Ignacio’s nominations were nearly enough to be a post in itself! They were very enthusiastic telling of his commitment to his neighbors as well as his love of gardening. It was a pleasure to meet such a loved, long-standing member of the Hyde Park community.
Where are you from? How did you make your way to Hyde Park?
I was born and raised in TX, but I moved to Minneapolis when I was 16 - I went to school there. I’m used to this weather! I opened my business on the East Coast when I was in my 20s. I moved to the South End then lived a couple years in Maine and I loved it but my partner hated it! I was like, “I’m not going back to a building; I need a house!” But at the time I couldn’t really afford to live right in the city so the house I ended up buying in Hyde Park 20 years ago was a gut job.
Where I live is a private way - my neighborhood is fantastic! We went through such a hard time too [with our health] and my neighbors were unbelievable. They came and helped clean, they cooked for us - they were fantastic!
How are you involved in the community?
I only had a 2x2 plot in front of my South End building for gardening, so when I moved to Maine I became a major gardener. When I ended up buying this house I was really interested in beautifying the place; I taught a lot of my neighbors about gardening. I belong to the Neighborhood Association, and I try to help out and keep an eye out for everybody.
Where do you see the need for help in Hyde Park?
I think the trash from the convenience stores - lottery tickets etc. is really bad. I think some trash is starting to be picked up. You see a trash can, but then it’s full. The other issue is the parking situation, especially with the Fairmount train station. Similar to the South End, if you don’t live there, you can’t park there. Why can’t we be the same way? It’s hard to find a parking spot, but I live here!
This excerpt from one of Ignacio’s nominations was so telling of how he exemplifies the neighborly spirit of Hyde Park:
"We moved to Hyde Park last February after living in Roslindale for 13 years. We were sad to leave a district with lots of choices to eat from and having the Arnold Arboretum up the street. However, our neighbor Ignacio Benavides welcomed us to our new neighborhood with open arms and made sure to let us know all Hyde Park had to offer!
Therefore I would like to nominate "Ignacio Benavides" who keeps our street clean as well as picks up litter everyday during his 5 to 10 mile walks all around Hyde Park.
Ignacio has an oasis of a garden in his back yard that makes you feel as if you were in Cape Cod. Ignacio makes it a point to garden not only his home, but also for the neighbors on our street.
Last summer Ignacio purchased tickets to last year's "HP150" event for the entire street. As he stated, "we should all support any Hyde Park event, we live in a beautiful community let’s keep it that way and try to make it even better." Ignacio makes it a point to have the neighbors get together in HP's local establishments not only to support them, but to have us appreciate and acknowledge the beauty of Hyde Park. Ever since we moved into the neighborhood we meet up for dinner once every other month during the winter, and frequently during the warmer season for either lunch or dinner to appreciate new Hyde Park restaurants."
Nominate yourself or someone in the community for a future 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.