Don’t Forget the Small Things

In Newton we have many big projects that are frequently being discussed.  In the past few months the City Council, residents, and city officials have spent countless hours debating, discussing, and sometimes implementing, many big things.  These “big things” include development proposals, zoning changes, charter changes, solar panels, and the recent issues leading up to last week’s community meeting.

Tennis court trash can
Tennis court trash can

This post however is about the small things.  Whether it be trash cans in parks, clean streets, or better communication with residents, what “small things” do you think Newton can improve upon?

For myself, one of the small things I would like to see the city improve upon is fixing up our many parks to make them more user friendly.  For instance, there are rarely restrooms at parks where people spend substantial amounts of time and using a trash can at one of our parks often results in being assaulted with one of the worst smells imaginable.  In addition, as a very small thing, I would suggest the city install small trash receptacles at the tennis courts so that the courts do not remain littered with the metal tennis ball container tops and other trash.   As a positive, I did see workers installing new permanent trash cans at Albermarle a couple of days ago so maybe those will become more prevalent around the city.

While the “big things” are undoubtedly important, the importance of doing the “small things” to improve the quality of life for residents should not be overlooked.

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Emily NortonKathleen Kouril GrieserElaine Rush ArrudaLynne LeBlanc Recent comment authors
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Lynne LeBlanc

I like the trash baskets on the fence idea however I have to say I am amazed that any tennis player would think it is OK to leave those ball containers on the ground.

One of the “small things” my husband does to improve our neighborhood is to walk our dogs with a small plastic shopping bag and pick up trash along the way.

Elaine Rush Arruda

One thing that would make a HUGE difference in the quality of life in Newton is for people to smile and say hello to one another. I can’t tell you how often I have walked along the carriage lane of Commonwealth Ave., said “hello” to the fellow walkers, and get the response of a blank stare. The simple act of smiling and saying hello costs nothing, yet can make a world of difference in the city’s culture. Go out today and say hello to someone you pass by. Smile at 10 people a day. Spread the joy, people!

Kathleen Kouril Grieser

I have had the same thought, Elaine. When I was a child, I remember my parents always exchanged hellos with people, even complete strangers, we passed on the sidewalk. That was considered polite. It was the normal thing that everyone did. When did that custom fade away? Let’s bring it back!

Emily Norton
Emily Norton

Speaking of small amenities… functioning water fountains. That would cut down on plastic water bottle trash too.