Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

June 23, 2013

Clean Up Central Square!!!

Filed under: Cambridge,Central Square — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 3:55 pm

Jill Brown-Rhone ParkDate: Sunday, June 23rd
Time: 9:00am until 12:00noon
Meeting Location: Toscanni’s

On June 23, 2013 Toscanini’s Ice Cream in conjunction with the Central Square Business Association will be hosting the annual Central Square Clean Up. Everyone is welcome! Gloves, garbage bags, and brooms will be available to anyone who wants to help keep the greatest place in Cambridge clean for the summer. Coffee and a free Toscanini’s one scoop cone will be offered to anyone brave enough to come down at 9:00am to help the Central Square community clean Mass Ave., Bishop Allen Dr., and Green St. until 12pm. Please contact Patrick W. Barrett III if you have any questions at

Meeting time is 9:00am at Toscanini’s Ice Cream in Central Square – Sunday June 23rd, rain date June 30th.


On Sunday morning, June 23rd, Cambridge residents came out to pitch in cleaning up its greatest Square – Central Square. Volunteers met at Toscanni’s to pick up the necessary gloves and tools before heading out to clean up sidewalks, tree wells, and all the other nooks and crannies along Mass. Ave. and side streets from Lafayette Square to Carl Barron Plaza. All this for the promise of a scoop of ice cream and a cup of coffee.

The main organizers were Patrick Barrett (who also happens to own the building in which Toscanini’s Ice Cream serves its delicious ice cream) and Dan Goldstein (formerly of the Clear Conscience Cafe). Patrick’s wife Norma Jean (9 months pregnant with their first child) also pitched in with the organization and work crews.

There was no shortage of City Council candidates at the event – some of whom actually pitched in and worked. This, by the way, is the first step in a candidate proving his or her committment to Central Square. Candidates included Minka vanBeuzekom, Sam Seidel, Luis Vasquez, Janneke House, and Nadeem Mazen. Councillor Tim Toomey and School Committeman Fred Fantini also made an appearance. Anyone who took pictures is encouraged to submit them to complete the day’s celebration.

Above all, folks, let’s continue to take care of our Central Square and to allow it to achieve its full potential.


  1. thank you Dr. Winters

    Comment by Patrick Barrett — June 6, 2013 @ 11:27 am

  2. […] W. Barrett III if you have any questions at Special thanks to the invaluable Robert Winters for bringing this to my […]

    Pingback by » Help Central Square Get Ready for Summer on June 23 Tim Toomey's Community Blog — June 6, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

  3. In a city with a close to HALF a Million $$$ a year, why are there no “street” cleaners, park maintenance or tree “watering/well maintenance” positions? We have ample money to pay folks to build links and sit at there computers. It is amazing that volunteers and business associations are used instead of the city employees who have health coverage, pensions and hefty salaries. We spend half a million a pop on park renovations yet barely anything on upkeep – poor management.

    Comment by Margaret Myers — June 17, 2013 @ 9:55 am

  4. I believe the previous comment should have said “Half a Billion” (Total Operating Budget is $507,186,335), though perhaps the reference was to the Public Works budget which is $32,859,690. The Parks & Forestry budget is $5,144,385. I have no idea what the average cost of a park renovation is, but the parks are so different in size and function that an average is probably not a good measure.

    We do, of course, have a variety of street cleaners – both the mechanical sweeping variety as well as the “Green Machine” vacuum cleaner that works the major Squares. You will also find DPW guys with push brooms working the Squares in the mornings.

    Regarding the watering of trees and maintenance of tree wells, I think the optimal system has to be a public/private partnership based simply on the number of trees and tree wells. Not only would it be physically impossible for DPW to cover them all, there is also a greater sense of ownership when residents are directly involved. What’s most important is that DPW be rapidly responsive when additional labor or equipment is necessary. A good working relationship between Public Works and the public is the essential ingredient and, for the most part, that’s what we have now.

    Comment by Robert Winters — June 17, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  5. Robert,

    I look at the efforts in Kendall, Central and East Cambridge for various clean up days not as a way to make up for any lack of hard work by the City but as:

    1). Coming together to meet with old and new neighbors to take ownership of your own neighborhood and city. Simply saying that we pay a lot of taxes and shouldn’t have to do anything to keep our city clean seems an abrogation of our responsibilities to keep our homes, sidewalks and neighborhoods clean.

    2). Frankly, we also give a good going over of an area and make it look even better which helps people both see what a great park, street, sidewalk we have and hopefully encouraging people to think about keeping it clean. I find that I spend more time picking up paper wrappers and other discarded trash after participating in one of these events than when I don’t . I know it shouldn’t have an influence, but it does so this is another benefit.

    3). Finally, what a great way to meet your neighbors, do good and have an ice cream. I am looking for Patrick bringing us a great morning.

    Comment by Charlie Marquardt — June 19, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

  6. Charlie – I agree with you in triplicate! I was one of a group of people who organized the Central Square cleanups about a decade and a half ago. For years afterwards I continued to use the anti-graffiti tools and supplies on my own removing graffiti in Central Square. I still clear the stickers and posters from poles and utility boxes whenever I have a chance.

    Comment by Robert Winters — June 20, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

  7. What’s a guy have to do to get on the front page here, run for office?

    Photos Coming.

    Comment by Tom Stohlman — June 23, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

  8. Thank you everyone who showed up and lent a hand. Kudos to my incredible wife who cleaned two city block in the scorching heat. Mr. Winters thank you again for your support it is deeply appreciated. It was nice to have such strong city council support, even though most were hopefuls not incumbents. This election season is going to be too much fun. Big shout out to Tim Toomey who remains one Cambridge’s greatest assets.

    p.s. I’ve revised my office hours to compensate for fatherhood; they are now whenever I able to show up 😉

    Comment by Patrick Barrett — June 24, 2013 @ 10:33 pm

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