Winners of Boston's "Community Grown" program announced

Winning projects connect residents to nature and build community connections

BOSTON - Friday, August 9, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the five winners of Boston’s “Community Grown” program, a three-year partnership between the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development, The Trustees, and TD Bank. The five winning projects will bring people closer to nature and build community connections through group dinners, songwriting and storytelling workshops, and new pop-up neighborhood  spaces, expanding the reach of Boston’s community gardens. The Community Grown program is part of the City of Boston’s Public Space Invitational, a civic design competition that seeks ideas that reimagine and enhance Boston’s public spaces.

“Every year, the annual Public Space Invitational inspires our residents to design creative, innovative projects that help to enhance our neighborhood spaces,” said Mayor Walsh. “This year, winners focused on creating neighborhood and community spaces that are free and open to all in Boston’s community gardens and I look forward to residents enjoying these spaces.” 

In addition to community-driven design projects, the Community Grown program features a series of community-building events and skill-building workshops that will engage up to 40 gardens in six of Boston’s neighborhoods over the duration of the partnership.

"TD recognizes the vital connection between environmental and physical health and that is why we are honored to partner with The Trustees and the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics to elevate the quality of shared green space in Boston's neighborhoods," said Joseph Doolan, Head of Environmental and Community Partnerships at TD.

“This initiative is a wonderful example of a partnership between a nonprofit, the City and a private corporation that can pool their resources and networks to support urban residents,” said Vidya Tikku, Greater Boston Director at The Trustees. “As part of this collaboration, local artists and place based innovative programs will connect an audience beyond gardeners to the benefits and joys of community gardens and help strengthen community conversations in our neighborhoods.”

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.

The five selected project proposals for 2019 are:

Grow Up Curious

Location: Joe Ciampa Community Garden in East Boston

Proposed by: Emeline Gaujac and Naomi Sherman

Grow up curious is an interactive sensory garden made up of a series of immersive one-sense planters that are meant to teach children and adults  about plants. The installation will connect children and families to nature through a playful intervention in an urban setting.

Stories from the Garden

Location: Joe Ciampa Community Garden in East Boston

Proposed by: Anaís Azul, Dzidor Azaglo, Kim Barzola, Hassan Ghanny, Sofía Perez, Stephanie Houten, Cameron Hawkins

Stories from the Garden: A Celebration of Community and the Arts, is an event series where East Boston community members gather to tell stories of their neighborhood and the people that make it thrive. Through a songwriting workshop, a writing workshop, and the creation of a community mural, oral histories become everlasting. Works produced in these workshops are preserved by way of video, photography, and a live recording of the performances at a culminating open mic event.

All Who are Hungry, Come in and Eat!

Location: Leland St. Community Garden in Jamaica Plain

Proposed by: Jennie Rose Halperin and Alex Auriema

Through spaghetti dinners, the project leads will create lasting connections through food, performance, and ephemeral experience. Part potluck, part shared table, part performance space, and part placemaking exercise, the garden will become a community hub for artists, activists, ecologists, musicians, and more. The design team will build a beautiful, communal table for the Leland Community Garden to help build a gathering space for potlucks, gardener meetings, and community discussions.

Wheel 'n Around

Location: Fenway Victory Gardens

Proposed by: Robert Barella

Wheel’n Around is a mobile installation that aims to spark creativity, generate conversation, and make public spaces more inviting and fun. The installation creates an artful interpretation of gardening supplies and uses them to create unique and fun social gathering spaces. The design reflects the identity of the surrounding neighborhoods and aims to educate the public about the benefits of creating a healthy urban lifestyle through agriculture and community building.

Pollinator Summer

Location: Fenway Victory Gardens

Proposed by: Qian Mei and Mike Gajda

Pollinator Summer invites people to the Fenway Victory Gardens to learn about the importance of pollinators and their impending challenges with climate change. Throughout the growing season, the Fenway Victory Gardens provides a perfect venue to interact with pollinators, hosting different species of butterflies, bees, dragonflies, and birds. Through an interactive exhibit, wayfinding signage, and an event series, explore why pollinators are so crucial to our ecosystem as well as to your dinner table.

About Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics

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

Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 125 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation’s first preservation and conservation organization, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. We are a nonprofit, supported by members, friends and donors and our 118 sites are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually.

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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