Union Square Farmer’s Market

June 29th, 2012

Come join Groundwork Somerville at the Union Square Farmer’s Market this Saturday,  June 30th from 9-1. GWS will have a table at the market selling Somerville-grown produce, Somerville maple syrup, Red Wiggler worms for composting and Compost Guides.

Additional Farmer’s Market dates are July 14th, July 28th, August 11th, and August 25th.

We hope to see you there!

FREE Kids’ Summer Workshops at the Central Public Library

June 28th, 2012

This summer Groundwork Somerville will run four FREE summer workshops for kids at the Central Public Library in Somerville.  They’ll take place July 10, 17, 24, and 31 from 4 pm to 5 pm, and are geared towards kids ages 5-10.  The theme is “Nature Stories from Around the World”; participants will engage in earth-themed art projects, listen to stories about nature from Asian, Native American, and African nations, and make healthy, international snacks to eat.  Contact Lee at lee@groundworksomerville.org for more details!

FREE Kids’ Summer Workshops at the East Branch Library

June 28th, 2012

This summer Groundwork Somerville will run three FREE summer workshops for kids at the East Branch Public Library, near Sullivan Square.  They’ll take place August 2, 9, and 16 from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, and are geared towards kids ages 5-10.  The theme is “Nature Stories from Around the World”; participants will engage in earth-themed art projects, listen to stories about nature from Asian, Native American, and African nations, and make a healthy, international snack to eat.  Contact Lee at lee@groundworksomerville.org for more details!

FREE Kids’ Summer Workshops at the West Branch Library

June 28th, 2012

This summer Groundwork Somerville will run three FREE summer workshops for kids at the West Branch Public Library, off Davis Square.  They’ll take place July 17, 24, and 31 from 11 am to 12 pm, and are geared towards kids ages 3-10.  The theme is “Nature Stories from Around the World”; participants will engage in earth-themed art projects, listen to stories about nature from Asian, Native American, and African nations, and visit the library’s outdoor garden space.  Contact Lee at lee@groundworksomerville.org for more details!

Water Chestnut Community Handpull Removal

June 27th, 2012

Eradication efforts of water chestnuts, an invasive plant clogging the Mystic River and other parts of the Watershed, have been going on for many years. Currently, MyRWA is aggressively fighting Water Chestnuts and partnering with local environmental organizations and boat clubs including Groundwork Somerville, Friends of the Mystic River, Riverside Yacht Club, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority,  as part of a multi-year project to control water chestnuts in the Mystic.

You can help! Volunteer for upcoming Water Chestnut Removal Events:

  • Saturday, July 14th, 9am-1pm
  • Saturday, August 4th, 9am-1pm
  • Stay tuned for additional events – updated frequently!
  • All events are located across from Whole Foods Medford, 2151 Mystic Valley Pkwy, Medford

Click here for the Volunteer Water Chestnut Removal Event Sign-Up

Register to reserve a canoe -http://mysticriver.org/water-chestnut-sign-up-form/

More info here: http://mysticriver.org/water-chestnut-removal-project

Bolder, Brighter Broadway – Placemaking in East Somerville

June 27th, 2012

Community partners and the City of Somerville invite you to join
us for an interactive, community-based placemaking workshop in
East Somerville on July 28th.

Contribute the vision of strenghtening an East Broadway that is
vibrant and diverse!

What is “Placemaking”?

The idea behind placemaking is simple; the community is the
expert when it comes to desiging and planning for public spaces.

By combining local knowledge and listening to ideas generated
by the people who live, work, and play in a place, we can unearth
local needs to create a more vibrant and diverse space for
everyone to thrive in!

When is this happening?

Saturday, July 28, 2012
12:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Cross St. Senior Center(165 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145)

Questions?

Contact Mashael Majid, Community Planning Coordinator at SCC,
at 617-776-5931 ext. 228 or mmajid@somervillecdc.org.

An Urge for Urban Ag

June 27th, 2012

An Urge for Urban Ag
by Adrianne Schaefer, City of Somerville Urban Agriculture Intern

This spring, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone began a new city initiative aimed at supporting local agriculture and getting more people growing food within the city limits. Building on the urban agriculture work of organizations like Groundwork Somerville, the Somerville Community Growing Center, community gardens, new businesses like Green City Growers, and many existing homesteaders and growers, the city hopes to further encourage agricultural entrepreneurship on both on private land, and city lots.

The first major move by the city is putting new policies in place. Specifically, “AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE SOMERVILLE ZONING ORDINANCE TO ENCOURAGE URBAN AGRICULTURE IN SOMERVILLE ADDING DEFINITIONS, AND AMENDING THE TABLE OF USES AND THE FOOTNOTES TO THE TABLE OF USES TO ALLOW FARMS AS ACCESSORY RESIDENTIAL USES, AND TO ALLOW COMMUNITY GARDENS, COMMUNITY FARMS AND FARMING ON MUNICIPAL LAND has been proposed and is awaiting approval by the Board of Aldermen. This ordinance would explicitly allow agricultural activity of several different types: home gardens in residential areas, community farms, farms on municipal land and commercial agriculture. The hope is that if these ordinances are approved more urban farm projects like Groundwork Somerville’s new South Street Farm will be in Somerville’s future.

In addition to allowing for agriculture use in the zoning code, the new policies will allow and encourage beekeeping and backyard poultry. Several hives and coops are already being kept in Somerville, and the mayor and the city hope to pair these ordinances with an educational program which would encourage more people to keep bees and chickens, and to do so responsibly.

So why is urban agriculture a great thing for Somerville? As popularity for the farmers markets in Davis Square and Union Square, the winter market at the Armory, and the Mystic Mobile Market has shown, there is definitely a demand for and an interest in local food in our city. The farmers markets also have shown how much food can bring people together. In our city with such diversity of cultures, there are many people who have farming or gardening experience. Urban agriculture can be a powerful way for people to not only produce their own food but gather and build community.

Urban farms can also provide an amazing outdoor classroom for food education. Groundwork’s schoolyard gardens and similar programs including the Mystic Kids Garden at the Mystic Learning Center provide places where children can learn about growing and eating healthy, local food, get outside and be active. Programs like Shape Up Somerville’s Mystic Mobile Market are creating access to fresh, local produce through creative partnerships with local farms. This summer, Shape Up Somerville will be working with Enterprise Farm to expand last season’s successful Mystic Mobile Market to offer affordable produce at multiple sites around the city.  Urban farming can also provide job training and create new, meaningful jobs for both youth and adults. Over the next couple of months the city will be exploring ways to creatively use job training funds to increase access to local foods while training local people to grow and market their own produce.

Interested in Urban Agriculture? Get involved by:

North Street Park Community Meeting

June 26th, 2012

Please set aside time to join us tomorrow night, Wednesday, 6/27/12, to review the playground plans for the North Street Playground renovation.  We want this playground to be uniquely yours and your opinions of the proposed plan are essential as we confirm the details of the design.

The meeting will be tomorrow, June 27th, at 7:00 pm  at the Clarendon Hill Community Room at Clarendon Housing, 268 Rear, Powder House Boulevard, Section B, No 15. 

  1. The Community Room is easy to find and is across the parking lot and up the stairs from the Managers Office and there will be plenty of signs to follow.
  2. Refreshments will be provided by the Somerville High School Culinary Arts Program.
  3. Spanish and Haitian Creole Translation Services will be available.

Please share this announcement with your friends and neighbors and come to the meeting to make sure your voice is heard. 

Green Team Summer Begins July 3rd!

June 25th, 2012

The first day of the summer Green Team program is Tuesday, July 3rd!

Walnut St Center seeks Organic Garden Coordinator for Grant Project in Somerville

June 14th, 2012

A collaborative grant funded project- “Healthier People, Healthier Community Food Education”– seeks a special person to help coordinate the gardening elements through a part-time contract position. Raised beds are being installed at two residence homes in Somerville, MA serving adults with developmental disabilities. Local partners are assisting with nutritional education support. Project currently funded till May 2013.

Job Title: Organic Garden Site Coordinator

Summary of Skills:

This part-time, grant funded position involves educating, and supporting community gardening, and promoting local healthy food production and consumption to a low income community. The position also involves information collecting, community relations, public education, community organizing, organic gardening, program development and grant writing. Work with multi-cultural groups, people who have disabilities and the low-income community

Job Description:

•Plan, organize and lead all education activities and develop timelines for all garden-related activities to meet established program goals.

•Adapt education plans to meet the needs and abilities of Somerville residents who have developmental disabilities.

•Organize and facilitate all planting, maintenance and harvesting activities in the community.

•Monitor gardener’s progress, needs, and site issues through garden visits and regular contact with garden site assistant and residential house manager.

•Report all program expenses, evaluate program results and prepare related reports, including photo documentation for grant funders as a model project that can be replicated

•Manage mail and email communication.

•Supervise community garden site assistant.

•Attend all meetings associated with this project to report progress towards the program’s goals.

•Be respectful to the rights and needs of adults who have developmental disabilities.

•Encourage and facilitate the development of the greatest level of independence with the developmentally disabled adults’ gardening skills.

Minimum Qualifications:

•Two years of college. Degree in agriculture, forestry, science, ecology or related field preferred. (Relevant experience can be substituted for college background.)

•Knowledge and experience with organic and community gardening.

•Experience in teaching individuals and small groups, leading and establishing positive rapport with people of diverse backgrounds (e.g., people who have disabilities, people from culturally diverse backgrounds.)

•Ability to develop extensive work plans and work independently.

•Good physical condition and ability/willingness to participate in intense physical labor.

•Ability to start immediately.

Reporting and Compensation:

Coordinator will report to Emma Taddeo. Compensation, dependent on experience, up to $18/hr for up to 174 hours. Contract position, grant funded through May 2013.

If interested, please submit resume and cover letter as soon as possible to Emma Taddeo at TaddeoE@wscinc.org. Position open until filled and ideally will start by July 1st. Organizational info at www.wscinc.org