Nurses and nurse practitioners not only make a difference in the work they do within the hospital each day, but also by volunteering their time and talents for the communities and organizations close to their hearts. This series is dedicated to highlighting some of the many ways that Brigham nurses give back.

The Brigham’s Lisa Donovan, center, with fellow members of Keep Walpole Beautiful Chris Weylman and Rebecca Joyce

For Lisa Donovan, MSN, AGACNP-BC, the sight of something unpleasant — trash on the side of the road in her hometown of Walpole — inspired a project that would clean up and beautify the town and build a sense of community along the way.

“Another woman and I had a mutual disgust for trash on the streets, and we found each other on a community Facebook page,” said Donovan, a nurse practitioner in the Department of Medicine. “Shortly after meeting, we organized our first townwide litter cleanup day. It was a huge success!”

Since that time, they founded Keep Walpole Beautiful as a local chapter of the broader Keep Massachusetts Beautiful organization. The Walpole chapter has expanded its mission to not only clean up the town, but to beautify it as well.

“During the height of the pandemic, we helped inspire people by leaving painted rocks of encouragement all over the community,” Donovan said.

Last summer, the organization held an art contest for residents, selecting seven winners who had their art painted on electrical boxes in town.

“We try to engage the community with impromptu cleanup events throughout the town, including weeding the police station gardens last month, followed by informal meetings at local restaurants,” Donovan said.

Donovan and her co-founder keep the community informed of upcoming events and provide resources and education via their Facebook group, which has grown to nearly 1,600 members.

“I am fortunate to work alongside such a great group of people and feel so connected to my town,” said Donovan.