Turtle Boy Urban Gardeners

The beginning of TBUG

The first TBUG gathering. Post-weeding group photo

Ms. Snell made the call for volunteers based on an innocuous post by Cathy Walsh a few weeks ago, in which she noticed that the landscaping around the fountain was overgrown.

“I commented how I thought he was looking rather sad and overrun with weeds,” Ms. Walsh wrote in a message. “Claudia immediately said yes, let’s weed!” – Steve Foskett on Worcester Telegram & Gazette

It started with this post by Cathy Walsh to my Facebook page but quickly became a topic of several posts by Worcester residents. TBUG was a community effort from the beginning.

screenshot of original facebook post

Within a day many people had commented on the post, volunteering their time to help with the clean-up. City Councilor, Kate Toomey, helped us get a permit, Paul Leary, Gabe Rollins, Jennifer, Hank and Gaia Knight, Helen Sheldon Beaumont, Dee Wells, Sarah Bousquet, Brian Goslow, Louise Mutterperl, Rick Reynolds, Dale LePage, Dr. Gonzo, Hannah Kurman, Amy Salloway and David Jahn, Nicole Apostola, and many other people supported. (Apologies to those I’m missing here, it was years ago & I’m working from photos and memory. ) The Theatre Cafe fed us after our first gathering.

Cathy Walsh was the heart of TBUG. She organized the weed-ups and planned the plantings. She also worked with the City and other organizations to find support for our efforts. I managed the website and social media.

We met periodically for about 3 years with the last gathering being in December, 2013. Members of TBUG placed a holiday wreath on Turtle Boy for Cathy (her yearly tradition). She was too ill to do it herself. Cathy passed away later that month.

And now.

It’s been a few years since Cathy Walsh passed away. The City of Worcester is now taking care of Turtle Boy and has built a new garden, installed lights and a raised curb. It looks nice. Personally, I’m glad to see it being cared for but will always miss the TBUG gatherings.