For Immediate Release
September 22, 2010
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Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced $375,000 in competitive grant funding to four neighborhood green spaces, including: the Southwest Garden on Rowe Street in Roslindale, Victory Programs’ ReVision Urban Farm on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester, Nightingale Garden on Park Street in Dorchester, and South Boston Grows on South Boston’s West Broadway, as part of the 2010 Grassroots program. Among other activities, the funds will help maintain existing gardens, create new greenspace opportunities, and support urban agriculture designed to increase the availability of fresh food in Boston’s neighborhoods.
“The Grassroots program supports gardening opportunities in all of Boston’s neighborhoods. Green spaces benefit both gardening enthusiasts and neighbors alike by serving as a gathering place and providing opportunities for healthy fresh food right in our backyards,” said Mayor Menino. “We are pleased to support the success of these four projects in particular. I want to thank the residents of Roslindale, Dorchester and South Boston for making each one of these gardens possible.”
Grassroots, a program of the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), promotes access to urban green space through the conveyance of city-owned land to non-profit organizations, and the provision of competitive grant funding of up to $150,000 for garden design and construction. Since 1985, the Grassroots program has awarded over $20 million in competitive grants to more than 170 community gardens throughout Boston, as well as a number of urban agriculture projects and open space initiatives.
Roslindale’s Southwest Boston Garden, one of Boston’s oldest community gardens, has been awarded $75,000 to complete improvements to pathways, irrigation systems, and garden plots. In an unusual collaboration, the garden is owned by the MBTA under license to the Boston Parks & Recreation Department, which is designed to insure preservation of the garden for years to come. The garden is run by the all-volunteer Southwest Boston Garden Club, and Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN), as an incorporated non-profit gardening organization, will receive the grant on behalf of volunteer gardeners. Boston Parks Department will supervise the garden improvements.
Victory Programs’ ReVision Urban Farm on Dorchester’s Blue Hill Avenue is managed by the Victory Programs’ ReVision House, a shelter for homeless women and their children, that works to bring locally grown, fresh food to the Dorchester community, while providing job training and healthy eating education for Boston’s youth and homeless populations. Victory Programs has been awarded $100,000 to improve an exterior wall at their site, as well as support interior development designed to make the farm more productive.
Nightingale Garden, located on Park Street in Dorchester is a community garden owned by BNAN. The garden has been awarded $150,000 to expand and renovate existing garden plots and pathways, as well as create a new gathering area and raised gardening beds for physically- challenged gardeners. When renovated and expanded, the Nightingale Community garden will serve 150 gardeners and will be Dorchester’s largest community garden.
South Boston Grows is a newly formed neighborhood organization in South Boston that will utilize a $50,000 award, to build a community garden at the Boston Housing Authority’s housing development on West Broadway. This new community garden will benefit the tenants of West Broadway and the surrounding community, creating a new green space for gathering.