Tapping Day! This Thursday, January 31st

January 28th, 2013

Join us on the Tufts campus this Thursday, January 31st at 3 pm for the 10th annual tapping of sugar maples for the Somerville Maple Syrup Project! Families, neighbors, students, maple syrup enthusiasts, and anyone interested in participating in this fun, FREE outdoor event should gather at the bottom of Memorial Steps across from Anderson Hall, 200 College Avenue.  You’ll learn how we tap maple trees, help us hammer in the spiles, and start to collect sap used to produce our own hyper-local, super-sweet syrup!

At 3 pm, we’ll climb the steps and begin to tap the trees growing on the sloped lawn to the left of the steps behind Miner Hall; look for the Groundwork Somerville banner.  Attendees are encouraged to dress warmly, since we’ll be outside for an hour.  For more information, check out our Somerville Maple Syrup Project page or call 617-628-9988.

Clarendon Hill Winter Farmers Market

January 25th, 2013

Starting this Saturday, Jan. 26th, the Clarendon Hill Winter Farmers Market will provide fresh fruit, vegetables, and other local products from Enterprise Farm and Groundwork Somerville! The market will take place each Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm in the Clarendon Hill Community Room throughout the winter and into early spring.  In addition, if you use an EBT card to buy your produce, you pay half the price!

For more information, call 617-628-9988 or check out the Clarendon Winter Market Flyer.

Thanks to everyone involved to make this winter market possible: Shape Up Somerville, Enterprise Farm, Mass In Motion, The Welcome Project, Somerville Housing Authority, and our very own, hardworking Urban Family Outreach team!

Making Maple Syrup: Tapping and Collecting Sap

January 23rd, 2013

Workshop–Making Maple Syrup: Tapping and Collecting Sap

Join Groundwork Somerville and NOFA Mass on Saturday, Feb. 2nd from 1-3 pm for a special wintertime workshop on urban maple syrup-making! Learn about the history of maple sugaring, tree identification, modern tapping and sap collecting technology, and the effect of climate change on maple trees.  You’ll also taste-test syrup and participate in a hands-on demo of sugaring techniques by tapping local trees, as part of the 10th annual Somerville Maple Syrup Project! The workshop will start in the Rabb Room inside Lincoln Filene Hall at Tufts University, and end with an outdoor tapping demonstration, so make sure to wear warm clothes and boots.

Tickets are on sale now at the NOFA Mass website; $25 for NOFA members and $30 for non-members.


The Youth Jobs Campaign

January 17th, 2013

by Kristin DelViscio, Green Team Coordinator

When I was fifteen, I landed my first job at Honey Dew Donuts two miles from home. Although the job did not emphasize leadership skills, an environmental awareness, or the importance of community participation, the responsibility instilled in me a sense of commitment. Opening up the shop at 5 a.m. on the weekend meant running two miles through dark, snow-filled streets at 4:30 a.m. and unlocking the door for the people who plowed the road before everyone else woke up. I made the commitment to strangers who made my mother’s life easier as she sleepily emerged from work after the third shift to find the roads revealed for her drive home.  The job relieved stress on my mother as I could pay for my own sports fees, field trips, clothes, college application fees and eventually, college. At Honey Dew Donuts, I learned to be responsible for myself.

Although I wouldn’t particularly recommend Honey Dew to the teens I work with as a potential place of employment, I can’t deny the fact that it is one of a number of corporations that do hire teens. As a result, Honey Dew helps to lower the teen crime rate and trains a capable population in using basic math and social skills. Such employers do more than the other 80% of corporations in Massachusetts (with 100+ employees) can claim to do for today’s youth in terms of job opportunities.

Yet despite the dearth of employment opportunities for teens from  the private sector, since 2009 5 billion dollars have been cut from state and local budgets, including over 25% of the funding for youth jobs in MA: in the last few years, more than a million dollars have been lost. The affected nonprofit programs offered jobs to youth, jobs that provided crucial support. All of the following skills are fostered by nonprofit job programs: Leadership training and confidence building; team oriented thinking and hard skill building; support for mental and emotional health, as well as imagining next steps for the future. Beyond such abstract skills, youth jobs also provide a much needed stipend for youth who help to support their family’s financial situation, or help to ease a financial burden from the often overworked primary wage earner. Clearly, job opportunities for youth are important to investing in the future of our communities and strengthening our economy.

On February 21st, Groundwork Somerville’s Green Team, along with many other youth programs in and around Boston, will band together in a march to the state house to address legislators with their budget cut concerns. This day will give youth a peek into the political process by allowing a space to exercise their right to protest, and providing an opportunity to represent youth from across the state.

Join us in the battle to preserve valuable opportunities for youth by writing to local senators and elected officials in support of youth jobs. One day soon, if we support them now, they may become the doctors, writers, policy makers, teachers, artists, and scientists that will take on the socioeconomic, environmental and political challenges of our world and we want them to be ready for it.

Quincy Street Open Space Ribbon Cutting

January 16th, 2013

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Ward 2 Alderman MaryAnn Heuston

Invite everyone to attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremonycelebrating the renovation of Somerville’s new neighborhood woodland park.

The Quincy Street Open Space

Thursday afternoon, January 24,th from 2:00 – 3:00p.m.
Quincy Street between Somerville Avenue and Summer Street

Hot Cider and Donuts will be served!


For additional information, please visit www.ci.somerville.ma.us or contact Arn Franzen at (617) 625-6600, ext 2500

Presentation: Reversing Global Warming

January 16th, 2013

Reversing Global Warming while Meeting Human Needs: An Urgently Needed Land-Based Option

Friday, January 25, 2013, 2:00 – 4:00 PM

ASEAN Auditorium, The Fletcher School at Tufts University, 160 Packard Avenue, Medford, Mass.
A presentation by Allan Savory, Rancher and Restoration Ecologist, Founder of the Savory Institute and originator of the Holistic Management approach to restoring grasslands
While governments posture and dither, a pragmatic practitioner and intellectual entrepreneur, Allan Savory, has been developing and demonstrating a powerful technique that can reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere immediately while reversing desertification and providing livelihoods and food for millions of people. His applied research based in Zimbabwe on the restoration of grasslands has now been replicated on millions of acres worldwide. The application of his methods has the potential to significantly reduce atmospheric carbon through an increase in plant growth and soil formation. This process begins immediately and involves no new technologies, only a shift to the Holistic Management practices for livestock that he has pioneered. Major organizations and institutions are now recognizing his work, but climate scientists and governments have yet to incorporate it into their analyses and policy prescriptions.
Reception to follow. Free and open to the public. Presented by the Agriculture, Forests, and Biodiversity Program of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Fletcher; the Agriculture, Food, and Environment Program of Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy; and Planet-TECH Associates. RSVP and more info at http://allansavory.eventbrite.com/

Film: Climate Heroes

January 16th, 2013
Somerville Climate Action and Rep. Denise Provost Film Series presents:
Climate Heroes:
How Biodiversity Saves the Day!
Hosted by scientist and SCA member Jim Laurie, this movie night will
present several short videos about the power of natural systems
and the scientists, ranchers, and farmers that are restoring
biodiversity and reversing current climate changing trends.
Participate in this engaging and informative discussion and learn more
about Somerville Climate Action’s upcoming activities!
Weds January 16, 7-9pm
Arts at the Armory, Mezzanine
191 Highland Ave.

Bon Appetit: Menu for the Maple Syrup Project Fundraiser Brunch!

January 16th, 2013

Mmm…check out the drool-worthy menu The Independent has whipped up for our Maple Syrup Project Fundraiser Brunch this Monday, Jan. 21 (MLK Day)! Maple-bacon doughnuts, syrup-dipped French toast, maple sausage Belgian waffles, and much more! Remember, 20% of whatever you order goes towards Groundwork Somerville’s Maple Syrup Project.

There’s also a few things without maple syrup, if you don’t have a sweet tooth.  Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are available.  Reserve your table today by calling 617-440-6022!

Click here for the 2013 Maple Syrup Brunch menu!

Maple Syrup Project Fundraiser Brunch

January 10th, 2013

Join Groundwork Somerville at The Independent for the annual Maple Syrup Project Fundraiser Brunch on MLK Day!

Enjoy delicious maple-themed dishes and cocktails while supporting the Boil Down Festival (March 9th), our Maple Syrup education programming, and local syrup production.  You’ll help us make the 10th year of the project possible.  Bring friends–and your appetite! Just make sure to call The Independent at 617-440-6022 to reserve a table, because space is limited!

If you’re interested in volunteering as a Maple Syrup Educator in 2nd grade classrooms this February, we still have spots available! Email Lee at Lee@groundworksomerville.org to sign up.