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'Community Grown' applications open, expanding reach of community gardens

The program seeks proposals for creative installations and events at three community gardens in the City of Boston.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the Boston is seeking proposals for creative installations and events at three community gardens as part of the Community Grown program, a three year-partnership between the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, The Trustees, and TD Bank. Now in its second year, the program is seeking ideas for innovative design installations at the Joe Ciampa Community Garden in East Boston, the Berkeley Community Garden in the South End, and the Fenway Victory Gardens that support the gardens' role in strengthening social connections and creating welcoming spaces. Applicants are encouraged to submit their proposals by 9 a.m. on May 20, 2019

"Community gardens bring families, friends and communities together, creating stronger connections in neighborhoods throughout our city," said Mayor Walsh. "Through this partnership, Boston's green spaces will continue to welcome visitors and provide a free, welcoming space to all across Boston."

"We are honored to play a role in helping to enhance shared green spaces and serve as a catalyst for more inclusive, connected communities for Boston's residents through our partnership with The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and The Trustees," said Joseph Doolan, Head of Environmental and Community Partnerships at TD. "The positive environmental and social impacts of Community Grown align with The Ready Commitment platform, TD's initiative to help prepare communities and people to succeed in a changing world. This partnership allows city residents to become more deeply connected to their communities."

"After a successful launch last summer, we are looking forward to the second year of our Community Grown partnership with the Mayor's office and TD Bank," says Vidya Tikku, Director for The Trustees' Greater Boston region. "This year we hope to build community and creativity in three more of Boston's community gardens and offer even more ways for neighborhood residents to gather, learn, and play in community gardens citywide."

In 2018, New Urban Mechanics and The Trustees unveiled three community-driven design installations at Nightingale Community Garden in Dorchester, Chilcott & Granada Community Garden in Jamaica Plain and the Fenway Victory Gardens. The installations supported storytelling, community conversations, dinners, performances, and play. 

In addition, The Trustees expanded their Seed, Sow, & Grow program to increase interest in urban gardening and strengthen social connections between neighborhoods and community gardens.

The work that the New Urban Mechanics and the Trustees are doing with community gardens complements other green space initiatives around the City. One of those programs, Grassroots, provides up to $100,000 in grant funds, as well as City-owned land and technical assistance to neighborhood groups and nonprofits that want to organize, develop, own, manage, and maintain community gardens and open space in the low and moderate income neighborhoods. This program, in addition to the others, highlight the Mayor's commitment to enhancing and providing green spaces and gardens to enhance neighborhoods and build communities.

Expanding access to healthy and local food is one of the strategies within the City's Climate Action Plan. Climate change is predicted to have a profound impact on the global food system, and a local food system is a critical component of climate preparedness planning. In addition to this work, the City is preparing Boston for the impacts of climate change through a series of coordinated resiliency measures and planning. The City is focused on building a Resilient Boston Harbor by strengthening its 47 miles of shorelines through enhanced and connected green space. Most recently, Mayor Walsh announced his commitment to assign 10 percent of all capital spending to resilience projects.  

The Trustees will also continue to expand their skill-building and community-building events throughout the city. Highlights for this year include youth-led climate justice workshops and community potlucks that will bring neighboring community gardens together to share resources and build relationships. The list of participating gardens includes:

  1. Alvah Kittredge Community Garden, Roxbury
  2. Bremen Street Garden, East Boston
  3. Eagle Hill Community Garden, East Boston
  4. El Jardín de la Amistad, Roxbury
  5. Leland Community Garden, Jamaica Plain
  6. Minton Stable Community Garden, Jamaica Plain
  7. Nightingale Community Garden, Dorchester
  8. Symphony Community Garden, Fenway
  9. Windermere Community Garden, Dorchester 
  10. Woolson Community Garden, Mattapan

The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics serves as the City's innovation incubator, building partnerships between internal agencies and outside entrepreneurs to pilot projects that address resident needs. From community green spaces to Accessory Dwelling Units, their approach to innovation is human-centered, nimble and responsive to the changing needs of our growing City.

About The Trustees

A steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation's first and Massachusetts' largest preservation and conservation nonprofit. As the largest owner of community gardens in the city, The Trustees operates 56 community gardens located throughout eight Boston neighborhoods. The organization holds events and programs throughout the year designed to connect residents to the land, gardening, and community building, including the Annual Gardeners' Gathering and the Seed, Sow & Grow workshop series. Supported by members, friends, and donors, The Trustees' 117 statewide natural and cultural sites welcome millions of members, residents, and visitors each year.

About TD Bank

TD Bank is committed to driving positive change that enriches the lives of our customers, colleagues and communities. In support of our mission, TD launched The Ready Commitment, which targets $1 billion (CDN) by 2030 toward community giving, in order to maximize our impact in supporting financial security, elevating the quality of our environment, creating opportunities for everyone to participate in their communities, and supporting more equitable health outcomes for all.

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