Many hands make light work!


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Saturday November 7, 2020 was a gorgeous day with sunny blue skies and mild temperatures, a perfect day for Fall gardening.

Robin DiGiammarino, president of the Navy Yard Garden Association (NYGA), reported that NYGA volunteers “successfully planted 600 daffodil bulbs, including 200 new bulbs in the National Park Service planters and garden area by the West Gate.” Volunteers also dug 400 holes and filled them with daffodil bulbs near the Shipyard Park amphitheater where visitors enjoy relaxing in the popular white Adirondack chairs. 

All the bulbs were donated by Boston Blooms with Daffodils, a city initiative that, according to its website, “distributes approximately 15,000 daffodil bulbs every year to volunteers who plant them in public spaces across the city”. Further information about the program is available at 

See you in Springtime!


Volunteer gardeners plant 600 bulbs.

Garden Refreshed at the Massachusetts Korean War Memorial

Michael Manning, President of the Friends of the Boston Harborwalk


In mid June volunteers from the Navy Yard Garden Association, Inc joined Michael Manning, president of the Friends of the Boston Harborwalk, to plant a selection of new annuals and perennials at the Massachusetts Korean War Memorial in Shipyard Park. 

The stunning memorial was commissioned in 1993 by the Massachusetts Korean War Veterans Committee. It features a dramatic bronze sculpture of a soldier on a granite base. The memorial was surveyed by the Smithsonian Institution's "Save Outdoor Sculpture!" program in 1997.


The handsome memorial pays tribute to participants in the Korean War (1950-1953) or, as it is sometimes referred to, the "Forgotten War". An estimated three to four million people died in the three year war. Seventy per cent of the fatalities are believed to have been civilians. 


The monument’s central figure is a soldier on sentry duty, fighting off the cold while looking straight ahead. He is surrounded on five sides by six columns which bear the names of the fallen engraved on bronze plaques. Above the columns are the names of the battles that occurred during the Korean War. A number of quiet benches, where visitors can rest and contemplate, circle the memorial. Dedicated donor bricks planted in the ground completely surround the central monument.

As you step into the memorial you activate an audio playback system which allows visitors to listen to oral history excerpts of some of the veterans’ wartime experiences. 


Sources of this historical information include Wikipedia, and the New York Times. 

Bench Dedicated

Friday June 5, 2020 the Navy Yard Garden Association, Inc. honored one of its founders, former board member Barbara Brenner, with a bronze plaque attached to a bench located in a charming corner of the Yard near the Charlestown-Long Wharf ferry landing. The plaque reads, “In Honor of Barbara Brenner Whose Beautiful Idea Blossomed into The Navy Yard Garden Association”.

Barbara has enjoyed lifelong gardening, devoted to maintaining her home gardens on Cape Cod and dedicated to enriching public gardens in the Navy Yard where she also has resided for many years.


The Navy Yard Garden Association, Inc. (NYGA) is a 501©3 volunteer organization.  It was formed in February 2017 with the purpose of restoring waterfront gardens in the Navy Yard. In March 2018 the board adopted the following mission statement to “help the Boston Planning and Development Agency revitalize and enhance its public open spaces within the Charlestown Navy Yard including Shipyard Park through planning, design, programming, and implementation for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.”

In addition to its seasonal gardening efforts, in its first four years NYGA has sponsored two large public outdoor sculpture exhibits, The Big Dog Show (2018) and WOW: Wind on Water (2020-2021), and an Annual Holiday Sing & Stroll.

All in a June Day

Cheerful NYGA volunteers planted annuals this month in the rectangular garden near the Charlestown-Long Wharf ferry landing and also in the circular garden at the end of 8th Street. Participants were careful to try to maintain social distancing. 


A recent Saturday morning in May brought out NYGA volunteers to help rejuvenate window boxes at the Commandant’s House in the Navy Yard. The group cleaned out plant debris and old soil from the large boxes. They refilled them with heathy soil and added a new self-watering system. This year’s plantings include red geraniums, variegated vinca and white bacopa blossoms. 

“Today was a moment of joy--enjoying time (at a social distance) with a wonderful group of women  on a beautiful, sunny day and bringing a little life back to the Commandant's House and to the Navy Yard with newly planted window boxes.” - Ruth Raphael,
Program Director for Landscape Architecture & Design, National Parks of Boston

Navy Yard Garden Association Volunteer G

Photo by Amy Engelhardt

Daffodils Delight During Covid19

Among the most anticipated signs of Spring in New England is the bright bloom of brilliant yellow daffodils basking in the season’s early warmth.  Another popular rite of springtime here is the Boston Marathon.

Mid-April every year in Boston and its western suburbs, stretching nearly thirty miles to Hopkinton, the Massachusetts holiday known as Patriots Day is celebrated with the internationally acclaimed Boston Marathon, the world’s longest running marathon that attracts thousands of world class and amateur runners to the city. On April 15, 2013 during the Boston marathon two bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three victims and injuring several hundred others, including 16 who lost limbs. 

This year the global coronavirus pandemic, Covid19, canceled the city’s annual marathon.  However, a profusion of daffodils will still bloom in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

Diane Valle of Charlestown is the founder of Marathon Daffodils, a mammoth volunteer project during the last several years to plant thousands of daffodil bulbs and pots of the flowers along the marathon’s 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers).

“The pots of daffodils usually line the marathon path.  Since there is no marathon this year (organizers) delivered them to neighborhoods,” explains Nancy Krepelka, treasurer of the Navy Yard Garden Association, Inc. (NYGA).

On Thursday April 16, reports Robin DiGiammarino, president of NYGA, “we placed 88 pots around the three anchors at the top of Dry Dock 2.” It is a cheerful welcome to all who walk, bike or drive by the First Street entrance to the Navy Yard.

The daffodils represent “a subliminal message that we care.  There’s something to look forward to and Spring will come again,” explains Diane Valle in the film trailer for Path of the Daff: A Story of Hope and Inspiration. More information about the Marathon Daffodil project is available at

May all passersby enjoy this bright and hopeful sign of life at this difficult time in our history.


A Busy Spring

Saturday, May 18th was an absolutely perfect Spring day here in the Navy Yard! NYGA volunteers rolled up our sleeves, grabbed trowels and worked alongside members of the Flagship Wharf Garden Committee to plant 300 pots of New Guinea Impatiens in the circle garden at the end of 8th Street and the adjacent Sea Walk garden. Annuals were also added to the rectangle garden near the ferry area by Pier 4.

This season NYGA volunteers look forward to assisting Mike Manning, president of Friends of the Boston Harbor Walk, to refresh plantings around the Korean War Memorial in Shipyard Park. We also will partner with the U.S. Constitution Museum to help with a selection of plantings for its new outdoor seating area on Pier 3.  


You may have noticed that the popular red Adirondack chairs have returned to the western slope of lawn below the amphitheater observation deck.  We’ve added six more chairs and invite you to come by and sit a while in one of the most relaxing areas of the Navy Yard.


The USS Constitution Museum Creates New Waterfront Patio

The USS Constitution Museum has opened a new waterfront patio. It is an attractive and relaxing public space located at Dry Dock #2 on Baxter Road, adjacent to the backside of the popular Navy Yard museum. The public is invited to enjoy the patio’s bright blue umbrellas and comfortable tables and chairs.  Accenting the patio are attractive flower boxes filled with cheerful seasonal plantings. This summer the Navy Yard Garden Association collaborated with museum staff on this new addition to the Navy Yard landscape.