The Greenovate Awards recognize climate action leadership and environmental sustainability excellence in the City of Boston. Read this blog series to find out more about this year's winners in the Community Engagement Category.

In order to reach Boston's climate action goals, every resident and business must help. Empowering residents and businesses to take climate action in their own neighborhoods, and empowering and educating youth are two priorities of the City of Boston.

The championing of climate action in partnership with our neighborhoods will enable the City to adopt smart policies and programs that prepare the City for climate change, and drive further GHG reductions over the long term.

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Bob Ferro - Wentworth Institute of Technology, Mission Hill

bob.jpgAbout Bob Ferro

In his role as Physical Plant Director at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Bob Ferro champions climate action in Mission Hill through recycling opportunities on campus, and he extends those opportunities to BPS high school students. The Wentworth Training Program, established in 1988, includes two vocational experiences that reflect a commitment by the college to providing opportunities to Boston students with disabilities. Bob's undying dedication to those who live in the community, their youth, and specifically their youth with disabilities, is key to the success of the Go Green Recycling program and would not be possible without him.


What makes Bob Ferro an outstanding leader in creating a green and sustainable future for the City of Boston

For the past twenty-six years, Wentworth Institute of Technology has partnered with the Boston Public Schools STRIVE Program, providing vocational exploration, training, and employment to thousands of high school students with significant disabilities. This long term partnership between Wentworth and BPS is an example of community engagement at its best. It's a relationship that has proven to be mutually beneficial and uniquely sustainable thanks to the support of Mr. Bob Ferro.

The Go Green Recycling program provides structured experiences in recycling, with collected recyclable materials being cleaned, weighed and sold for reuse. The Facilities program provides a high level of technical experience in equipment operation, cleaning, and facilities management. Skills from both programs are transferable to a variety of career pathways in facilities management, environmental services, and other career fields.

Eastie Farm, East Boston

About Eastie Farm

Eastie Farm is a grassroots movement focused on community resilience in the context of climate change. The community organization preserves and enriches soil, retains open spaces for conserving rain water, and motivates members of the East Boston community to come together in an effort to promote sustainability and community preparedness against climate change.

EarthDay-4-22-16_120.JPGWhat makes Eastie Farm an outstanding leader in creating a green and sustainable future for the City of Boston

The lot at 294 Summer Street in East Boston was abandoned, littered, and neglected. A group of individuals from East Boston had a vision for this space to provide more for their community — so they banded together to transform the lot into a community urban food forest. Not only has the common goal of beautifying the space brought the community together during weekly workdays, but Eastie Farm has also been used as a place for growing organic food, recreation, and ecological education.

Eastie Farm is part of a broader community called the Boston Food Forest Coalition (BFFC). This collective of urban food forests imagines spaces in Boston where we can “offer access to healthy food for those who need it most and function as educational and recreational spaces. BFFC connects urban youth and adults to nature for outdoor recreation, provides opportunities to grow and share food, and enables reflection about the importance of urban biodiversity and healthy eating habits; all while reducing rainwater runoff, mitigating the urban heat island, sequestering carbon, and reducing stress and violence.”

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Photos in banner provided by winners, photo 1 from WIT flickr, photos 2,3 by George J. Riley


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