Yard of the Month project instills pride in Boston-Thurmond neighborhood

Yard of the Month recognizes Boston-Thurmond residents who beautify their yards and neighborhood.

Yard of the Month project instills pride in Boston-Thurmond neighborhood
August 15
01:05 2019

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” Members of the Safety and Beautification committee of the Boston-Thurmond Community Engagement Roundtable are on a mission to find out.

They recently started a new project called the Yard of the Month to bring attention to some of the well-kept yards in their neighborhood. Like a pebble thrown into a puddle that creates ripples, the impact of highlighting these yards is that other neighbors have started to improve their yards, also.

Going down a few of the streets, Lauretta Strong and David West, two of the Safety and Beautification committee members, pointed out changes they were already noticing throughout their neighborhood. A strong sense of community is developing, as well as more pride in their homes, yards and gardens.

West said the committee has developed the mission of improving the quality of living and enhancing the overall appearance of the Boston/Thurmond community, encouraging neighbors to take pride in their homes and neighborhood, and celebrating those who have committed to maintaining yards in a way that complements the community.

The Yard of the Month project runs from May through September. Recognized in July were:

*“Pop” at 2029 Thurmond Street, a beautifully simple yard. “Pop” also helps his neighbors maintain their yards by mowing several yards on his street.

*B.J. Simmons, 436 W. 25th St., for the creativity in his yard design.

*Charles Bennett, 1430 Garfield St., a neat cottage home with decorations throughout the yard and a vegetable garden in the back.

*Phyllis and Nate Fleming, 1343 Underwood St., which the committee nicknamed “Christmas in July” for the decorative red wrought-iron security guards over the windows that match a welcoming red front door, red porch, and colorful planters under each window.  The Flemings have lived in their home for 41 years.

The Boston-Thurmond neighborhood is divided into four quadrants and a winning yard is selected monthly from each quadrant. The yard is marked by a distinctive Yard of the Month sign and the homeowner receives a $50 gift card as a reward.

The committee, which falls under the umbrella of the Boston-Thurmond Community Engagement Roundtable, has a limited budget and West said a donor who prefers to remain anonymous has generously donated the money to cover the gift cards for the winners for this season. Committee members are: Lauretta Strong, David West, Ola Brown, and Mary Ford. Strong said the committee “… needed to figure out a way to engage the neighborhood.” She added, “We seek out and find the people who are genuinely interested in making the neighborhood better.”

West and Strong noted that one of the prior winners was in a known problem area for the residents at one time, but he has influenced neighbors to improve their yards and clean up their neighborhood by showing he cares and has pride in his home. That small pebble has created ripples that are spreading throughout the community.

The Boston-Thurmond Neighborhood Association meets the second Monday of each month at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center and the Boston-Thurmond Community Engagement Roundtable meets monthly at various community stakeholders’ locations (schools, churches, recreation centers). Committees include: Communications, Revitalization, Education and Health and Wellness. The Safety and Beautification committee would welcome new members. Neighbors who would like more information can contact Diane Fitzhugh at

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