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Winners: City of Boston Public Space Invitational!

Mayor Marty Walsh announced the winners of the City’s third Public Space Invitational, a civic design competition that seeks ideas that reimagine and enhance Boston’s public spaces. Two of the projects selected are for the Nightingale Community Garden in Dot!

This year, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and The Trustees called for innovative design installations at three community gardens: Nightingale Community Garden in Dorchester, Chilcott & Granada Community Garden in Jamaica Plain, and the Fenway Victory Gardens. The three winning projects will bolster the connection between neighborhoods and community gardens and will support community conversations and storytelling, community dinners, and theatrical performances.

“Over the years the Public Space Invitational has inspired amazing projects that highlight the creativity of our residents and makes our publics spaces shine bright,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am excited to congratulate the winners of this years contest and be able to highlight the importance of our community gardens as these projects take shape.”

This year’s design competition is part of a three-year partnership, called Community Grown, between The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development, The Trustees, and TD Bank to expand the reach and highlight the role of community gardens in Boston’s neighborhoods. In addition to community-driven design projects, the program will feature a series of community-building events and skill-building workshops planned for up to 40 gardens in six of Boston’s neighborhoods.

Here are the winners:

Cross Pollination
Location: Nightingale Community Garden

Proposed by: Claudia Paraschiv, Annie Scott, and Azia Carle

Cross Pollination is a project at the Nightingale Community Garden that aims to share cultural and garden resources between gardeners, wildlife, local poets, and Boston’s residents. Cross Pollination is the creation of Claudia Paraschiv, a registered architect, community artist, educator, Annie Scott, an ecological landscape designer, community organizer, and Azia Carle, a fine artist, community artist, and community organizer. Together with the garden and local community, the artists will create pollinator-pots planted with native pollinator-friendly flowers to attract bees and butterflies that will benefit the nearby gardens with greater fertilization and crop productivity. The pollinator-pots will also be “planted” with locally-crafted, African print fabrics to create “shade-flowers” to provide needed shade for gardeners, while also attracting residents walking by with their bright colors and poetic messages. Program participants will get to help create the installation, with planting and shade-flower making among the planned events.

Celebrate & Activate

(Photo credit: Pharess Marie)

Location: Nightingale Community Garden, Dorchester

Proposed by: Melissa Nussbaum, Ayako Maruyama, Maria Hendricks, Raquel Saenz, Adilson Barros, Dana Watkins, Prema Bangera, Sonya Joyner, Carrington Moore, Arthur Williams III

Through interactive theatre performances and the creation of banners based on national flags, Celebrate & Activate will honor the cultural, linguistic, and agricultural diversity of Nightingale Community Garden, which features gardeners from more than a dozen countries. Melissa Nussbaum-Freeman, Nightingale gardener and Director of Red Sage Stories, is leading the project with Ayako Maruyama, Creativity Lab Design Lead at ds4si. The project also utilizes the compost area of the garden through interactive storytelling, colorful art installations, activities for children, and sharing food at four garden-cycle themed events. Artist-led programs will include interactive storytelling events on the themes of sowing, weeding, harvesting, and composting.

Trailer Made


Location: Chilcott & Granada Community Garden and Fenway Victory Gardens

Proposed by: Andrea Fossa and Robert Barella

With a goal to spark creativity and community growth, Trailer Made is a solar-powered, towable, modular community gathering space that relies on locally sourced and recycled materials. The structure, once unpacked, will feature an events space with tables and chairs, interactive ‘planter’ sculptures, educational panels with chalkboards, electricity and lighting for events, and a phone charging station. Created by landscape architects Andrea Fossa and Robert Barella, Trailer Made will travel between the Fenway Victory Gardens and Chilcott & Granada Community Garden in Jamaica Plain.

Congrats to the winners! 

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and Caught in Dot and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Hockey mom, yoga enthusiast, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.