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Final push needed for ‘go’ on Greenway

The long process of mapping out a “missing link” on the Neponset Greenway between Mattapan Square and Lower Mills has been frustrating at times. There are still some serious hurdles to clear before actual work can begin on the riverside trail that is already such a popular amenity in Dorchester.

But if residents and merchants stay focused — and make it clear to state officials that getting this Greenway connection done in a timely fashion in a top priority— there is no reason why the trail can’t be ready soon for recreation use, maybe even by this time next year.

Next Thursday presents a perfect opportunity to send that message: A group of neighbors from the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition has teamed up with the Boston Natural Area Network to sponsor the Greenway Connections Walk. The 5k walkers will follow — as best as they can— the proposed route of the multi-use trail on the Mattapan side of the river. The event starts at 6 p.m. on July 21 and steps off from the Mattapan Square T station.

It would be great if key state officials— who say they are serious about breaking a stalemate on the final route of the Greenway extension— would make it a point to be there for this event, too. They need to see first-hand why the Milton-Mattapan extension of the Greenway is so critical to folks on both sides of the Neponset. And since the leadership of the key agencies —the MBTA and the Department of Conservation and Recreation— say they need to walk the site in question personally, this is a good chance for them to get it done… and get this long-overdue project of the ground at last.

– Bill Forry

Plans underway for Oct. Irish Fest
Planning has begun for the third annual Irish Heritage Festival in Adams Corner, set for the Columbus Day weekend. The street festival was first organized in 2009 by a volunteer group of neighborhood residents and local businesses. Events that year and again in 2010 attracted thousands of people from the nearby neighborhoods and beyond, with daylong festivities including Irish bands, step dancers, and food vendors.

This year’s event will be held on Sun., Oct. 9, from noon to 8 p.m., according to Victoria Foley, one of the organizers.

“It takes a lot of work to get everything to come together and all help is appreciated,” she said. “If you would like to volunteer to help with the Festival, please sign up at the website, irishheritage.org.”

Foley said the organizers are planning a fundraising event at Florian Hall on Sat., Sept. 17, at 7:30 p.m., with entertainment by The Fenian Sons, DJ from Music Machine, raffles and a silent auction. For tickets and raffle/silent auction donations, contact Pat MacDonough at 781-534-3919. Persons and businesses wishing to become sponsors should contact Foley at 781-248-7318.
– Ed Forry