Mayor Walsh Celebrates New Woolson Street Community Garden in Mattapan
September 6, 2014
Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh celebrated the grand opening of the Woolson Street Community Garden. The new garden, located on a formerly troubled Mattapan Street, is owned by Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) and will be maintained by the residents of Woolson Street.
“This celebration marks an important step in healing this community,” said Mayor Walsh. “This new community garden is a shared effort that brought our residents closer together, created a beautiful space on this street, and will increase access to healthy, fresh produce in this neighborhood.”
In 2010, violence on this street inspired the community to work with the City to acquire the vacant lot.. The effort to convert the lot into a garden was led by the residents of Woolson Street, the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), and the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, a neighborhood group dedicated to making the Mattapan community healthier.
In January, DND issued a request for proposals for the 3,262 square foot lot to be developed as a community garden site. In March, BNAN submitted a proposal in response to the RFP with the goal of creating a community garden that would reflect the neighborhood’s vision.
The garden received an $85,000 Grassroots funding award from DND. Coupled with funding from the Boston Urban Gardener’s Legacy Fund, BNAN was able to develop and create 15 new garden plots and a peaceful gathering area for residents.
Today, residents enjoy the new garden with its 15 individual plots arranged in a curving walkway leading to a common area for community gatherings. A compost area in back turns weeds and clippings into fresh soil, while waist-high beds and pathways are handicapped accessible. The community is currently planning a memorial within the garden for victims of violence on the street.