The South End Lower Roxbury Open Space Land Trust works to acquire, own, improve, and maintain open space for community gardening and pocket parks in the South End and Lower Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston for the public benefit in perpetuity.
The Land Trust was established in 1991 with the intent to incorporate and protect eight established community gardens. The existing gardens were owned by a variety of institutions, none of them with long term legal protection. The legal incorporation as a non-profit organization with an elected board composed of neighbors created an entity that was able to partner with The Trust for Public Land to purchase the range of properties from a variety of owners, and set in place a process to use and care for the gardens in perpetuity. Many of the original eight gardens were primarily food producing, helping to augment the budgets of low and moderate-income urban families. Land Trust gardens continue to be places of food production, as well as gardeners growing ornamental plants.
Today SELROSLT holds and operates sixteen community gardens, gardened by approximately 600 gardeners, and accessible to their adjacent neighborhoods. Individual gardens have received awards from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the City of Boston, and Horticulture magazine. Three SELROSLT community gardens have been the subject of the nationally distributed WGBH-produced program The Victory Garden.