The 2017 Mayor's Greenovate Awards - Trees, Open Space, and Landscaping
Learn more about the businesses, organizations, and individuals nominated for the 2017 Mayor's Greenovate Award nominees in the Trees, Open Space, and Landscaping category.
Trees and open space clean Boston's air, reduce the heat island effect, absorb flood waters, and improve the overall wellness of city dwellers. Maintaining our historic park system requires the public and private collaboration, and further development of green spaces will be critical in new phases of development.
You can vote for your favorite Greenovate Award nominees now through April 7th. Votes will determine the top 3 finalists, and the winner will be announced live at Greenovate’s Earth Day Party on April 19th -- be sure to save the date and stay tuned for more details! Vote for Greenovate Award winners
Arnetta and Carl Baty - Dorchester
Carl and Arnetta Baty, on behalf of the Friends of the Codman Square Library, spearheaded an initiative to green the space around the Codman Square Public Library. They built several large raised bed planters for native vegetation to positively affect air quality and brighten the neighborhood in an area previously bare and under-utilized. This was a largely senior citizen- led initiative that promoted physical activity, community building, and essential outdoor time.
Claire Corcoran - South End
Claire was the President of the Friends of Ringgold Park and led the group through a major renovation of this South End park. She not only oversaw the renovation to completion over a ten-year period, but also helped develop a stable group to keep it clean, safe, and welcoming. She serves on many green-space boards and committees including the Friends of the Public Garden, The Trustees Boston Committee, the Boston Park Advocates Steering Committee, The Friends of Hayes Park, The Esplanade Association Horticulture Committee, and the Garden Club of the Back Bay Executive and Tree Committees. Recognizing the link between green spaces and climate change, Claire also volunteers tirelessly for Mothers Out Front.
The Esplanade Association - Back Bay
The Esplanade Association is nonprofit organization that works to revitalize and enhance the Charles River Esplanade, preserve natural green space, and build community by providing educational, cultural and recreational programs for everyone.
We improve the biological diversity and beauty of the natural environment on the Charles River Esplanade. Our horticulture and stewardship staff utilizes the best management practices in land care to improve soil health, manage invasive plants, expand native plantings, and care for our urban tree canopy. Since 2012, we have developed and implemented a compost program, planted hundreds of native perennials, shrubs and trees, and created new initiatives to raise awareness about conservation and restoration. We also manage environmental threats to increase the health and resiliency of the Charles River Esplanade. In 2015, the Esplanade became a certified wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation.
Boston Food Forest Coalition - Mattapan
The Boston Food Forest Coalition (BFFC) creates edible “forest garden” landscapes with community participation. BFFC currently has 7 food forest sites across Boston neighborhoods, with its 1-acre flagship educational site at Mattapan's Boston Nature Center. Their flagship site has over 50 different edible trees and shrubs, including “restoration Chestnuts” bred and donated by the American Chestnut Foundation. Site visitors are able to discover new edible varieties they may have never heard of, such as paw paw and shagbark hickories.
BFFC also offers workshops that help children and adults connect with nature. In 2016, BFFC organized 40 educational workshops including: tree planting, mushroom log building, medicinal herb planting, edible landscaping, healing contaminated soil, low-maintenance gardening techniques, cover cropping, food forest design, and many other subjects. Workshop attendees leave having learned the importance of biodiversity and thoughtful landscaping. Many workshops and festivals are also held in the food forest open spaces, open to the whole community. BFFC is also committed to training teen-youth leaders at Mattapan’s Boston Nature Center, so they can lead the way in edible landscaping and preservation of biodiversity.
Offshoots, Inc. - Charlestown
Offshoots, Inc is a sustainable landscaping business in Charlestown that is focused on providing sustainable, organic alternatives to resource-intensive landscaping. The company has worked on over 85 projects in the Boston area to help remove contaminants from urban landscapes utilizing plants that clean up polluted sites while limiting fertilizers application, irrigation and potable water use for landscaping. The projects have amounted to over 45,000 gallons of water saved and 2,100 bags of fertilizer.
Boston Water and Sewer Commission and Boston Public Schools - Citywide
The Commission has undertaken an initiative that utilizes green infrastructure (GI) to reduce phosphorus loading to the Charles River. Upon learning that Boston Public Schools (BPS) was developing a 10-year Master Plan for their 133 facilities; the Commission saw an opportunity for collaboration. The Commission worked with the BPS Facilities Management Department to design and provide funding for the construction of vegetated GI at five Boston public schools. The goal of this collaboration is to make green infrastructure part of the BPS 10-year Master Plan so that GI techniques are considered for implementation at BPS facilities as they are updated. The GI designs for this project include outdoor classroom spaces so that students, teachers and community members can interact with GI and gain a better understanding of how stormwater is managed.
Martha McDonough - Hyde Park
Martha organizes the Neponset River Clean Up in Hyde Park every year, is on the board of NepRWA, started the Hyde Park Community Garden, and is involved in many other causes in the neighborhood.
Halvorson Design Partnership - Downtown
For over 30 years, the landscape architects at Halvorson Design have been leaders in advancing sustainable strategies at public parks and open spaces throughout Boston. Sustainability is central to the firm’s work, and their design process thoughtfully articulates the balance between social benefit and environmental responsibility, creating impactful landscapes and open spaces that engage and inspire for future sustainable initiatives.
Through contemporary approaches to landscape design, Halvorson Design considers various strategies to address long term viability and environmental impact. The firm’s work includes many examples of sustainable design—from the green roof and plaza at the LEED Platinum certified Atlantic Wharf along Fort Point Channel, to a sustainable stormwater management program at the Boston Architectural College’s Green Alley in the Back Bay, to designing a living shoreline at Clippership Wharf currently under construction in East Boston. The firm’s most recent and notable open space project is at City Hall Plaza in Government Center.
The Greening of City Hall mitigates the wind swept plaza with the introduction of tree bosques, providing summer shade for outdoor gathering and reducing the heat island effect. The trees are planted in an open jointed permeable paving system over structural soil, increasing the life expectancy of the trees while maximizing stormwater infiltration. This reduction of impervious surfaces on the plaza captures and treats first flush pollutants on site, minimizing stormwater runoff leaving the site and entering the harbor.
Pam Sinotte - Roslindale
In May 2016, Pam and GreeningRozzie launched The Memory Tree Project. Volunteers are matched with City street trees to care after and water, helping ensure that they reach maturity while also publicly honoring a loved ones by displaying an Memory Tree sign. Thanks to the more than twenty volunteers in 2016, a number of trees that might have succumbed to the severe drought have a good chance of surviving to maturity, helping to reduce the impact of climate change, and beautify the Roslindale community.
As volunteers John and Dorothy (right) have stated: “win/win all around”! The Project is ongoing and the hope is that it will expand to other Boston communities.
Pam has also coordinated volunteers to water 14 trees, planted by GreeningRozzie with a grant from Grow Boston Greener, at the Roslindale MBTA Station.
Port Norfolk Civic Association - Dorchester
For over 35 years, members of the Port Norfolk Civic Association have worked with the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation to remediate and develop a 4-acre parcel of land on the banks of the Neponset River in Dorchester.
The site had many commercial uses since the early 1800’s, and after a fire on the site in the 1980’s, it became public that illegal dumping was occurring. The women of the neighborhood marched to the gates, stood in front of trucks full of hazardous waste, and refused them entrance, prompting the the City of Boston to order the business to cease operations, and develop the land into a park.
The neighborhood stood firm to protect the park against development, and worked for years with state and city officials to plan the park. In 2017 the park finally became a reality where the community can enjoy wildlife and nature. The park is an Area of Critical Environmental Concern because of its natural beauty, environmental and historical significance, and as buffer to sea level rise between the harbor and the neighborhood.
The members of the PNCA are committed to continuing to work with the DCR to maintain this park.