Houghton’s Pond pavilion gets new look

Source: Milton Times
Photo by Milton Times

Ever passed by the Houghton’s Pond concession stand in the summer and just wished you could get something to eat, especially on a hot summer day? Well, one Milton resident had the same exact thought whenever he looked at the concession stand. Joe Cain would walk by the Houghton’s Pond concession stand regularly in the warmer months and would think why it wasn’t open and how great it would be to get something during the summer. So, that’s exactly what he did.

Cain is a special education teacher in the Boston Public schools teaching at ABCD University High School, which is an alternative high school for students ages 16 to 21, and has been teaching for 17 years. 

Taking his son for walks around Houghton’s Pond when he was smaller he said he enjoyed the peacefulness of the pond and the availability of bringing his family there.

“We’ve always loved the Blue Hills and the pond area, in particular, it’s just always been kind of special to us,” he said. “I’ve always walked by the concession stand, and wondered why isn’t it open? I imagined all the possibilities and that’s what got me started on it.

Every year the DCR puts out requests for proposals for multiple sites, and Houghton’s Pond was one of them, said Cain. Seeing the opportunity, Cain submitted a request to open the concession stand, receiving the bid and began work on getting it set up. 

“Rise and Thrive Education Inc., which is a nonprofit organization that we created in order to do this, was awarded the bid or permit, I should,” said Cain. All of the work that needs to be done on the concession stand falls to Cain and his nonprofit, which is why he started a GoFundMe to help raise the costs. His broader goal with Rise and Thrive is to preserve the past, savor the present, and build the future, which he hopes to do with the concession stand. Cain is still working on creating a master plan for the site and what resources are needed to really fix the concession stand, in particular the exterior.

A big inspiration for this project stems from being a teacher and his students. ABCD University High School is an alternative high school that works with students on their individualized education needed to finish their education and receive their diploma. According to Cain, ABCD University High School helps students reengage and rediscover their education, and helps fill in the gaps and earn their diplomas. The school has a partnership with the nonprofit ABCD that works to provide services such as food assistance, shelter, home heating, and other subsidies that families and students may be in need of.