Boston: Mayor Walsh announces garden at Magnolia Renovation moving forward

Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Dudley Neighbors Incorporated (DNI) celebrated the permanent conveyance of land to DNI for their effort to renovate and expand the Garden at Magnolia, located on Magnolia and Alexander Streets in Dorchester, which has been used as a small community garden since 2014. The garden was awarded City of Boston funding through the Community Preservation Act and the Department of Neighborhood Development's Grassroots Program. These funds will allow DNI, in partnership with the Garden at Magnolia Committee, to expand and renovate the existing garden plots and pathways as well as create a new gathering and performance area.

"I am proud that the City of Boston could provide the land and this funding to help renovate the Garden at Magnolia to make it more beautiful for the neighbors to enjoy," Mayor Walsh said. "Community gardening provides great physical activity, increases access to affordable healthy fresh produce, beautifies our neighborhoods, and brings our residents closer together."

The Garden at Magnolia upgrades include upgrading the irrigation system, new garden beds, a community herb garden, a children's garden, a shaded seating area, a new plaza and performance area, lawn space, and permaculture elements. The renovation project will also revitalize four parcels of land that were vacant and underutilized for more than 30 years and preserve 5,691 square feet of public open space.

"We are incredibly grateful to the City of Boston for their support through the DND Grassroots Program and Community Preservation Act funding. This community-led effort has over a decade, and I'm so excited to see our neighborhood vision finally come to fruition," said DNI resident Ricky Guerra."This space reflects community input across generations and backgrounds, and is a manifestation of the values we have fought for — the reclamation and preservation of land for long-term community use and benefit."

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These vacant city-owned lots located at the end of a block of brick row houses in Dorchester will enhance the six raised garden beds in the Magnolia Street Garden today and speak to the desire of area residents to reclaim this space and to build a larger community garden in their neighborhood. With this conveyance, these lots are poised to become a new public green space that will provide DNI residents of all ages a place to gather, attend public performances, enjoy nature, and green space. It is being funded in part by a $100,000 grant from the Grassroots Program at the Department of Neighborhood Development, which provides grant funds, City-owned land, and technical assistance to neighborhood groups and non-profits that want to organize, develop, own, manage, and maintain community gardens and open space in Boston's neighborhoods. In return for this investment, the community will receive improvement and permanent preservation of a community open space along with all these new amenities

ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT (DND)

The Department of Neighborhood Development is responsible for housing the homeless, developing affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can find, maintain, and stay in their homes. As part of the ongoing coronavirus response, the Office of Housing Stability is also conducting tenant's rights workshops to educate residents about the eviction moratorium and their rights. The Boston Home Center continues to provide down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers and home repairs for seniors and low-income residents. The Supportive Housing Division is working with various partners around the city to rapidly house individuals who are experiencing homelessness. For more information, please visit the DND website.

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ABOUT THE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT (CPA)

After Boston voters adopted the CPA in November 2016, the City created a Community Preservation Fund. This fund is capitalized primarily by a one percent property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills that began in July 2017. The City uses this revenue to fund initiatives consistent with statewide CPA guidelines: affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space and public recreation. The funding of any project requires a recommendation from the Community Preservation Committee and appropriation by the City. For more information, please visit the Community Preservation webpage.stats

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