The Redesign and how you can help
Actively used since it was created in 1993, the Center has aged: tree growth limits where we can grow food, the lawn has been compacted, structures are reaching the end of their life... Funding from the City's Community Preservation Act in 2015 made possible an 18-month process to address the needs of the Center to complement the needs of the Somerville population. Eva Leung and Adam Davenport of permaculture design firm Terra Cura, Inc have been working with us to engage the broader community in a regenerative redesign (PDF). The goals include:
increase the food yield while highlighting principles of sustainable urban agriculture,
make paths and community gathering areas more accessible and easier to maintain, and
improve water conservation throughout the site.
We are happy to announce that through the CPA, the Somerville Community Growing Center was awarded $350,000 for its renovation. The Growing Center Renovation and Restoration Implementation project has been designed to make possible the most important infrastructure updates to the Somerville Community Growing Center. These renovations are critical to increasing the park’s accessibility and safety, providing a beautiful and fun environment for volunteer groups to manage this urban forest, garden and cultural center for decades to come. The hardscape elements that would be funded by CPA include: demolition & site preparation, site improvements (grading, retaining walls, pathways, railings & fencing, seating, storage, raised garden beds with season extensions, plant materials) and added utilities
SCGC Re-Design Updates and Documents
Site improvements commenced officially on October 15, 2018. The past two weeks have been focused on site clearing -- removal of damaged pathways, deteriorating timber retaining walls, and harvesting selective trees that could give way to more room and light and a more biodiverse ecosystem. As part of our tree upcycling effort, we partnered with Digital Structures, a research group at MIT working at the interface of architecture, structural engineering, and computation. Tree joints are harvested, and will be 3D-scanned and sculpted for structural studies. Sal Mancini - a woodworking instructor at Artist Asylum -- have also harvested our Black cherry, Kwanzan Cherry, Pear and Red Maple for wood turning materials. Last but not least, part of our harvest will give life to mushroom cultivation for the CIty of Somerville's Nibble Program. In the meantime, Terra Cura Inc. is working with Somerville High School's carpentry, metal and electrical shop on site furniture, storage, ADA railing construction. Talk about growing the community! Stay tuned
Please see below the results of Phase 2 of the Somerville Community Growing Center’s Redesign process done by our friends at Terra Cura, Inc. Click here for the SCGC Redesign PDF Link!