Revitalizing Poplar Street

The Project

Through the tireless efforts of residents, business partners, and Roslindale Village Main Street, Roslindale’s Main Street district has become the bustling, vibrant, heart of the neighborhood. These efforts have been so successful that The Boston Globe Magazine frequently cites Roslindale as one of the city’s best neighborhoods in which to live.

In 2018, the RVMS Design Committee determined that, while many blocks in Roslindale have benefited from numerous improvement projects, the Poplar Street stretch of sidewalk between South and Corinth Streets, across from Adams Park suffered from neglect and failed to serve as an attractive pedestrian way.

The Design Committee took on the Poplar Street Improvement Project with a specific list of goals, including improving the lighting on this section of Poplar Street, reducing sidewalk litter, and adding public art & outdoor seating. The Design Committee also saw an opportunity to link Poplar Street to Adams Park, adding needed space for people to gather and interact during community events at the park, such as the weekly Farmers’ Market.

The Fundraising 

In the fall of 2018, RVMS Design Committee volunteers worked with Patronicity, local business owners, and community members to crowdfund $26,031, surpassing our goal of $25,000. Because we met our goal, we were then gifted a match of $25,000 by Patronicity partner MassDevelopment and Boston Main Streets Foundation donated an additional $5,000 for an overall project budget of just over $55,000. 

The Process

In January of 2019, the Design Committee collaborated with the City to make sure that all design elements and any planned installations were in code with their regulations and we received approval for our requested improvements to the street, like new trash and recycling receptacles, lighting, planters, and more. We are grateful for the support of our friends in the Department of Public Works, the Public Improvement Commission, the Parks and Recreation Department, and beyond who are also excited to improve this section of Poplar Street. In March of 2019 the Design Committee made a project timeline with action items spanning through Spring of 2020. Gathering input from community members, business owners and other stakeholders was a prioritized component of the project agenda. RVMS volunteers & staff met with the City's Public Realm Director Jacob Wessel about installing a sidewalk mural, planters, bistro sets, and improved lighting on the street. The committee also walked around Roslindale Village with Eric Prentis and other members of the City's Public Works Department to plan the installation of better trash and recycling receptacles on the street and to review locations for benches the City would install later that year.
Trash and recycling receptacles were installed by the City's Public Works Department in Spring of 2019. The City's Age Strong Commission installed several new benches at sites around Roslindale Village in June of 2019 including two on the stretch of Poplar Street between Corinth and South Streets.
Over the summer and fall of 2019, RVMS Design Committee volunteers worked to survey businesses and to get feedback from the community about their two design options from the street. These designs included different options for planters, outdoor seating, and lighting. Using feedback on both designs, the committee finalized a plan for the remaining improvement elements.
In early 2020, the RVMS Design Committee worked together to create a Request for Proposal for a Sidewalk Mural on Poplar Street which was distributed to local artists. Once proposals were submitted, the project team reviewed them and selected Roslindale muralist Laura DeDonato. Laura transformed three sections of sidewalk on Poplar Street into murals of 3D Koi Ponds. The murals are so full of life and realistic that it feels like you could fall into the pond if you're not balancing on a lily pad. Laura's work inspires play and attracts admiring shoppers to Poplar Street.

Additional elements of the Poplar Improvement Project include bistro sets of tables and chairs that will be gifted to Poplar Street's food establishments to use as temporary outdoor seating during their open hours. During the coronavirus pandemic, some of this equipment was put to use as outdoor seating for Shaking Seafood. Additionally, three different types of planters have been added to Poplar Street along with gates around the trees along the sidewalk and mulch & plants inside the tree beds.  All of the plants on Poplar were in bloom throughout the summer of 2020 and were maintained and watered thanks to the hard work of Design Committee volunteers. Some of the seasonal plants and planters will be removed each winter and replaced in the spring and others remain on the street with holiday decorations inside. The last element left to complete is a set of solar powered lighting that will be installed in the trees and along the street by the end of this year.

Thank you to our Donors

Thank you for making this project possible! With all of your support, we were able to raise $26,031 and secure a match of $25,000 from Mass Development and an additional $5,000 contribution from Boston Main Streets Foundation.

Thank you to everyone who donated. Listed here are the Poplar Street Revitalization Campaign's Clean Street Companions (donated $100+), Poplar Pioneers (donated $250+), Luminary Leaders (donated $500+), and Adams Park Angels (donated $1000+).


  • Jaime Pullen & Michael Blasnik
  • Wallpaper City


  • Andrew Bobenski & Priyanka Khanna
  • Arx Urban
  • Roslindale Business Group
  • Sue Forti & Bob Houlihan


  • April Nelson
  • Balanced Rock Investment Advisors
  • Choice Closeout, Inc.
  • City Councilor Tim McCarthy Committee
  • David Wean & Cynthia Zabin
  • Daniel Johnson & Ebele Okpokwasili-Johnson
  • David Glynn
  • Kathryn Lipford
  • Patch Realty Group, Inc.
  • Robert Guptill
  • Steven Gag & Laura Gang
  • Studio Luz Architects
  • Miller Custom Craftsmen


  • Andrew Schwartz
  • Adam Rogoff & Rachel Walchak
  • Alexander & Tracy Porteleki
  • Allyson Kriz
  • Amy Oalican
  • Amy Devito
  • Anna Litten
  • Anna Utech
  • Arthur Ford
  • Brian Goldson
  • Brittany Baldwin
  • Bruce Spero
  • CareNet Physical Therapy
  • Centre Cuts Salon & Spa
  • Charlotte Fleetwood
  • Christine Scott
  • Chris & Laura Kollett
  • Christopher Hugenberger
  • Chris Lang
  • Corina Demeo
  • D & C Management, Inc.
  • Darlene Donovan
  • David Cashman
  • Debbie Kirrane
  • Derek Rubinoff
  • Diana Lamppu
  • Donna Marshall
  • Eileen Doherty
  • Elizabeth Sherva
  • Elizabeth Graham-Meredith
  • Elizabeth Martin
  • Ellen & Janis Real Estate
  • Emily Meneer
  • Eric Brookfield
  • Francine Crystal
  • Ginger Saariaho
  • Greg Tobin
  • Gregory Ascrizzi
  • Hadiya Strasberg
  • Haley Barrar
  • James Meade
  • Jay Harris
  • Jennifer Lee
  • Jillian Domenici
  • John & Marion Castellucci
  • John Griffin
  • Kathy Sullivan
  • Kellee Webb
  • Kelly Gallagher
  • Kevin Horne
  • Kevin Gross
  • Lawrence McInnes
  • Leah Bellman
  • Leslie Cheney
  • Lianne Bishop
  • Linda Burnett
  • Lydia French
  • Madeleine Conway
  • Marcia Emerson
  • Martha Niebanck
  • Mary Vadala
  • Max Nibert
  • Melissa Cording
  • Michael Fitzgerald
  • Michael Peluse
  • Molly Robson Wellness
  • Moncrieff Cochran
  • Nick Garber
  • Peter & Sara Castellucci
  • Rachele & Adam Rosi-Kessel
  • Rebecca Phillips
  • Richard Chalfin
  • Robert Peter Castellucci
  • Robert Orthman
  • Ruth Hunter
  • Sadie & Josh Barocas
  • Sara Strand
  • Sara Kruse
  • Stephanie Bond
  • Steven Harriman
  • Sue Ronstrom
  • Susan Bird
  • Susan Dupont
  • Teresa Marx
  • The Square Root
  • Tina Alva
  • Tonnie Miller
  • Tricia Gregg
  • V2III Boutique