April Vacation Camp Registration Open!

February 28th, 2012

Don’t spend the April vacation sitting around inside.  “Spring into Action!” with Groundwork Somerville at the Somerville Community Growing Center!

Camp is for 2nd and 3rd graders and runs from Tuesday April 17th to Friday April 20th ~ 9:00am – 2:30pm

Click here for the flier and registration form in English  or en Español

This program provides environmental education and physical activity, and gives children experience preparing balanced meals.  Second and third grade Somerville campers cook and eat their own delicious lunch each day.  They participate in outdoor activities in the  Somerville Community Growing Center’s garden space, and go on a field trip to Gaining Ground’s vegetable farm in Concord, MA. $120 fee, sliding scale. Interested families can contact Tai Dinnan at (617)628-9988 or tai@groundworksomerville.org.

Find out more at: http://www.groundworksomerville.org/programs/healthy-education/spring-into-action-april-vacation-week-program/

Film Screening: Gasland

February 23rd, 2012
FILM SCREENING of the Oscar nominated film:
Sponsored by our State Rep. Denise Provost and Somerville Climate Action
Tuesday March 6 6:30-8:30pm
Somerville Library, 79 Highland Ave.
The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the US.  “Fracking” is being blamed for everything from the recent spate of earthquakes in places never to have them before, to residents in the vicinity of fracking sites being able to light their tap water on fire. Is all this a “natural” occurrence, as industry execs claim? Or, is fracking poisoning the citizens of this country- all in the name of “getting off foreign oil?”

Community Corridor Planning: Community-Wide Assembly

February 21st, 2012

Urban Family Outreach will be a part of our annual CCP Community- Wide Assembly.  See what accomplishments we’ve made throughout 2011 and give input on what we should do to move our work forward for 2012!  Urban Family Outreach will be there along with our Jobs for Somerville, and Affordable Housing working groups.  Join in on the conversation about access to safe and accommodating Green Space, Transportation, Diversity, Local Jobs, and Affordable Housing.  We will be taking your input to help us move forward on these issues for 2012, because all of our efforts are meant to support the community and only the community knows how to address the issues that are affecting them.

The assembly will take place at Capuano School; childcare will be provided along with interpretation, so if you know someone who doesn’t speak English, please invite them.  Light refreshments will be served.

Hope to see you there!

Youth Jobs Rally and Prep Party!

February 17th, 2012

Youth Jobs Rally and Prep Party!

Volunteers Needed: 2/25

February 16th, 2012

Volunteer Request: Saturday February 25th, 11am-1pm, Somerville Community Growing Center, 22 Vinal Ave.

Volunteers are needed to help prepare the Growing Center Space for the Maple Syrup Boil Down.  Tasks include moving and stacking firewood, clearing paths, removing winter debris and branches, and removing rubble.  Many hands will make light work!  This is a great opportunity to be active outside as the days grow warmer and the sun grows stronger.  Please email tai@groundworksomerville.org to RSVP (knowing the number of attendees will help us know how to use your energy most effectively).

Additional volunteer opportunities are open on March 2nd and 3rd to help with the Somerville Maple Syrup Boil Down Festival.  Email Tai if you’re interested in learning more.

Maple Syrup Boil Down Festival

February 15th, 2012

Join Groundwork Somerville on March 3rd at the Somerville Community Growing Center for the annual Somerville Maple Syrup Project Boil Down! Community members of all ages are invited to 22 Vinal Avenue between 10am and 2pm to watch and learn as sap from local sugar maple trees is boiled down into pure maple syrup over a warm fire. Attendees can expect to enjoy syrup-tasting, children’s music by the Animal Farm, kids’ activities, demonstrations, and much more! Waffles, syrup, hot drinks and Somerville Maple Syrup Project T-shirts will be on sale.

At 11am and 12noon, Animal Farm will be entertaining Boil Down Festival guests! Animal Farm is a Boston-based trio of musicians and educators whose lively performances entertain and engage children ages 3 to 103! Each thirty minute show will be a colorful blend of original music, storytelling, hilarious antics and games.

The Somerville Maple Syrup Project coordinated by Groundwork Somerville in partnership with the Friends of the Community Growing Center, Somerville Public Schools, Tufts University, and dedicated community volunteers. Every February, local maple trees are tapped, and the collected sap is stored for a 2-day public boil-down event.

Throughout the season, Groundwork Somerville staff trains and supports community volunteers as they teach a 4-week arts and science curriculum to 2nd graders in all of Somerville’s public schools and lead educational activities at the boil-down event. High school students working in the metal shop provide annual maintenance on the wood stove and evaporator pan they made in 2005. The syrup produced is given as thank you gifts to key partners and sold in maple leaf jars at the “Grown in Somerville” booth at the Union Square Farmer’s Market and at Sherman Market. Come join us at this unique outdoor festival as we celebrate the spring and our urban natural resources!

For information about The Maple Syrup Boil Down, the education series, or syrup production contact: Tai Dinnan ~ tai@groundworksomerville.org ~ 617-628-9988 office phone

Food Justice Team Blog

February 14th, 2012

Check out the middle school after school Food Justice Team Blog to see what we have been up to!  Just click the link: http://somervillefoodjustice.tumblr.com/

2012 Farm Share Fair

February 13th, 2012

Get your local on at the 2012 Farm Share Fair on March 1st! Hosted by theMOVE, a partner of Groundwork Somerville.

Thursday March 1st @ 5:30-8PM  |  Free  NEW DATE: Thursday March 8th!
The Argenziano School in Union Sq @ 290 Washington St / Somerville

We’re bringing lots of local farms to the city!  Meet the folks who grow your food, and sign up for a local CSA share to get weekly fresh veggies
delivered by local growers to convenient pickup spots.   Free entry.  For more information, click here.

MBTA fare increases and cuts: a toxic mix for Somerville residents

February 9th, 2012

On Tuesday, February 7, more than 100 Somerville residents packed the community room at the Mystic Housing Development for a community meeting about the MBTA’s proposed fare increase and service cuts. The MBTA has put forward two proposals to fill a $160 million operating deficit for next year. One proposal includes increasing fares by as much as 43%, while the other would cut 101 weekday bus routes including the 80, 85, 90, 92, 95, and 96 in Somerville. Under both proposals, the MBTA would increase the cost of student and senior fares by 100%, while significantly increasing the cost of The Ride for disabled passengers. At the community meeting residents spoke out about the effect service cuts and increased fares would have on their ability to get to work and school. One resident explained that the 95 is the only bus that serves the Mystic Housing Development directly along Mystic Ave. “If they cut the 95, I’ll just have to walk all the way to [Bunker Hill Community College].” Groundwork Somerville Green Team member Sheina Joseph was concerned about the effect fare increases would have on her school and her family, “I get my bus pass for free through my school. If they raise the price, my school won’t have the money to buy it for students. If I don’t have my bus pass, it will cost me $5 just to get to work and back.”

Somerville residents face not only the prospect of increased fares and cuts to essential bus lines but also the burden of increased air pollution along Interstate 93. According to the MBTA’s own report, a fare increase and service cut would drive more people into their cars and lead to increased traffic and air pollution along major roadways which researchers at Tufts University say could lead to adverse health affects.  With the delays to the Green Line Extension, Somerville residents already face heightened exposure to air pollution. Fare increases and service cuts will only worsen this situation. Many advocacy groups including the T Riders Union, Transportation for Massachusetts, and the On The Move Transportation Justice Coalition have also pointed out that the MBTA’s $160 million deficit is largely due to the $3.2 billion debt the MBTA carries as a result of projects required to offset the increase in air pollution resulting from the Big Dig.

Somerville came together to tell the state and the MBTA that enough is enough with delays to Green Line. Now we must come together to say NO to fare increases, NO to service cuts, and YES to healthy, sustainable transportation. The MBTA will be hosting a public meeting at Somerville High School at 6pm on Tuesday, February 28 to hear what Somerville residents have to say about the proposed fare increase and service cuts. A coalition of Somerville community groups including Groundwork Somerville, The Welcome Project, Somerville Community Corporation, and Occupy Somerville will be hosting a rally before the public meeting at 5:30pm on the lawn outside of the high school. Join us to tell the MBTA, our legislators, and the governor that quality public transit is a lifeline for Somerville residents and that we need a real, sustainable solution to public transit funding, not more air pollution, service cuts, and fare increases.

Harris Park – Final Meeting

February 9th, 2012

Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Alderman William Roche invite you to the final public meeting for the new Harris Park, on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center on the corner of Cross St. and Broadway. 

We will reveal the final, refined design based on the preferred scheme from the last meeting. Please come give your feedback and discuss the construction of Somerville’s newest park.  If you could not make the last meeting, see the two design alternatives, including fly-throughs, here:  http://somervilleresistat.blogspot.com/2012/01/design-chosen-for-new-harris-park-check.html