money for the people of Ukraine. 100% of tickets sales and donations collected will go directly to their sister JCC in Dnepro, Ukraine and CJP’s Ukraine Emergency Fund. Buy tickets or just donate here.

“Supporting a Healthy Relationship with Technology,” presented by Katie LeClerc Greer, a nationally recognized digital safety expert, on Thursday, April 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. via Zoom webinar. The webinar will update parents, caregivers, and supportive adults on the latest tech trends, safety issues, social media concerns and tips on how to help our kids have productive, healthy relationships with technology. Learn what’s new, what’s now and what’s next when it comes to our kids and technology. To register please click here: REGISTRATION LINK

In addition, please SAVE THE DATE, for an upcoming workshop, “Trades Industry Exploration: Broadening the Definition of Success,” presented in partnership with Massachusetts Girls in Trades, IBEW Local 103, Pipefitters Local 537, Columbia Construction and the Carpenters Union, on Wednesday, April 27, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. via Zoom webinar. Explore the skilled trades industry from professionals working in the field. From education, training programs, career growth and more, this program will broaden post-secondary pathways!

Family Access Community Connections Meet Up: Spring is here and we can gather together safely outside! Join Community Connections staff for an informal opportunity to meet up with us and other families in your community, and receive a free book or activity. Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm MONDAY, APRIL 25th Newton, MA @ Davis Field @ Family ACCESS

Earth Day Festival: The Newton Climate and Sustainability Team and Green Newton are having an Earth Day Festival! It will be on April 24th from 1-4 p.m., outside of City Hall. We’ll have a variety of environmental/climate organizations set up at booths in the War Memorial parking lot, and there will also be some performances, an ice cream truck, and a petting zoo. There is no cost to participate.

A family friendly bike ride in Newton! -- The vision is to gather bikes and kiddos at the Newton Centre Playground and do a 2ish mile ride around Newton. The family-friendly ride is Saturday, April 30th at 4pm with a Sunday, May 1st rain date. Safety marshalls and ideally a police escort will lead us on a 2 mile loop through Newton Centre to Newton Highlands ending back at the playground. Post ride we will have a celebration with treats. Everyone is invited to the post-ride celebration whether riding or not. More info.


Newton's "Bike Rodeo" is back for Sunday, May 1! Celebrate safe biking in Newton at the Bike Rodeo! MA Safe Routes to Schools instructors will teach and review bike riding skills. Volunteers from Bike Newton will also help teach fun stations including knowing signs and hand signals, how to care for your bike, and more. This program is geared towards students in Kindergarten through 6th grade at Newton Schools that are comfortable riding a bike independently.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: We need a fleet of volunteers to make this program run smoothly - please email newtonsaferoutes@gmail.com if you are available to help.



Newton Serves: Newton Parks, Recreation & Culture Department is excited to share that NewtonSERVES 2022 will be on May 1st. This year we are looking to focus volunteer efforts on cleaning and improving our parks, school grounds, open space areas, and conservation lands. These areas have been so important these past few years and really could use some community TLC!


Newton Conservators Annual Meeting: Learn About Newton’s Indigenous History at Newton Conservators Annual Meeting, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 6 to 9 PM, American Legion Post 440, Newton

The May 4, 2022 annual meeting of the Newton Conservators, Newton’s all-volunteer open space advocacy and education organization, will feature a presentation on Newton: Land of the Massachusett, by two distinguished representatives of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag, the original people of the Charles River Basin and greater Boston, including Newton: Sagamore Faries Gray and Tribal Elder Elizabeth Solomon.

Tickets for this dinner meeting are $45. Non-members are very welcome at this event, though the Conservators also hope you’ll consider becoming a member! For details and to register, please go to: https://newtonconservators.org/events/2022-annual-dinner-meeting/

Need Support? Have something to give? Community resources:

2021 Tax Filing Information and Free Assistance Information from the government to explain valuable tax credits:

  • 2021 Child Tax Credit – Eligibility

  • 2021 Earned Income Tax Credit

Free assistance, both self-serve and assisted:

  • United Way: Self-service via myfreetaxes.com, a safe and secure way for anyone to file federal and state taxes for free

  • Bentley University: the Bentley University Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program will be held both online and in-person, from now through April 14, to help local residents with tax preparation.

For more detailed information visit Citizens for Affordable Housing in Newton Development Organization’s Website at www.newtoncan-do.org Food assistance: information on food pantries, grab and go, and more available on the city's website here. Info on the Newton Community Freedge, a 24/7 free community food resource, is available here.

The Horace Cousens Industrial Fund is a charitable trust, established in 1930, which gives financial help to Newton residents who are faced with a temporary but severe financial problem. Grants are for one-time specific needs. https://www.newtonma.gov/home/showpublisheddocument?id=41413

Welcome Home, Inc. is a home goods pantry based at Trinity Church in Newton. Want to shop? Email welcomehomemass@gmail.com to schedule an appointment. www.welcomehomemass.org New Community Veterinary Clinic: The Veterinary Technology Program of UMass Amherst – Mount Ida Campus in Newton community veterinary clinic - open during allotted times on Fridays and by appointment only. To schedule a non-urgent appointment call 617-243-1640. Newton Neighbors has a Facebook group to connect community members to support one another and share resources for people who live, work, pray, play and/or learn in Newton. Join here.

Find local events & learn more about what’s happening in town

There are lots of great resources to find out what's happening in Newton - check out some that might interest you below!

We’ve created a landing page for those new to town, featuring important apps to download and helpful email lists to sign up for. Check it out here: www.newtonneighbors.org/welcoming-neighbors

In addition, visit the following web pages and subscribe to these newsletters to find out more info about what’s happening in town - events, important city discussion and decisions, and more.

  • Local media: New TV is Newton’s local cable access TV station: https://newtv.org/, the Newton TAB is our weekly newspaper, the Newton Patch is online, and the Boston Globe has a “Newton Report”.

  • Mayor Fuller’s newsletter: https://www.newtonma.gov/government/mayor-fuller/updates

  • Amy Sangiolo’s Community Newsletter covers local government and events: https://amysangiolo.com/

  • Village 14: https://village14.com/ They aim to be “the “go to” place for discussion of any issue in Newton, but there’s also plenty of room for humor and a bit of fun too.

  • Arts & Culture & Community: Newton Community Pride: https://newtoncommunitypride.org/, Newton Arts Calendar: http://newtonartscalendar.org/; Newton Cultural Alliance’s weekly newsletters: https://newtonculture.org/

  • Newton’s City Calendars: https://www.newtonma.gov/government/public-buildings/calendar

  • Newton Free Library’s Calendar of events: https://newtonfreelibrary.libcal.com/calendar

  • The Charles River Chamber of Commerce has a regular "Need to Know" newsletter covering local business issues and other topics of local interest https://www.nnchamber.com/

  • All Over Newton has local shopping and restaurant information and guides: https://www.allovernewton.com

  • Our Newton is a site full of local events and community resources. https://www.ournewton.org

  • The Newton Senior Center's "Coming of Age" newsletter has info of interest to local seniors. Subscribe here.

  • Bike Newton has a weekly newsletter www.bikenewton.org, with information on weekly rides as well as other items of interest for cyclists of all ages and abilities within Newton

  • Family Access Community Connections has information about early childhood programs and support in our region.

Love a local newsletter, website, or other news source you don’t see here? Email us at newtonneighborshelping@gmail.com to suggest it!

Support the work of Newton Neighbors

You can now make tax-deductible contributions to us! Thank you to Newton Community Pride, our fiscal sponsor. If you would like to make a donation, please do so here.

Or mail a check to: 1294 Centre Street, Newton 02459




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