In the News
Local youths look to turn vacant Roxbury lot into food source for community
October 22, 2012
By Patrick Rosso, Boston.com
Fresh and local vegetables could soon be growing out of a vacant Roxbury lot that for the past 10 years has been a haven for drug use, trash, and vandalism.
On Saturday, a group of youth and area residents battled the weeds, broken bottles, and household waste that inhabited the lot on the corner of Ruthven Street and Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury.
For hours the dedicated group, organized by the Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project or REEP for short, an offshoot of the environmental non-profit Alternatives for Community and Environment, battled the refuse filled lot that in November 2002 was the site of a deadly nine-alarm fire that left one elderly Roxbury resident dead.
Now, the lot sits unused with just the burnt out foundation poking out from the weeds, driving down near-by property values and creating a headache for neighbors.
“This is about turning it [the lot] into a place where neighbors and youth can come and have a space,” said Hakim Sutherland, 17, a Dorchester resident and organizer of REEP’s “Grow or Die” campaign. “We want to get the whole community behind this. We want to show the community how to grow food and use its spaces.”
Power plant opponents begin march from Westfield to Boston
No summer lull in learning
September 7, 2012
By Lauren Marshall, Harvard Gazette
On a sunny August day, a group of youngsters from Mission Hill leaned into the fence at a vacant lot and tossed in handmade balls of clay filled with produce seeds.
It was a final action project in a food justice initiative at the Mission Hill Summer Program, which is supported by Harvard College students. The initiative brought together camp counselors, gardeners, local chefs, and other community organizations, like the Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP), to create a meaningful summer experience for young people.
Digging into Massachusett's Brownfields
August 27, 2012
By Anne Mostue, WGBH
On the edge of Dudley Square in Roxbury sits a small, square parcel of land — less than an acre. It's not a field. It’s not brown. But it's called a brownfield. That's because it was once contaminated and hasn't been completely cleaned up. Neighbors like Carison Branch have mixed feelings. He doesn't seem to mind a grassy lot with a few flowers and the occasional butterfly, but he’s been waiting for years for it to become a housing development.
Toxic Sites Threaten Health, Environment in MA
August 26, 2012
By Beverly Ford, New England Center for Investigative Reporting
More than 100 million taxpayer dollars have been spent over the last two decades to clean up a toxic mix of chemicals that has contaminated land, tainted waterways and imperiled the health of residents throughout Massachusetts. Yet, despite that costly undertaking, thousands of contaminated sites remain, a blight of useless land and abandoned buildings in cities and towns across the region, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) has found.
"FIX IT, FUND IT, MAKE IT FAIR": HOUSE BILL 4161
June 14, 2012
By Alex Ramirex, Dig Boston
The T Riders Union (part of Alternatives for Community & Environment), Mass. Senior Action Council, and Green Justice Coalition sponsored the assembly, along with a coalition of other groups like local Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) chapters. Ralliers then met with district reps, pushing them to support the bill and key amendments regarding fare increases and evasion penalties.