Groundwork Somerville, Inc.

Groundwork Somerville strives to bring about the sustained regeneration, improvement and management of the physical environment through the development of community-based partnerships which empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being. Groundwork Somerville works closely with the Somerville community to create opportunities for all people to participate in the "greening" of the community. We focus primarily on youth populations.

Groundwork Somerville, Inc.
24 Park St
Suite 7
Somerville, MA 02143
United States
617-628-9988
http://www.groundworksomerville.org

Executive Director

Chris Mancini

Management Team

Chris Mancini, Kristin DelViscio, Sadie Richards, Clay Larsen

Board of Directors

Mark Pedersen, Tricia Maguire, Peter Kwass, Vithal Despande, Tom Combs, Rebecca Schrumm, Chris Mancini, Peter James, Dawn Quirk, Enxhi Popa, Nancy Bernhard, Kristin DelViscio, Sadie Richards, Clay Larsen

Project Leaders

Groundwork Somerville

Mission

Groundwork Somerville strives to bring about the sustained regeneration, improvement and management of the physical environment through the development of community-based partnerships which empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being. Groundwork Somerville works closely with the Somerville community to create opportunities for all people to participate in the "greening" of the community. We focus primarily on youth populations.

Programs

Founded in 2000, Groundwork Somerville's programs focus on creating youth jobs, growing local, healthy food, and fostering community participation in public planning processes to improve our city. Groundwork Somerville engages community members of all ages in public planning processes, focusing on increasing participation of communities of color and low-income residents in changes that affect their lives and city. Recent accomplishments include boosting the participatory planning process to redesign the Draw 7, North Street, and Chuckie Harris Parks and a successful campaign to establish the Community Preservation Act in the most recent election. Another success is the co-founding of the Somerville Mobile Farmer's Market, with the partners the City of Somerville's "Shape Up Somerville" program (which was the inspiration for Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative), other Somerville non-profit organizations, and a local farm. This market aims to make healthy food affordable and easily accessible to marginalized communities within Somerville. It operates once a week in each of its three locations - the Somerville Council on Aging center and two low-income housing developments. The market accepts EBT cards, and all produce is priced at or below 75% market rate. Youth members of the Green Team, Groundwork Somerville's green job training and leadership development program for underserved teens, grow and harvest produce that they then sell at the market each week. Beyond the markets, Green Team workers are emerging youth leaders in their own community. In the past year, the Green Team advocated for public transit, winning smaller fare hikes, lobbied for increased youth jobs funding from the state, and built, planted, and harvested Somerville's first urban farm, the South Street Farm. In addition to the Green Team, our core programming focuses on creating jobs for young adults from 18-25 years old and providing healthy education for Somerville children from kindergarten through middle school. Since 2003, Groundwork Somerville has built and maintained organically-grown vegetable gardens in every elementary school in the city; we also provide educational after-school programming to K-5th graders in nutrition, gardening, nature, and healthy living. We have four 10-week units of seasonal programming that reaches 400 students every year. From January-March, we also run a four-week program called the Maple Syrup Project that reaches an additional 1000 students and families through in-school programming, library visits, public events, and field trips. Students learn the lifecycle and biology of the sugar maple, the history of maple sugaring, and get to tap trees and boil sap into syrup right here in Somerville. For older students, Groundwork offers the Garden Youth Crew and Food Justice Club -two programs geared toward middle school students who are interested in food security and access, and in becoming more active stewards for their environment. During the school year, students learn the importance behind food access and healthy eating and understanding their role in the current food justice movement. By discussing different food-related topics such as farmworkers' rights, urban agriculture, and seasonality, the Food Justice Team learns about the current issues surrounding them. In the summer, the Garden Youth Crew maintains schoolyard gardens and creates a value-added product for sale at farmers markets, building valuable teamwork and entrepreneurship skills. Finally, in partnership with the National Park Service, Groundwork Somerville runs the National Park Preservers program for youth aged 18-25, who can spend a summer working in National Parks in Massachusetts, developing skills in trail maintenance, sustainable landscaping and historic vista preservation. Participants in this program have gone on to full-time careers with the National Park Service.

Statistics on Groundwork Somerville, Inc.

Financial Statistics

  • Annual Budget for 2012: $400,000
  • Annual Budget for 2008: $155,000
  • Maximum Annual Budget: $800,000
  • Other funding sources: City of Somerville US EPA Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Tremaine Foundation National Park Service Local Business Residents Somerville Health Foundation New England Grassroots Environment Fund
  • Religious Affiliation: N/A
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