A beach circus, a fitness series, guided painting classes, sand sculpting, dancing and movies are all in line for a funding infusion as part of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the Department of Conservation’s Better Beaches grant program.
The program handed $250,000 in grants to 62 organizations Saturday morning to support 100 free beach events and programs this summer in nine communities from Nahant to Nantasket. The three largest grants are heading to organizations that promote racial justice, language accessibility and access for people with disabilities, following a series of hearings held by the Metropolitan Beaches Commission.
“The metropolitan beaches are extraordinary assets that belong to all the people of our region,” executive director of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Chris Mancini said. “We’re proud to fund free community events led by organizations that celebrate and represent our communities’ cultural and racial diversity, and what we have in common: we love our beaches.”
The commission held three hearings over the past three years delving into accessibility at public beaches across greater Boston ahead of plans to publish a report and hold a summit on the topic this summer. Hearings covered multi-language signage, accessibility and inclusion.
This year’s grant recipients include Veronica Robles Cultural Center, A Trike Called Funk, and Triangle, Inc., who each received $7,500 to hosts Vamos a la Playa, a series of activities to honor Latin American Cultures; Bike to the Beach and Boogie, a bike-riding event with DJs; and Beach:Ability, a day of activities at the beach with sand and floating wheelchairs.
DCR, the Baker administration, and Harpoon Shamrock Splash helped raise funds for the grant program. DCR Acting Commissioner Stephanie Cooper said she is proud of the program.
“We are all looking forward to another great season of free events and programs on DCR’s beaches from Nahant to Nantasket,” Cooper said.
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay awarded $300,000 to 67 organizations last year to support 150 free beach events and programs. It was a $100,000 increase compared to 2020.
Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chair Rep. Adrian Madaro said beaches in greater Boston see more activity when there are free family-friendly events.
“They are especially important to my constituents in East Boston and all those people who rely on these spectacular urban natural resources for recreation,” he said.
Grant recipients this year also include $2,900 for the North Shore Women of Color Association to hold a workout series, $5,000 for movie nights on Revere Beach, $2,500 for the Boston Circus Guild to hold a beach circus in East Boston, $14,000 for Quincy to hold festivals, concerts and senior lunches and $3,500 to hold a waterfront festival in Hull.
“The Better Beaches Program events are as diverse as the communities that host them,” Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chair Sen. Brendan Crighton said. “But one thing they all have in common is that they bring communities together to enjoy our region’s public beaches.”