Invasive Water Chestnut Removal Event, June 4th

May 30th, 2011

On Saturday, June 4, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM,  Groundwork Somerville, the Mystic River Watershed Association and the Friends of the Mystic River will host a community event to remove invasive water chestnuts from the Mystic River. Using canoes, kayaks, and small boats, volunteers will pull water chestnuts out of the water by hand and then deposit the harvested plants at a designated shore site.  Volunteers who have canoes or kayaks are encouraged to bring their own. If you need a boat, Groundwork Somerville may be able to provide you with one (thanks to the generous cooperation of the Boys and Girls Club of Middlesex County).  We only have 20 canoes available for volunteers, so please register for this event as soon as possible.  Canoes are available on a first come, first served basis.

Volunteers should meet at 8:00 AM at the old DCR boat ramp adjacent to 75 South Street in Medford, MA.  A limited amount of parking is available on South Street; additional parking is available on nearby Curtis Street, Maple Ave, Touro Ave, and Manning Street.

If you plan to attend this event, please register online at:

Or RSVP by email to  In your RSVP, please indicate your full name, phone number, email address, and whether you will need a canoe.

We also need volunteers on the riverbank to help move harvested plants from boats to dump trucks. Boaters are required to use life preservers/personal flotation devices.

Immediately following the hand-pulling event, lunch and refreshments will be available for volunteers at the put-in site.

To learn more about the water chestnut removal effort on the Mystic River, please contact Brad Arndt at or (617) 455-1127.

This event is sponsored by Groundwork Somerville, the Mystic River Watershed Association, the Friends of the Mystic River, the Riverside, Mystic Wellington, and Winter Hill Yacht Clubs, and the Medford Boat Club.

PLEASE NOTE: The MA Department of Transportation will be conducting repairs of the I-93 bridges in Medford beginning on Friday, June 3rd at 8:00 PM and continuing through Monday, June 6th at 5:00 AM.  This bridge work will require the placement and periodic maneuvering of a large barge within the Mystic River on a daily basis.  If you are planning to travel to the water chestnut event by boat, please be aware of potential delays and impediments posed by MassDOT’s scheduled maintenance activities.  For more information, please visit

Tai Dinnan in the Somerville Patch!

May 26th, 2011

Groundwork Somerville announces new Executive Director!

May 20th, 2011

Groundwork Somerville Press Release


Nancy Bernhard, Board President


21 Properzi Way, Suite O

Somerville, MA 02143

For Immediate Release

May 20, 2011

Groundwork Somerville has found a new Executive Director!

Groundwork Somerville (GWS), a local non-profit organization focused on creating sustainable communities through partnerships, would like to welcome Chris Mancini, Somerville resident, to our family! Chris Mancini comes to Groundwork Somerville after five years at Sailors for the Sea, where he developed and managed programs for environmental education and marine ecosystem stewardship, working with boaters to protect oceans and local waters. Chris is truly excited and honored to be taking on the role of Executive Director and to be officially part of the Groundwork Team. He has volunteered and supported the organization over the years, particularly in the Somerville Maple Syrup Project, which taps Somerville’s sugar maples each spring to boil for our own local syrup. Chris and his wife, Abigail, are Somerville residents for many years, and are both excited to be deepening their relationship with a city and community they love.

Over the past 10 years, GWS has worked tirelessly to engage the community in greening initiatives, creating a high school employment program, a Schoolyard Gardens initiative, and a community planning process. Most recently we began working collaboratively across the Mystic River Watershed to conserve the river, while also promoting access to the beautiful resource that it is to our densely-built communities.

Groundwork Somerville is an environmental 501(c)3 non-profit organization that promotes sustainable community development and revitalization.  By creating opportunities for healthy EDUCATION, green JOBS, and sustainable COMMUNITY, Groundwork Somerville empowers people to lead healthier, happier, and more prosperous lives. GWS believes in the power of collaboration, and achieves results by building coalitions.  We engage city residents, city government, businesses, and community organizations in the planning and execution of our projects.  We also guide cities and non-profits throughout the Mystic River region seeking to build similar programs. Groundwork Somerville is an affiliate of Groundwork USA, a network of 18 trusts across the country, linked by a common mission of changing places and changing lives.

Green Team in the Somerville News!

May 20th, 2011

Check out incoming ED Chris Mancini!

May 20th, 2011

GlobalGiving recurring donation has 3 days left!

May 17th, 2011

Hi folks! Don’t forget to join the recurring donation campaign with GWS –

It’s easy and will help GWS out immeasurably. Thanks for your support.

SomerFun: A Romp for Independents

May 17th, 2011

The Somerville Arts Council and Somerville Local First are excited to present an ArtsUnion Event,SomerFun:A Romp for Independents. Join us for our 2nd annual FREE street festival and market, Saturday, June 11th at the Union Square Plaza from 3-7 PM.

With a variety of participating businesses, artisans, musicians and tons of games, demonstrations and activities, SomerFun has something for everyone and we expect at least 500-1,000 people to attend.

SomerFun will also have an open air market that will include participating vendors from all around New England, promoting your business to the Somerville community and beyond.

Interested in signing up? Becoming is vendor is simple: all you have to do is fill out our online form:

You will receive a 10×10 space, an 8ft Table and 2 chairs.  The cost is $100 and can be paid either in advance or the day of the event for your convenience. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact SLF Executive Director Joe Grafton ( and for more event details, please see our Facebook event.

In Lawrence, Tsongas will announce plans to reintroduce legislation to help cities create green space

May 16th, 2011

Legislation was developed with Groundworks Lawrence

LAWRENCE, MA – May 12, 2011- Next week, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas will join volunteers from Groundworks Lawrence to announce new legislation she is filing to help urban communities turn blighted environments into public parks or other usable green spaces.  Tsongas’ bill, developed in consultation with the nonprofit group Groundworks Lawrence, would create a dedicated funding stream of federal funding to ensure support for the twenty existing Groundworks programs nationwide and enable other cities to launch similar initiatives.

Groundworks projects have proven to be a sound investment for the federal government.  Since 2001, Groundwork Lawrence has completed over $6 million in public open space improvement projects while receiving only $240,000 in seed funding: a $24 to $1 ratio.

Currently, federal funding for programs like Groundwork Lawrence is sporadic and unreliable, leading to a back-log of proposals from communities that meet the necessary requirements for federal support but which ultimately go unfunded.   By ensuring dedicated federal funding of Groundworks projects, and centralizing the administration of the Groundworks program through the National Parks Service, Tsongas bill would provide needed stability for these nonprofit groups and enable them to improve the environmental and economic conditions in urban areas.

WHO: Congresswoman Niki Tsongas; Groundwork Lawrence Executive Director, Heather McMann, Groundworks Lawrence volunteers

WHAT: Announcement on the Groundwork USA Trust Act of 2011

WHERE: Manchester Street Park, 77 Manchester Street, Lawrence, MA

WHEN: Tuesday, May 17th, 11 AM



John W. Noble

Communications Director

Rep. Niki Tsongas


Community meeting about renovation of North Street Playground

May 13th, 2011

This Saturday, May 14th, 2011, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, Alderman Robert C. Trane, and the Groundwork Somerville Green Team invite you to attend an important community meeting to discuss renovation plans for the North Street Playground (The meeting will be in two parts. Please come to either or both parts.) Coffee and Donuts will be available!

Part I. 9:30 am to 10:30 am

Review Design concepts with our landscape architects

Where: West Somerville Neighborhood School Cafeteria 177 Powderhouse Boulevard

Part II. 11:00 am to 12:00 am

Meet at the park to discuss existing conditions

Where: At the Park – on North Street between Broadway and Powderhouse Boulevard

For additional information, please visit or contact Arn Franzen at (617) 625-6600 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (617) 625-6600 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, ext 2500

Teen activists meet elected officials over jobs, budget concerns

May 12th, 2011

Somerville News

On May 12, 2011, in Latest News, by The News Staff

By Andrew Firestone

Youth activists of Somerville were called upon to discuss budgetary concerns this last Friday, May 6, when Mayor Joseph Curtatone and the Statehouse delegation of Somerville dropped by Teen Empowerment’s East Somerville headquarters.

Members of Teen Empowerment and the Groundwork Somerville green team spoke for over an hour with state Senators Pat Jehlen and Sal DiDomenico, as well as state Representatives Denise Provost and Tim Toomey, and requested more funding for teen jobs in an event organized by Marlon Remdehal, director of Somerville programs for TE, and Adam Machson Carter, GS green team coordinator.

“Will you commit to putting full funding for the YouthWorks [line program] at $4.4 million in the Senate budget?” asked Melinda Petit of Teen Empowerment to Jehlen and DiDomenico. The House budget could only appropriate half of the requested funds.

“Funding for youth jobs is one of my priorities,” said DiDomenico, “so I know how important youth jobs are, my first job was a youth job. It’s important for us support the cities and towns that do good work in youth jobs.”

“I don’t know what will happen in the Senate budget,” said Jehlen. “It’s very difficult for me to commit to almost anything at this point,” she added, noting the severe budget drops in funding for public safety and higher education.

“The main thing that makes me want to support this is that I don’t support any act that doesn’t include support for revenue,” she said, noting the “level funding” approach to the bill. “I’ll give it every consideration.”

The youth activists also asked for support in house conference for the School to Career line item, which gives an additional $2 million in job support.

Much of the discussion among the group focused on the need for jobs in shaping the lives and responsibilities of young people coming of age. “If kids don’t have a job or something constructive to do with their time they get  bored and wind up getting into mischief and lots of trouble,” said Cullen Cicero a youth activist at TE.

“They find alternatives in the streets, whether it’s like drugs or gangs or robbing people for money, whatever they need to make it so they can feel better about themselves, look good, have food to eat,” added Terrence Bordenave, also of TE.

“Your first job is really what teaches you that you have to work for everything you have, every single cent,” said Bordenave. “If people don’t get that reality check, they go through life with the wrong mindset, and they probably won’t make it through high school or college.”

Curtatone, who pledged $100,000 for youth jobs over the summer, supported the sentiment. “It’s good policy. It’s good social policy; it’s good economic policy. We all talk about how we want to give our people the best opportunities, we don’t want them just hanging out in the street, causing mischief.” Curtatone also explained his point-of-view that it was increasingly important to provide services to encourage youth, even against a failing budget.

To Toomey, who was candid with the young people, it was a no-brainer. “It’s always been a priority of mine when I meet with my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee to advocate, to drive home the point of how [joblessness] impacts young peoples’ lives, and how they are going to be the future, well-paid and contributing to our tax base, if they’re trained for their job,” he said.

The discussion was heartening for the young activists, who were impressed at the pragmatic and engaging candor of the state legislators. “Even though we’re all different age ranges, we all have similar ideas,” said Cicero.

Perry Gerald of East Somerville was especially surprised at the tenor of the discussion. “I did not know that they care they much,” he said. “We need to care as much for them as they will for us, otherwise we won’t go nowhere.”

The Senate’s budget concerns were alleviated on Tuesday, May 10, when Governor Deval Patrick pledged the full amount of 4.4 million for the YouthWorks line item, as well as an additional 2 million in federal grants for youth jobs across the state. The money will fund approximately 3,000 jobs or more statewide this summer.