CSANA was founded in the 1980’s as the ‘Chester Square Coordinating Committee’ in response to the needs and ideas of residents by using the talents and skills of our residents to enhance the quality of life in our area of the city. It was incorporated in 1995 and the name changed to ‘Chester Square Neighborhood Association’ in order to obtain tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(iii) corporation. This change allowed the organization to accept donations as charitable contributions and the donors could claim a tax deduction. The group was reorganized as we now know it in 1997 in an effort to be more inclusive and more casual. The rules were rewritten to allow any member to move to bring something up for discussion and have a vote at in a meeting, without clearing it with a steering committee beforehand, and there are no attendance requirements.
During the last twenty years, CSANA has at one time or another orchestrated Easter egg hunts and Halloween pumpkin decorating contests, summer barbecues, children’s Christmas parties with gifts for all, annual Christmas caroling around the Square, weekly swimming and boating jaunts for middle-school aged children, biennial park and neighborhood clean-ups covering Mass. Ave. and Northampton Street, bulb planting in tree wells on Northampton Street and in the two parks of the Square.
In addition, CSANA secured brick sidewalks in Chester Square with white flowering pear trees on both sides of each end of the Square, published a “Good Stuff To Know” booklet with information for new residents and reivewed every major development in the South End, Lower Roxbury area for its effect on the residents, testifying before every major city board, including Landmarks, Board of Appeal and Liquor Licensing Board.
Most recently CSANA has secured significant funding to pay for a landscape design and master plan for the parks in Chester Square and for a beginning at implementing such a plan when it is complete.