Urban Environmental Program in New England
Grants and Projects: Green/Open Space
EarthWorks (Roxbury, MA)
Campaign for a Greener Tomorrow
EarthWorks engages residents of Greater Boston’s urban neighborhoods in the community stewardship of local green space and raises ecological awareness through education, outreach, training and demonstration projects. EarthWorks will provide training, education, and hands-on learning experiences for residents and youth to protect, enhance, restore and preserve Boston’s open and green space. The “Campaign for a Greener Tomorrow” project will recruit, educate, and train resident volunteers to act as stewards of public green space and orchards at seven urban sites throughout the highly diverse, densely populated neighborhoods of Mission Hill, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and Roslindale. EarthWorks staff will work with residents and teen interns to measurably improve the ecological health and biodiversity of these sites through hands-on training, environmental service learning projects, and follow-up activities to illustrate integrated pest management, reduction of toxics in soil, organic agriculture, and orchard preservation. In addition to coordinating this extensive volunteer resident network and training effort, EarthWorks will provide environmental and public service events for youth and urban residents to encourage safe use of Boston’s public green spaces and orchards.
Measurable Results: Increased community involvement with a minimum of 40 project days and 240 days of environmental service; two internships for teen graduates of Youth Environmental Action program; restoring and improving plant biodiversity at seven sites covering 33.25 acres of urban green space by planting 230 native trees and shrubs; removal of thousands of harmful invasive species at four urban woodlands restoring 31 acres; reversing erosion at an urban woodland site; measurable improvements in quality and yield of fruit in five urban orchards; and establish 6-24 resident stewards.
Partners: Boston Parks and Recreation Department, Boston Food Not Bombs, Mass Audubon Boston Nature Center, Friends of Nira Rock, Roslindale Wetlands Task Force
City Sprouts (Cambridge, MA)
Environmental Education in Schoolyard Gardens
City Sprouts provides Cambridge’s urban public school communities with sustainable gardens to support school curricula and engage over 2,000 school children to participate in the food cycle from seed to compost, offering after-school and summer programs as well as school-year curriculum-based programs. The “Environmental Education in Schoolyard Gardens” project will provide the community with three-season access to all five of City Sprouts’ urban schoolyard garden sites, as well as with education in the skills needed to grow one’s own food and the knowledge how to deploy integrated pest management techniques which reduces exposure to toxics. Youth interns, City Sprouts staff and community volunteers will supervise garden maintenance and summer educational workshops to reach a broad local audience. Twenty public workshops will be offered at no cost over the course of two years for community members to attend, and eight families will be specifically trained in comprehensive urban gardening techniques.
Measurable Results: 600 people reached by educational materials; 300 people actively engaged in environmental stewardship practices; 20 free public educational workshops given at each of five sites on topics including growing and preparing vegetables and fruits, composting, recycling, identifying soil toxins, and soil remediation; open community garden provided for 70 weeks over two years, through spring, summer and fall at each of five sites; eight families trained in comprehensive approaches to healthy urban environments in homes and gardens; 10 youth interns receive training and education about urban environmental concerns, gardening, and community outreach; educational activities on composting presented in school cafeterias; annual harvest festival connects community members to resources provided by project partners.
Partners: Cambridge Public Schools, Cambridge Recycling (division of Cambridge Department of Public Works), The Food Project