At our monthly steering committee meeting last week we got some updates on the various exciting projects we are sponsoring.
The Community Kick-Off of the Dorchester Avenue Zoning Update initiative happened Mar. 9th, 2011. The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), in collaboration with the Mayor-appointed Advisory Group, has initiated a zoning update process for Dorchester Avenue. DEHC is part of this process and we are interested in hearing from the community and encourage you to participate. Please add your comments below, send us an email, attend the community meetings and/or the advisory group meetings (which are open to the public) – next Dorchester Avenue Zoning Update Initiative Advisory Group meeting is March 23, at 6:30 p.m. at Viet-AID, 42 Charles Street, Dorchester, MA.
Objectives of this initiative include:
• Provide zoning recommendations for Continue Reading »
The Nightingale Community Garden on Park Street is the largest (with 30 plots on 1.5 acres) in Dorchester. The garden is undergoing extensive renovations and when work is finished next year there will be an additional 120 garden plots for neighborhood residents to grow fresh vegetables.
On Saturday, November 20, 2010, from 10 to 11:30 AM at the Codman Square Library, the third and final community meeting Continue Reading »
In May 2010, DEHC began to collect preliminary data on ultrafine particle pollution at selected locations along the Dorchester Avenue corridor.
We had several objectives in mind, including getting an idea of pollution “hotspots” warranting further investigation or remediation advocacy, providing baseline data for a before-and-after study of the effects of the Dorchester Avenue Transportation Improvement Project, and encouraging more researchers and, more importantly, funding, to study Dorchester’s air quality.
The project’s stated objectives were:
- To initiate a before-and-after study of the effects of the Dorchester Avenue Transportation Improvement Project on air quality affecting residents and those travelling on and near the Avenue,
- To give DEHC an idea of enduring pollution hotspots that would warrant more investigation/possible remediation,
- To encourage researchers to develop more studies of Dorchester’s air quality,
- To help direct DEHC advocacy efforts for specific air quality remediation actions – both temporarily during construction and afterwards,
- To help guide other similar large-scale construction projects with air quality impacts in other Boston neighborhoods,
- To interest funders in supporting DEHC’s air quality work into the future.
DEHC hired two consultants: David Queeley of Community Sustainability Planning, logistics liaison, and Tim McAuley of CHANGE, who provided us with the equipment (two PTRAKs) and training to enable our amazing team – Lauren Ames, Lauren Anderson, Scot Huber and Laura Santel – to test the air quality several times over several weeks.
Mr. McAuley analyzed the collected preliminary air quality data to produce his report, which you can read here.
We are looking for comments and potential new project ideas from others in the air quality research field, please contact us with your feedback.
Come see a presentation of new detailed design options for the FAIRMOUNT GREENWAY planned for Wednesday, October 6th, at 6 PM.
At previous community meetings with the Fairmont CDC Collaborative, local residents determined their preferred routes for the greenway and identified potential locations for development into parks and other open space.
A team from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning is helping to facilitate more detailed design studies of the Fairmont Greenway as it goes through the Dorchester neighborhood.
What will be presented - visions for what certain streets, bike routes, green spaces and intersections might look like. The team would like to hear Dorchester residents’ feedback, ideas and opinions. Please come to this meeting to help further design and plan this Greenway.
Meeting location: 193 Talbot Ave. Click here for meeting flyer.
For more information contact: Cullen Deas
Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation
Phone: 617-825-4224 x130
In partnership with: Greater Four Corners Action Coalition * University of Massachusetts, Amherst-Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning * Urban Ecology Institute *
Now entering its eighth year, Urban Ecology Institute’s CityRoots program has engaged 32 neighborhood and community groups and over 700 individuals of all ages in projects of ecological restoration and urban regreening, fostering community engagement.
Four Dorchester organizations will receive CityRoots support this year:
- Boston Project Ministries-TNT Green Space Alliance – Plant 20 trees through their Park Patrol (co-sponsored by DEHC), and advocate to key stakeholders for increased tree planting in the Norfolk corridor.
- John McCormack Civic Association –Develop the Russell School lot to install and maintain a new outdoor classroom space and add new elements to the “Paul’s Triangle” park, the creation of which last year led to decreased car break-ins.
- United Neighborhood Association – Improve greenspace, sustainably landscape private yards, and install a green roof on the Claybourne Street Community Garden tool shed.
- Upham’s Corner Westside Neighborhood Association – Strengthen and maintain social connections among neighbors through soil quality education, community-wide testing, and by planting trees, shrubs, and installing raised beds in the neighborhood.
Over 100 residents of Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Milton attended a public meeting in May to hear about alternatives for linking the Neponset Greenway where it now ends at Central Avenue in Milton to Mattapan Square and upriver trails in Hyde Park and beyond. The planned extension to Blue Hill Avenue will open about 7 miles of trail along the Neponset River, connecting Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester to the Neponset Valley Parkway in Hyde Park, providing a regionally linked recreational amenity and bike commuting option. Joe Orfant, Chief of the Bureau of Planning and Resource Protection at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), presented an update on the Neponset River Trail Extension Project, including several different route options.
Two site walks have been scheduled by DCR on July 22 and 26, 6:30-8:30 PM, and the public comment period has been extended to August 14, 2010. In early fall, DCR will hold a second public meeting to present the recommended alternative.
“We would like to add a large rooftop vegetable and flower garden to The Boston Project’s garage to help with food costs, improve the environment, and to be an example in our city. Our current need is for a structural engineer to examine the garage to assess if it can handle the weight of a garden.
If you know of someone in this field who would have interest in this volunteer project, please help connect us. Contact Paul with any recommendations. Future opportunities to volunteer with this project exist as well.”
The Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health seeks a Community Outreach Worker:
“We seek committed and mature people who want to make a difference and care about the health and safety of their community. This initiative will study health effects as well as the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs participants have about highway pollution. Educational information will be developed about possible health risk from highway pollution. The ideal candidates for these positions are people who communicate clearly and enjoy working with and listen to others.”
See the full job description for contact information: CAFEH Boston Dorchester Job Flyer.
Dorchester Avenue Air Quality Project: The Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition (DEHC) is conducting an Air Quality Project, starting this month through July 2010, to collect preliminary air quality data (ultrafine particles) at selected locations along the Dorchester Avenue corridor. There are several objectives for this project:
· To initiate a before-and-after study of the effects of the Dorchester Avenue Transportation Improvement Project on air quality affecting travellers and residents on and near the Avenue
· To give DEHC an idea of enduring pollution hotspots that might warrant more investigation or possibly remediation
· To encourage researchers to develop more studies of Dorchester’s local air quality
· To help DEHC advocate for specific air quality remediation actions – both temporarily during construction and afterwards
· To help guide other similar large-scale construction projects that may have air quality impacts, in Boston neighborhoods and regionally
· To interest funders in supporting DEHC’s air quality work into the future
DEHC is working with consultant Tim McAuley of Consulting for Health, Air, Nature & Greener Environment (CHANGE) - he is providing the equipment and training for a team of volunteers who will systematically test air quality at locations along Dorchester Avenue. After the raw data is collected Mr. McAuley will analyze it and produce a report for DEHC to disseminate to the community. Please take a look at the volunteer opportunity here if you are interested in volunteering.
As DEHC reported in Nov 2009, the CAFEH Study is gathering data about air pollution and its effects on residents’ health in three communities. CAFEH is a community based participatory study conducted through Tufts University School of Medicine and four community partners, Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership, Committee for Boston Public Housing, Inc., Chinatown Resident Association and Chinese Progressive Association.
Scientific research on air pollution from motor vehicle exhaust has shown that residents living close to heavily traveled highways may have increased rates of heart disease, asthma, and lung cancer because of their exposure to the nearby highway pollutants. Residents living in Somerville, South Boston, Dorchester and Chinatown along I-93 and the Mass Pike have high exposure to traffic on these highways. Activists in these communities Continue Reading »