PO Box 180923
Boston, MA 02118
Contacting the Land Trust
For all matters regarding the South End Lower Roxbury Open Space Land Trust please call us at (617) 334-5988. To get in touch with our individual gardens for more information or how to get on their wait lists click here and fill out the ‘Contact a Garden’ form.
Each of the community gardens elects or appoints a representative to the SELROSLT board. The board elects a president from membership. The president is a volunteer position, focused on day to day operations of the gardens, coordination with the City of Boston and membership. The individual community gardens send plot fees to the Land Trust to pay liability insurance and water service. Individual gardens are intended to be democratically self-governing, and the form of governance varies from garden to garden. Some gardens elect a coordinator, or two coordinators; others elect a leadership committee.
FUNDING & OPERATIONS
The Land Trust operates with funds raised through garden plot fees, fundraising activities including the annual South End Garden Tour, and varied other events. Additional funds from private and public sources, via direct grants, have contributed over $1,000,000. Funds have been used to provide water systems, decontaminate soils, to install consistent iron fencing and granite curbing, and to build gazebo community spaces in the local gardens.
Plot sizes vary from a small 5′ x 9′ to larger 14′ x 28.’ Gardening members come from the immediately adjoining neighborhoods. Individual gardens vary greatly in what is grown and harvested. Located in two diverse urban neighborhoods, a wide variety of food, flowers and plant material is grown based somewhat on ethnicity, ancestry, or if a gardener is a recent immigrant, their home country. Land Trust rules allow individual garderns to grow whatever they choose in their plot as long as it is not grown for commercial sale. Most garderners grow a mix of vegetables and ornamentals. A few of the gardens operate a composting system to convert discarded plant material to soil and fertilizer. Roughly half of the gardens have perimeter borders termed community borders, which are planted with ornamental plants, flowers and small shrubs.
Membership is open to individuals and families interested in urban gardening. Each community garden maintains a waiting list. Most individual community gardens have a membership committee which manages the waiting list, works with the garden’s leadership committee, and helps orient new gardeners to the garden. Waiting periods vary by garden and there are no statistics available on wait time. Members pay an annual plot fee, and an additional Land Trust membership fee. Costs are moderate, and payable on a sliding fee. Members may vote at an annual meeting, participate on committees, and are required to maintain their plot in a clean and productive state.
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Here are two ways you can help out The South End Lower Roxbury Open Space Land Trust
|Buy a ticket to the South End Garden Tour! The 2012 Tour is on June 16, 10am-4pm. Not only do you help out the Land Trust, but you also get to see many private gardens you’d have no other chance to see. Pay by American Express, Discover, Master Card, Visa, or PayPal. It’s quick and its easy. Your tickets will be available at the ticket sales tent on the day of the tour. Just bring your printed or electronic receipt with you.
|Make a donation online now! Donate with your American Express, Discover, Master Card, Visa, or PayPal. It’s quick and its easy.
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.