Not many people know that the Charlestown Sprouts garden on Terminal Street is active.
In fact, gardener Gerald Robbins frequently gets comments from friends and neighbors that they thought the property was abandoned.
In fact, it is alive and well – and growing – thanks to an exclusive Love Your Block grant awarded to the organization this year, one of only five given out citywide.
The Sprouts got an $800 grant as part of Love Your Block that they will put to work this month.
“We have 105-plus active members at the garden,” he said this week. “It’s one of the largest in the city. There are a lot of immigrant gardeners there and there are five language groups represented in our gardens…The garden suffers from a lot of vandalism and illegal dumping. A number of years ago we had our copper piping for our irrigation system ripped out and stolen. That was very bad and set up back a few thousand dollars. We also got a lot of trash dumped there. This will help us to get rid of all of that trash and get us on our feet.”
In November 2017, Mayor Walsh opened up the applications citywide for the 2018 Love Your Block mini-grant application cycle. Neighborhood mini-grant winners are awarded up to $3,000 to either implement or revitalize a public space used to address a larger issue identified by the community. Examples of projects include community gardens, art installations, and placemaking.
“I congratulate all the winners of the Love Your Block mini-grants,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “These grants will go a long way to help bring residents and communities together. Through the Love Your Block program, we are encouraging residents of Boston to show their love for their neighborhoods, one block at a time. “
The grant will be used renovate the garden message board, compost bins, water control box, and other infrastructure. In addition, the garden will coordinate community cleanups in May and to discard unwanted trash, illegally dumped there.
Casella waste has also generously donated a dumpster and pick up to the organization to help it get rid of the litter and debris dumped on the site illegally.
The Charlestown Sprouts Community Garden is a charitable organization with a primary goal to provide member gardeners with a place to grow fresh food, exercise, and develop meaningful connections with one another.
Through its Sprouts Renew Program, the garden will rid the garden of unwanted trash and repair its basic infrastructure with help from garden volunteers and volunteers from other parts of the neighborhood. They will place a large dumpster at the garden for two weeks so that they are able to remove debris from the garden. They’ll also repair the compost bin, garden message board, water control box covering, and some garden plots.
Furthermore, they’ll organize our community and entice others from outside to become gardeners. There will be four work days to accomplish this work and leave the dumpster at the garden so that gardeners are able to remove debris on other days.
The Charlestown Sprouts Community Garden was founded by community activist Oren McCleary at the current location after the relocation of the Boys and Girls Club garden here in 1997. In 2009 Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) in partnership with Nubia, a refugee gardening program, built 30 new plots on the premises as well as installed new water lines. Today, Charlestown Sprouts is one of Bostonʼs largest community gardens with 105 total plots, each serving one household. Charlestown Sprouts Inc. is a nonprofit corporation.
There are currently 87 gardeners living in Charlestown and two gardeners living outside Charlestown. Approximately 20 percent of the gardeners are elderly.
Clean up days will be Saturday, May 12, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. – noon; Sunday, May 20, from 10 a.m. – noon; and Wednesday, May 30, from 5-8 p.m.