Remembering Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen Welch among other leaders who have worked over decades to make the East Boston Greenway a reality

When we lost Mary Ellen on March 7, 2019, we lost a dear friend and neighbor, a community leader, a wise advisor and passionate advocate for social and environmental justice, a devoted daughter of East Boston and a proud Bostonian. A school teacher for decades in East Boston, Mary Ellen was a born teacher, helping us all to learn, to advocate and to demonstrate for a more just world for everyone. How generous she was with her encouragement, how gentle she was with her correction! We all learned from her, and those lessons are now part of us.

Mary Ellen was one of a small group of East Boston residents who believed the trash filled, abandoned freight tracks could become a welcoming, safe Greenway that would remove years of contamination in the midst of the neighborhood. The Greenway would become a beautiful green space for children to ride their bikes, seniors to stroll and residents to make connections through and across the neighborhood. She was sure East Boston would rally to the Greenway. “Oh, yes, they will love it!” she replied about the farfetched idea in 1990. And she was so right.

Now, we invite you to join us to in continuing to enhance the Greenway along the path that Mary Ellen led. We also wish to create a special location along the Greenway by way of honoring Mary Ellen’s vision, her compassion and her faith that East Boston deserved this new parkland connecting East Boston’s harbor, beaches, parks and marshes. Please help us honor Mary Ellen by helping us continue her work and to create a beautiful special site for all to enjoy and remember. We appreciate gifts of all sizes.

Ways of contributing to the Friends of East Boston Greenway are available on the contribute page of the website:


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