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City introduces Adopt-a-Hydrant program

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  January 20, 2012 12:52 PM

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(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

Volunteers can sign up to shovel out a hydrant near their homes when winter snow piles up.

With Boston’s first snow of 2012 on the ground today and more to come this weekend, the time for shoveling has finally arrived, and the city is looking for a few volunteers.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced Thursday a new program that will allow city residents to select a fire hydrant near their homes and accept responsibility for keeping it clear of snow. The Adopt-a-Hydrant program’s website will match up volunteers with available hydrants and even allow them to name the hydrants.

The Boston Fire Department retains ultimate responsibility for keeping hydrants clear, but with more than 13,000 hydrants across the city, volunteers can help uncover them more quickly.

“Whether you are coaching little league or helping to maintain a park, volunteers provide the foundation for strong neighborhoods in Boston,” Menino said in a statement. “The Adopt-A-Hydrant program is the newest opportunity for our residents to show the great sense of volunteerism that shines in Boston all year, and it’s a great example of how we can use technology to build community and keep neighborhoods safe.”

The software for the program was developed by Erik Michaels-Ober, who served as a Code for America fellow with the City of Boston in 2011. The city is giving the software its first try this winter and plans to expand its use to other street features if successful.

Email Jeremy C. Fox at jeremycfox@gmail.com.
Follow Jeremy C. Fox on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
Follow Downtown on Twitter: @DowntownUpdate.

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