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Fieldtrips

Tuesday Afternoon, July 30, 2013

Fairmount/Indigo Line Project (2:30—5:30 p.m.)

The Fairmount Collaborative is led by three Boston Community Development Corporations (CDCs): Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, and Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation. The CDCs and their allies have joined forces to focus their efforts on developing strong, vibrant and diverse communities along the new extension of the Fairmount/Indigo Line. The four new stations at Four Corners/Geneva Avenue, Talbot Avenue, Newmarket, and Blue Hill Avenue/Cummins Highway, as well as (possible) future stops planned for Columbia Road and River Street, will provide equitable access to public transportation for more than 90,000 people that live within walking distance of the Fairmount Line. The communities along the Fairmount Line use public transit four times more than the regional average, and have been disproportionately impacted by the foreclosure crisis. In 2008-09, between 65-70% of all foreclosures in Boston took place in the service areas of the Fairmount Collaborative, increasing the need for continued access to affordable housing for low income families. EPA has provided funding to clean up more than 30 Brownfields sites within a half-mile of the new and renovated stations and will be providing technical assistance to a Green Jobs Incubator on a former Brownfield. The goals of the Fairmount Collaborative include:

  • Transit equity for their communities through the new additional stations, fair fares, improved service, and rapid transit service.
  • Joint planning for smart growth and transit-oriented development, targeted specifically at low income populations.
  • Preventing the displacement of current residents by maximizing housing affordability and increasing access to employment.
  • Strong civic engagement before, during, and after development projects in every neighborhood.
  • Increasing green, open space for residents to enjoy along the Fairmount Greenway, and providing new access to parks, playgrounds, and the Neponset River.

The Fairmount Collaborative will lead a bus tour of the transit corridor, providing information on the new transit stations, key parcels redeveloped or slated for redevelopment, implementation plans for the Fairmount Greenway, and information about the community involvement with the City of Boston, MBTA transit system, and federal partners.

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Mystic River Watershed Tour (2:30—5:30 p.m.)

Scenic view of the Mystic River

The Mystic River Watershed is one of the most densely populated urban river watersheds in the country, and drains an area of approximately 76 square miles which includes 21 municipalities north of Boston. It is home to three Superfund sites and several environmental justice communities. The Mystic River Watershed is challenged by several water quality problems, including elevated bacteria levels, excessive nutrients, contaminated sediments, and industrial pollution. EPA began issuing the Mystic River Watershed an annual report card grade for bacterial water quality in 2006, and in 2009 created the Mystic River Watershed Initiative Steering Committee. The Steering Committee, whose mission is to work together toward improved water quality and increased access to public open space, is comprised of federal, state, and local partners that meet regularly to work together on watershed projects. This tour will showcase several sites within the Mystic River Watershed that demonstrate the importance of enforcement efforts, monitoring and data collection, and municipal partnerships to the work of EPA and its partners. At the each stop, EPA staff and/or a local partner will be on hand to discuss the significance of the site as well as how EPA and the local community are working together to achieve success. Additional information can be found at: www.epa.gov/mysticriver

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Wednesday Afternoon, July 31, 2013

Condor Street Urban Wild Site/East Boston Sea Level Rise, Environmental Justice Tour (with a community service component) (1:45—5:30 p.m.)

While community struggles for environmental justice continue, an emerging priority in East Boston is addressing the challenges of climate change. This field trip will explore how the threat of rising sea levels can both exacerbate and advance community efforts for environmental justice. In a bus tour of the East Boston community, we will examine multiple dimensions of vulnerability to sea level rise and consider a variety of solutions. Tour sites will include a former industrial space transformed into a park, a proposed waterfront development, a public housing project, and a public beach adjacent to the airport. We will use a hands-on exercise to visualize projected sea level rise and discuss an array of adaptation strategies including building design, engineered barriers, landscape flood mitigation, urban design, land use planning, policy tools, and social institutions.

Additionally, there is a community service component to this field trip. The trip will culminate with a visit to the Condor Street Urban Wild, where participants will help pick up trash and other debris around the park.

The Condor Street Urban Wild was the first public park along the Chelsea Creek. The 4.5-acre site was owned by a series of industrial companies, but for decades, it lay abandoned, contaminated, and fenced off. The City of Boston purchased the site in 1980 and designated it an urban wild,aiming to transform it into a safe, attractive, accessible nature area. Due to lack of funding, however, it took over 20 years for the community to revitalize this property. In December 2000, the Urban Environmental Initiative proposed the Condor Street Urban Wild as a Supplemental Environmental Project for Waste Management of Massachusetts. The project aimed to provide much needed green and open space to the residents of the surrounding communities. The project recreated salt marsh and upland habitats, as well as created a path and boardwalk system for safe public access to the Chelsea Creek.

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The Food Project (1:45—5:30 p.m.)

Photos of Scallions being harvested for The Food Project

Since 1991, the Food Project (TFP) has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, they work with over 150 high school students and thousands of volunteers to farm on 40 acres in eastern Massachusetts. Food from these farms is distributed through the community supported agriculture programs and farmers' markets, and donated to local hunger relief organizations. The Food Project is excited to welcome participants to their Boston location in the Dudley Street neighborhood to learn more about The Food Project's approaches to growing a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system. Specifically, participants are invited to choose one experience from the following options:

  1. Dudley Greenhouse, a 10,000 square-foot operational greenhouse that functions as a community space and a year-round learning center for local residents and gardeners. While at the Greenhouse, participants will have an opportunity to work with staff on maintenance and harvesting activities, while also learning about the programming and production activities that go on throughout the year.
  2. Dudley Neighborhood Tour led by TFP interns in which participants will learn more about the community and neighborhood solutions through community organizing, community land trusts, environmental restoration and food production projects as tools for neighborhood change.
  3. Urban Farm Experience experience offering participants an opportunity to join the urban farmer and interns for a chance to get their hands dirty at the urban farms on Cottage and Langdon Streets.
  4. Food for Thought and Action Workshop workshop, led by TFP interns, focusing on food systems, food justice and healthy eating. Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the impact of local and global food systems on the economy, environment and community.

Further information can be found at: http://thefoodproject.org/ Exit EPA Disclaimer

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