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.
Nov 16, 2012

The Living Lab is Alive

Bedding Down
Bedding Down

Fall is drawing to a close, but our schoolyard gardens are still a source of hands-on education and exploration! This fall's "Living Lab" curriculum teaches scientific concepts and engages students enrolled in the after-school garden clubs in basic experiments, using our gardens as an outdoor lab and classroom. So far we've learned about seed germination, capillary action, the water cycle, root storage, and more! In October and early November we harvested our last remaining vegetables from the gardens, incorporating them into healthy eating recipes with our after-school clubs.

Now we're in the process of bedding down the school gardens--located at eight schools throughout Somerville--for the winter. With the assistance of volunteers, parents, and Green Team members, we've sown winter rye, planted tulip and daffodil bulbs, and added cocoa hulls, straw, and cardboard for nutrient-rich mulch. We're also planning ahead for the spring, excited for garden renovations and a new planting season.


Aug 15, 2012

Summer Green Team is En Fuego!

The first garlic harvest!
The first garlic harvest!

Spring and Summer 2012 is one of the best on Green Team Record!  The only way to convey the magnitude of their accomplishments (which are still underway!) is to start at the beginning:

With 7 youth in the Spring, and 14 in the Summer, the Green Team has:

Built and planted Somerville's first urban farm, the South Street Farm, a 4000 square foot, raised bed farm that is growing produce for Somerville residents and the Union Square Farmers Market

Done a comprehensive park stewardship program in the state park at Blessing of the Bay Boathouse, including planting all their beds, and constantly maintaining them, as well as working on an invasive species removal project eradicating Eurasian Water Chestnuts from the Mystic River. On August 4th they were part of a record-setting team of 70 volunteers who removed 806 twenty pound baskets of the invasive weed.

Partnered with local business Culinary Cruisers to put local, youth-grown mint and basil into their Ocean Ave Pops

Done community service projects in National Parks on the Boston Harbor Islands and in Concord, MA at the Minuteman National Historic Park, as well at the Alewife Reservation, a State Park.

Volunteered all over Somerville at community and arts events

Maintained Schoolyard Gardens with the Garden Youth Crew.

Planned and performed a public open mic event with Teen Empowerment

Partnered with youth groups in Everett, Malden and East Boston to do waterfront assessments within the Mystic River Watershed

Learned how to ride and take care of bikes for carbon neutral transportation all summer.

Attended youth leadership summits with REEP and others.

And they have more to do!

Before the summer is over they will have built a greenhouse, created a rain water harvest system, presented at Boston Green Fest, created a sample green roof, and more!

We are lucky to have these youth, and hope continued support for the program will lead to ongoing schoolyear and summer Green Teams for years to come!


Aug 14, 2012

Summer Gardens Report - Produce Everywhere!

Spring planting in Healey School
Spring planting in Healey School

Schoolyard Gardens have been BOOMING!  Starting in April, the seeds were planting by our Spring Garden Clubs, and they have not stopped all summer! We have seen some of the biggest zucchini and eggplant, and just now, hundreds of cherry tomatoes are ripening on the vine.

We are really excited to be getting this healthy local food to our students, as well as into the brand new, affordable, Mobile Farmers Market organized by the City of Somerville. In addition, our Green Team (see our other project) has been harvesting the gardens to help the Summer Camp at Healey School maintain these thriving urban oases.

The Gardens are at 8 locations throughout Somerville in every elementary school, including Edgerly, Argenziano, Kennedy, West Somerville, Winter Hill, Brown, Prospect Hill Academy and the future East Somerville Community School.

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