Harvard Helps Clean Boston

Approximately 70 Harvard affiliates arrived in Boston bright and early Friday morning to participate in Boston Shines, a city-wide clean-up and beautification initiative spanning every Boston neighborhood.

Harvard—which has been heavily involved in the project since it’s inception 10 years ago—produced volunteers from across a variety of schools and from the Allston businesses for which it currently serves as a landlord, including the environmentally focused non-profit Earth Watch.

Volunteers participated in a number of beautification activities, including raking leaves, painting dugouts and benches, and cleaning sidewalks. Notable activities included clean-ups of Hooker-Sorrento Park, Smith Field, and Barry’s Corner, and the beautification and preparation of a learning garden for students at the Gardner Pilot Academy. Christine Heenan, Harvard Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs, emphasized the importance of Boston Shines as a way for Harvard to engage positively with the community, especially as they continue to develop and lease properties in Boston.

“We’re really proud to be making contributions to the community in a sustained and meaningful way,” Heenan said. “Since last year’s Boston Shines, we’ve celebrated the opening of the iLab, Stone Hearth Pizza, and Library Park. This is one more way for us to affirm our connection to the Boston community, and there’s even more to come next year.”

Harvard Business School employee and Allston Resident Paula M. Alexander, who participated in the event, said that she felt it was important for Harvard to continue to give back to the Boston community, especially in Allston, because of their continuing development in the area.


“Harvard has expanded so much into that area, that I think it’s not only great, but necessary that they continue to give back to the local community,” Alexander said.

Alexander added that she feels that the giving back allows many Boston residents to feel more comfortable with Harvard’s “immense” local presence.

“I think a lot of people feel a lot more comfortable with having Harvard in the area, or down the street, or next door when they see them out here, participating, and helping out in the community,” Alexander said. “It really helps with their reputation among local residents.”

—Staff writer Mercer R. Cook can be reached at