Nico Casamassima and Zain Saleem: Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Medford 

Nico and Zain are students at Medford High School and are members of the Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility (CCSR) Club.   They carried out a plan to install Medford’s first publicly owned electric vehicle charging station.

They worked through the CCSR Club at Medford High School to determine a location for a charging station.  They also contacted shops at the Vocational School to provide for the electrical and construction installation and worked with the Medford Energy & Environment Office to arrange for National Grid incentives to cover the cost of the charging stations.

Because they were able to arrange for the work normally done by contractors to be done by the Vocational School, the city was able to extend the incentive received for the charging stations to also pay for the purchase and installation of a second station at City Hall.

The Medford High CCSR Club is funded by grants from the Cummings Foundation and the Krystle Campbell Memorial Fund at the Boston Foundation.

Rubia Fernandes: Petition for Medford’s Plastic Bag Ordinance

Rubia started a petition as a student at Medford High School to ban plastic bags in Medford as part of a realization of the severe pollution of our waterways and oceans caused by discarded plastic bags.  She singlehanded promoted the idea, got support for the issue, and then presented it to the Medford City Council.  During the process Rubia also met with the Mayor to ensure support from the Administration.

Thanks to Rubia’s efforts, the City Council passed the plastic bag ordinance banning thin-film plastic bags from being used at cash registers throughout the city in January 2019. The ordinance went into effect in July 2019.

Friends of the Fells – opposition to hockey rink development plans for the “90-mm meadow” site

In 1951, when China entered the Korean War, the United States was concerned about the possibility of bombing attacks on its cities, including Boston.  From 1951 until 1958, an anti-aircraft artillery battery featuring 90-mm guns was set up in Medford in the Ramshead Hill area of the Middlesex Fells Reservation near the Winchester/Medford border as part of a ring of defensive sites surrounding Boston.  Fortunately, the attacks never came, and nature has mostly reclaimed the site over the past 61 years, with the help of dedicated volunteers, including Medford students, scouts, and DCR employees.

In response to a proposed installation of a hockey rink on this meadow site last year, the Friends of the Fells organized a community-wide cooperative effort among citizens, local government, and nature organizations to raise awareness and to oppose this plan.   Last December, after considering the merits of the arguments against the proposed project, the DCR decided in favor of retaining the natural state of this area by denying the rink development proposal.

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