This edition of HOHP took place as a conversation over coffee between myself (Quiana) and Martha. As a relatively new resident of Hyde Park, I had heard so much about Martha in advance of our meeting and our conversation was a tremendous history lesson.
Martha, how long have you lived in Readville: All my life - 71 years; I still live in the home I grew up in!
Tell me a bit about your career: I am a retired teacher who taught 4th grade and middle school on the South Shore in the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District. I would take my students out for 3-day camping trips after taking my own trip to the Pacific Northwest for “outdoor education.”
Do you still keep in touch with your students: Yes, I hear from some of them and there have been a few weddings!
You’re well known in the community for your efforts with the Neponset River clean-up. How did you become involved?: Everything intertwines: I saw a notice for a middle school course on the bulletin board for an environmental sciences program. I loved canoeing but had never canoed the wilderness. This program was for a 100 mile river course. The Neponset had always been considered a sewer and I had never canoed the south Neponset near Hyde Park. I contacted a friend who had a canoe livery and a launch was put in. I realized there was potential beauty but it had been hidden by trash over the decades.
How did this discovery make you feel?: A lot of people didn’t even know where the river was. I went on my own scavenger hunt journey to find the footbridge for access to the river. I’d like to see the Andrew Carnegie bridge added to the National Historic Registry.
How can residents of Hyde Park get involved?: Recognize there’s a problem and take care of it! Reach out to the Neponset River Watershed Association in Canton, and tell them you want to help. Also, please sign up for the April 28th event, to help clean-up the riverbanks along Truman Parkway.
Click here to see pictures of the Hyde Park Paddle with Martha.
Nominate yourself or someone in the community for a Humans of Hyde Park story; nominees can remain anonymous in the story or use their first name only if they prefer: https://goo.gl/forms/qgTj1Rh8t2bSbh973
Quiana first came to Boston as a college student, graduating from Wellesley College in 2002 and returned in 2016 to live in Hyde Park with her husband and two children.