Meet Us at the Park! Nancy Lunden Spearheads Cleanup at Holyoke Park


This summer, staff and families from the May Center for Early Intervention in West Springfield, Mass., joined volunteers from other area organizations for a “Meet Us at the Park” event to help clean up Chestnut Street Park in Holyoke, Mass.

Nancy Lunden, Regional Director of the Center, organized the event after hearing from a mother of five who lived in the neighborhood that the park wasn’t clean or safe.

Nancy enlisted the help of the Holyoke Chief of Police and recruited the Regional Director of the Department of Children and Family Services, and the Program Director of Criterion Heritage Early Intervention.

“We planned our event to coincide with one of OneHolyoke CDC’s Keep it Clean cleanup events," Nancy said. “And OneHolyoke introduced me to the Chestnut Street Community Alliance,  a group of residents who live in close proximity to the park and volunteered to help with the cleanup.”

May Center staff members Lyssie Rodriguez, Sugeily Rodriguez, and Helena Cruz-Belfeld joined Nancy and volunteers from the other organizations in cleaning up the park.

“It was a great collaboration between the agencies,” said Nancy. “Since our event, the sprinklers in the park have been on every day, and more and more families are coming out to enjoy all the park has to offer. One of our councilmen has asked if we could get together to discuss further activities in the park.”

The community cleanup initiative was featured on local PBS station WGBY’s “Connecting Point” program on July 31.