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, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has been making change happen in Somerville, Massachusetts since 2000. Through community engagement, environmental and open space improvements, fresh food access, youth education, and employment initiatives, Groundwork creates the building blocks of a healthy community, and empowers residents to improve their quality of life. Groundwork achieves results by engaging the whole community – residents, youth, nonprofits, government and businesses – in the planning and realization of projects. With this collaborative approach, Groundwork ensures that all stakeholders are mutually invested in the outcomes, the key to stable neighborhoods and sustainable change.
Groundwork Somerville’s mission and operations are premised on the understanding that environmental conditions are inextricably linked to the economic and social health of a neighborhood, and that individuals’ health can be directly affected by race and income level. As a consequence, Groundwork is committed to “changing places and changing lives” through on-the-ground projects that help to transform local communities. We create jobs, food, green space, and leadership opportunities for environmental justice communities and individuals, through programs that address areas of healthy education, green jobs and sustainable communities. We work with children and teachers in school garden classrooms to connect experiential learning to state curriculum standards, and young people to their environment; we provide jobs and leadership training to low-income and under-served youth in our community; and we are stewards of 31 sites throughout the region, which we maintain, cleanup, and grow food in, including the South Street Farm – Somerville’s first urban farm; the Mystic River; and 10 garden classrooms in every elementary school in Somerville.