Our Built Environment and Physical Activity Initiative (BEPAI) promotes active living.
• MFFC encourages active living for all ages. Walking, biking and cultural fitness activities like Zumba are enjoyed by many Mattapan residents and MFFC works to make these activities accessible. We host seasonal walking groups and collaborate with Hiking 4 Life to encourage local hiking. We collaborate with Church of the Holy Spirit to provide Zumba classes and ABCD Family Services. We promote biking through our annual youth-led Mattapan on Wheels event. .
• To promote the utilization of community resources for physical fitness, the Coalition established an annual Mattapan Moving for Life event. This event provides opportunities for non-competitive and family friendly walking and running. There are also opportunities to participate in other traditional and non-traditional physical activities including dance, yoga, and stretching.
Local physical fitness and sports programs as well as health promotion organizations and agencies provide enrollment and health information. For the past three years the event was done collaboratively with the Boston Nature Center in Mattapan, allowing access to beautiful nature trails and gardens.
We advocate for changes that promote community cohesion and increased physical activity through the creation of welcoming and safe parks and green spaces. Two important projects are the completion of the Neponset River Greenway and the creation of the Fairmount Greenway. The Neponset River Greenway is a walking and biking trail along the Neponset River which is currently missing a section between Mattapan Square and Central Avenue. We have been active members of the Neponset River Greenway Coalition since our inception. We are excited that thanks to support from Governor Deval Patrick, funds are now available for the completion of the Neponset Greenway.
We work with the Fairmount Greenway Coalition to increase parks and greenspaces along the Fairmount Indigo train line. As part of that project we have joined with residents of Woolson Street in Mattapan to transform an empty lot into a communal space of beauty, peace, healthy food and flowers.
We are also advocating for the re-development of the Kennedy Playground, the extension of a greenway along Edgewater Drive in Mattapan, and an increase in the tree canopy in Mattapan – including the planting of fruit trees.