The Somerville Community Growing Center, a quarter-acre site near Union Square, Somerville, was created 20 years ago as an “urban oasis” for environmental education, community gatherings, and cultural performances. Over the past two decades of active use, the Growing Center’s landscape has changed: trees have grown to shade the site, limiting where the Growing Center can grow food for urban agriculture; the lawn has been compacted by heavy equipment and use; and wooden structures are reaching the end of their natural life span.
The Friends of the Community Growing Center, engaged Eva Leung and Adam Davenport of Terra Cura Inc. to support a redesign process. Using a Regenerative Development process and Permaculture principles, community forums and hands on workshops have helped explore how to reshape the space to serve Somerville residents for another 20 years and beyond -- a model for an urban food forest and community park. The challenges include how to allow for a number of positive developments in the space - such as securing terraced areas of the garden sustainably, increasing soil and plant health, growing the yield of food highlighting principles of sustainable urban agriculture at the Growing Center, improving water conservation naturally, along with making community gathering areas more accessible for the diverse community easing maintenance and management throughout the site.
Learn more about this re-design process and how the Community Preservation Act has helped to support many of these above initiatives!
This video was created by Stuart Roelke and with the help of Somerville Media Center - SMC.