Best Shoveled Block Contest

August 15, 2010

Guest article by Sarah Fresco, Cambridge Coordinator Walk/Ride Day Program, GreenStreets Initiative

Like many cities Cambridge, Mass., has laws on the books that mandate that property owners keep the sidewalks in from of their homes and businesses free of snow and ice. However, people walking in Cambridge have noted for years that some blocks are always well shoveled, while on other blocks pedestrians are seen climbing over snow banks and taking to the streets. 
Contest CoordinatorsSarah Fresco of GreenStreets Initiative, Jesse Kanson-Benanav of TROMP and Katherine Lydon, Postmaster of the Cambridge Post Office worked together to organize the first “Best Shoveled Block in Cambridge Contest” in March 2010. Residents nominated a block in their neighborhood for the honor with judging done by mail carriers.  

The GreenStreets Initiative signature Walk/Ride Day Program challenges individuals in schools, workplaces and communities  to “Wear Green and Go Green” on the last Friday of every month, so it was natural to honor the four most walkable blocks at the Cambridge Post Office on Walk/Ride Day.  All winners chose green transportation to get to the post office with three of the blocks enjoying a walk through a surprise spring snow flurry.

Winning blocks were on Greenough Street where the neighborly ties go back 50 years, Lawrence Street, Foch Street and a special award was given to the custodians at Adams House, a Harvard University Residence on Bow Street.  Bow Street had not been nominated but the mail carriers felt it deserved a special honor.

Greenough Street Lawrence Street Foch Street Adams House

GreenStreets Initiative credits the active involvement of Kathy Lydon, Postmaster, as the key to the success of the contest. The coalition is already planning for next year, including a kick-off on Walk/Ride Day in November with publicity for this event supplied through post office channels. Here are some materials used to promote the event:

Please feel free to contact Sarah Fresco at 857-928-1625 or sarah.cambridge.walk.ride.days(at) if you would like more info.