COG 2020 PROJECTS
If you’re interested in working on a landscape plan for one of the following projects please write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Eliot K-8 Innovation School ‘Outdoor Classroom,’ North End
Client: Eliot K-8 Innovation School, BPS
Nestled in the North End, Eliot school is looking to make the most of every inch of their very small, outdoor spaces for learning, play and tough greenery. Project scope begins with a long, narrow fenced area at the entrance to School. The designers are focusing first on this area; next Fall they will tackle the playground on the far side of Eliot.
2. Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School playground rejuvenation, Roxbury
Client: Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School, BPS
Built in the 1980s, DSNCS’s existing playground is non-compliant and in disrepair. The school would like to update the playground incorporating structures that promote imaginative play and exercise. Older kids and families from the surrounding neighborhood make use of this space after school hours; as do drug users straying over from Melnea Cass Blvd. Occasionally, needles are found in the woodchips.
The designers are taking seriously the opportunity to scale up the project considering the creation of a green play area for tots behind the school where there is blacktop now; and the general increase of plantings around the perimeter of the blacktop basketball area.
There is a high concentration of underperforming schools in Dudley Sq. 54% residents earn less than $25kK/year; fewer than half are employed full time. Poverty rate is twice that of Boston.
3. Charlestown Peace Park— revitalization of Mt. Vernon St. Plaza, Charlestown
Client: Charlestown Coalition
This blighted 30-yr old park in the border land between vastly different neighborhoods is being re-purposed to honor local victims of gun violence. The design team will need to generate ideas for improvements to satisfy the program and both communities.
Active Youth Group from Charlestown Coalition called Turn it Around (30 teens from neighborhood) holds community events here and has spent many hours cleaning it up only to have it desecrated. (One neighbor is responsible). Charlestown Coalition wants park renovation to give this youth group a sense of ownership and hope; to honor loved ones lost to overdose and violence; and to make the space inviting for all in the community for everyday use and neighborhood events.
Goals are to enhance community resilience, and to prevent and respond to traumatic situations that affect community.
Charlestown is 75% white, the Youth Group is primarily African American along with 11% of the population.
4. Codman Burial Ground Park — create a new community park, Dorchester
Client: Meetinghouse Ministries, Second Church of Dorchester
This historic 3.5 acre Dorchester cemetery is no longer taking burials and wants to open the remaining 1 acre open space to the neighborhood and to nearby Codman Academy. But how do you share a park with tomb stones? Needs a design team that can come up with a creative program and design to reconcile these uses.
1,000 souls were interred here from 1846-1980s on land gifted from John Codman. Beautiful ‘Angel wings’ plan of family plots. Many Civil War veterans are buried here, and the Codman family obelisk holds a prominent position. It will not be an active cemetery again except perhaps for columbarium. Paths need to be restored. High population density in Codman Sq. With a low amount of green space.
5. Factory Hill Park — renovation, Hyde Park
Client: Factory Hill Neighborhood Improvement Association/DCR
This tired 2-acre DCR park includes an area paved with granite blocks and containing broken concrete benches constructed around a playground that has been removed. Needs a design team that can make sense of what’s left.
Existing features – rundown community garden w/inconvenient water source; children’s playground (removed due to lack of compliance with current safety codes); cement checker tables and benches are dilapidated and old; apple orchard overgrown; sitting area 1/2 way down the stairs to the ball field overgrown and unsafe.
The community group would like to see F. Hill Park as an active park with: children’s playground, outdoor exercise area, walking path, dog park, and seating area/gazebo overlooking a spectacular view of the Blue Hills and Turtle Pond. In addition they’d like to rejuvenate the existing community garden and small apple orchard now overgrown with weed trees. This park sits above other parks which are well maintained: Olsen Swimming pool, Kelly Field. F. Hill is part of the Heartbeat Trail/Diamond Parkway Bicycle Path, which connects all the way to W Roxbury. Potential to become a Hyde Park gem.
6. Lewis Place Orchard & Dennis Street Park — renovation/new design, Roxbury
Clients: Folsom Group, Speak for the Trees, the Food Project
Two adjacent parks connected by a path need revitalization. These parks were built in 2005 by Dudley Neighbors Inc, but have been become a cut through for negative activity and a place where trash accumulates. Many homeless folks sleep here. People have been seen running through with firearms. Some trees have fallen and some of the existing fence is broken. The community coalition envisions an urban orchard that will connect to a community garden providing a place for rest, recreation and exploration. A place where you can discover access to health food, gardening. They’d like to see more intentional connection between the two parks with improved lighting and a walkway.
The Dudley area includes many cultures: African American, Latina, Cape Verdean, Haitian Creole. Average age 29, 11% non-english speaking, median household income is 32K.
7. Conservatory Lab Charter School — masterplan/outdoor classroom, Dorchester
Client: Conservatory Lab Charter School
CLCS wants to create a master plan for Learning Gardens surrounding their Lower School building. Their vision includes gardens to beautify the space and provide hands-on learning experiences (aligned with national science standards for the school’s 444 students) as well as dedicated areas for quiet imaginative work and lively outdoor classrooms. Curriculum here is a combination of project-based learning and daily orchestral music instruction.
Demographics at CLCS: half the students are Black, 40% Latinx, w/very small Causasian, Asian and ‘other.’ Almost 50% are economically disadvantaged and 80% are classified as ‘High Needs.’ 70% qualify to receive free or reduced lunch.
8. Shore Road Park at Hardy Pond — masterplan for a new park, Waltham
Client: Waltham Land Trust
The neighborhood group is working with Waltham Land Trust and would like this waterfront park in Waltham to look less like a parking lot and more like a natural waterfront destination. Designers will need to work with the Conservation Commission towards shoreline access, stabilization and associated planting.
The site of a public beach in 1940s, Shore Rd. Park is now a haven for bird watchers, other naturalists and fishing enthusiasts. Necessary improvements include shoreline stabilization, planting of native vegetation, preventing the spread of invasives, replacement of the rusted/damaged guard rail, creation of a parking area, seating, plaza, fishing platform and possibly stepping stones. One of the most frequented sites along the 42-acre Hardy Pond in N. Waltham, this park is a stone’s throw from Lazzazzero park and baseball field. Another goal is to improve habitat and food sources for birds, wildlife, pollinators and other insects.
9. Fannie Lou Hamer Community Garden — renovation and improvements, Dorchester
Clients: Bloomfield Park Neighborhood Association
The Neighborhood Association wants to revitalize this 40-yr-old community garden. They’d like to add a pollinator garden, pathways, a designated space for gatherings with seating and an interactive food forest or an herb garden to engage children. A 2015 ‘Love Your Block’ grant for 3k enabled a cleanup and a new sign honoring civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer.
ABCD, which supports youth development and the Daily Table, a low-cost grocery store providing donated surplus fresh organic veg are possible local programming partners. Very diverse neighborhood – primarily African American/Caribbean, Asian/Vietnamese, Latinx – near Codman Square, Four Corners and Fields Corner.
10. Dixwell Park and Lawson Park: the rejuvenation of two pocket parks in Egleston Square, Jamaica Plain-Roxbury
Clients: Friends of Lawson Park, Egleston Square Main Streets, Urban Edge, Egleston Square Neighborhood Assocation
Two parks in view of each other, one at the corner of Dixwell and Columbus (owned by Urban Edge), and one at the corner of Washington & Columbus (a DCR property) need rejuvenation/redesign. Dixwell Park is heavenly shaded, with compacted soil and tired lawn. Lawson is more exposed and has a collection of oversized granite stone wedges which you can’t quite sit on. The two parks should provide a welcoming feeling for Egleston Square and also relate to each other. The community would like to see well-lit, safe, welcoming spaces with nature-based elements for pedestrians who pass by and for residents and kids.
Egleston Square is the intersection of JP and Roxbury. Half the population is white, half people of color, mostly African American and Latino. Over 1/3rd of households speak Spanish. Nearly 1/2 the population earns under 50K/year; over 30% very low income.
11. Smith Street Community Garden “Outdoor Lounge,” Lowell
Client: Mill City Grows
Smith Street is one of several community gardens created and run by local urban agriculture nonprofit Mill City Grows. There is a designated area for gathering after working in the garden but it lacks structure. Mill City would like to create a space conducive to community building – a gathering area with chairs, tables, possibly with paving and/or a pergola. With 42 community gardeners active in 42 4’ x 10’ beds at Smith Street, 40% of the neighborhood was born outside the US and 60% speak a language other than English at home. One distinguishing characteristic of Lowell is the diversity of languages spoken. The most common foreign languages spoken by youth in Lowell are Spanish (18 percent), Khmer (17 percent), Portuguese (5 percent), and Laotian (2 percent). About one-third of youth are Limited English Proficient. Among adults, the most common foreign languages are Spanish (11 percent), Khmer (8 percent), Portuguese (6 percent), French (4 percent), and Gujarathi and other Indic languages (2 percent).