COGdesign on the move in 2017!

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In this Issue:

Update on Projects
Notice of city action for Healy Field
Announcement of COGdesign Auction  March 30- April 5, 2017
Announcement of Meg’s leaving
Welcome to Ellan Siegel joining Board




Dorchester: The Great Hall
At the intersection of Washington and Norfolk Streets in Dorchester, the “Great Hall” has been a landmark since the early 20th century and is used today for numerous community meetings and related activities of the adjacent Codman Square Neighborhood Health Center.

The Center applied to COGdesign for assistance in rethinking the landscape surrounding the Great Hall and the Center. Laura Kuhn (Laura Kuhn Design Consultants, Arlington) is the designer for the project and David Jay from the COGdesign board is the shepherd for the projects. The scope of the work has been agreed on and the community meetings will begin in late January.



First Church Roxbury: The Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministries (UUUM) at John Eliot Square
Across and up the hill from the John D. O’Bryant School High School of Math and Science is the lovely John Eliot Square. First Church Roxbury is located on a large piece of property at the top of the hill as is the landmark Dillaway-Thomas  House (home of the Roxbury Historical Society.)

The Timilty Middle School and the historic St. James Church are both just across the street from the church and its education buildings. It is a busy place: the Department of Conservation and Recreation is moving ahead to schedule meetings for the rebuilding of the Roxbury Heritage State Park Project next to Dillaway-Thomas.

The UUUM applied to COGdesign for assistance in the redesign of their outdoor space and as the state is moving forward with changes for Eliot Square, COGdesigners and UUUM will be a part of that community process. Board member Karen Longeteig is heading up COGdesign’s work at UUUM.


New Bedford
The New Bedford Historical Society applied to COGdesign for assistance in the design of a new public park, now called Abolition Plaza (highlighted in December 2016), that will serve as the entrance to an existing historic walk including the home of Nathan and Polly Johnson prominent African American abolitionists and the first home of Frederick Douglass. The organization offers a variety of education programs to the community.
The preliminary plans for the park have been presented to the Mayor and the city’s Memorials Committee will hold a hearing on the park in February. The drawings will be presented at a public hearing to allow community members to contribute their ideas.  Designers for this project are Heather Heimarck, (now at Northeastern U, former director of the Landscape Institute) and Barbara Conolly (Gardens by Barbara Conolly, Falmouth) Jean Krasnow is shepherding.


Roxbury/Jamaica Plain
The Friends of Egleston Library applied to COGdesign for the redesign of the small space in front of the library and the extensive space behind it. They wish to capture this unusually large space as an outdoor classroom deeply connected to the resources and programming of the library. This project will be completed in collaboration with the Boston Public Library capital projects as the building is also slated for renovation. Amy Nyman (Ruby Leaf and Amy Wolfson (studioMLS Architects) are the designers for this projects. Community meetings are scheduled for January 18 and 25th at the library. Valerie Burns is shepherding this project.


Grove Hall Dorchester
Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School, named for a longtime and very dedicated community activist in Boston serves as a Middle School for over 800 students and an active community center. The front entrance has an existing planting bed but no plants!

The school applied for design assistance and Elizabeth Thompson ( has stepped in to design the plantings for this space. Holly Samuels who completed a COGdesign project for the Quincy Housing Authority last year is working with Beth on this project ( Betsy Weiss is shepherding.


Uphams Corner Dorchester
The Jones Hill Neighborhood Association near Uphams Corner applied to COGdesign for assistance in converting an empty lot that the neighbors had been trying to care for into a neighborhood park. Their hope is to use native plants, keep the maintenance requirements low, and restore an abandoned area to a welcoming community hub. Designers Ada Hernandez ( and Carolyn Cooney (Carolyn Cooney and Associates, Milford,MA). Jean Krasnow is shepherding.



Update on Healy Field Project
Healy Field, is a 10 acre City park in Roslindale that already has playing field, a tot lot, and an indoor swimming facility.  A neighborhood group applied to COGdesign in 2016 for assistance with the design of a large community garden to be added to the park.  Amy Nyman, John Furlong, and Bill Henderson met with the community several times and developed a plan for the garden that included a gathering space for public events. The Friends group has just received permission from the city to proceed and it looks like designs, fundraising, and city assistance are all coming together.



Karin Stanley’s sculpture


SAVE THE DATE:  COGdesign Auction March 30 -April 5

The annual COGdesign auction is back! Donations of all kinds are being accepted and appreciated up until March 10th. Please contact us at to make a donation.





Meg Muckenhoupt (left) with Barbara Conolly and Heather Heimarck

COGdesign’s Executive Director, Meg Muckenhoupt announced at the December Board meeting that she would be leaving COGdesign in January. Meg has led COGdesign for almost two years and in that time has worked magic to manage new design projects, our fundraising efforts, and the numerous tasks of running a small non-profit. We are deeply grateful for Meg’s energy, many talents, and efforts on behalf of COGdesign. We will miss her. Meg is expanding her role at OpenBiome a company in Somerville that does research in the human microbiome. We wish her every success in her new position.



Welcome new COGdesign Board Member: Ellan Siegel

Following an initial career working with adolescents with special needs, Ellan started her own business in recruiting for healthcare, biotech, and technology. All along she continued to take classes in floral design, gardening, landscape design principles, and environmental science. This led to volunteer work for the MFA’s Art-in-Bloom, as well as joining the team that built and maintains PlayZone, an educational outdoor garden for the LABBB Collaborative in Bedford, MA.  She looks forward to bringing her enthusiasm and organizational skills to COGdesign.