YMCA Garden, Roxbury
The Roxbury YMCA, COGdesign, and Earthworks began collaborating in 2009 to create a new garden space in a dusty 3,000 square foot courtyard full of compacted soil, spindly grass, and little else. Apart from Y members walking on a dusty “desire line” path from the front door to the parking lot, the area was unused.
COGdesign volunteer Monica Fairbairn designed a new garden along the sidewalk on Martin Luther King Boulevard including trees, flowering shrubs, and perennials. A new path alleviated compaction and improved the visitors’ experience while entering and exiting the Roxbury Y. The plantings emphasize selections which are native plants, hardy and drought tolerant, and requiring limited maintenance.
The new garden was installed in 2011. The garden is a welcome retreat for YMCA patrons and a place for children to gather for nature observation or to enjoy their after-school snacks. It offers the neighborhood an aesthetic experience with its welcoming, harmonious design and ornamental plantings.