Promoting Smart Growth & Regional Planning
Art, Environmental and Public Health Initiative
Everett Earthworks Sculptural Garden
This project is a collaboration between the City of Everett, Everett Community Growers (ECG), and the Arts & Culture, Environment, and Public Health teams at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, with support from the UMass Boston School for the Environment. Everett Earthworks creates a new space for the community to use, to grow food, and to celebrate artistic expression in hope of promoting community unity. The centerpiece of the design is a sculptural bench using sculptural mural panels created by Everett high school students on the garden shed, and a collaborative mural inspired by the Community Food Assessment that will be placed on the fence as a backdrop to the garden. The central sculptural bench of the sculpture is a visual representation of what happens when a drop of water hits the surface of water. The paths and garden beds of the piece represents the rippling of the water that flows outwards in concentric circles. This demonstration project for community-engaged public art and urban agriculture promotes innovative thinking with regards to the beautification and improvement of public health and community building .
This project was made possible with funding provided by the Barr Foundation and in-kind support from the City of Everett Departments of Planning and Community Development, Facilities, and Public Works.
This project is staffed by members of the Arts & Culture, Public Health, and Environment teams. Working with the City of Everett and Everett Community Growers, MAPC create a plan and design for the garden and sculpture with community input, city support and volunteers. This new garden helps advance the City’s 2017 Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) update, which was prepared by MAPC’s Land Use Planning staff, as well as the Community Food Assessment that the Public Health team worked with Everett Community Growers.
Why it's Important
This project aims to advance a number of public health, community building, and environmental goals. The following list of intended impacts was identified in a community design meeting with gardeners in the Everett Community Growers group.
Community Learning: Promoting community resilience through stronger connections, where community members teach and learn new skills from one another and where teachers at the nearby school have the opportunity to create lessons and teach students about this garden.
Fostering Beauty: Creating beautiful gardens would enhance the community and help people connect with nature.
Creating Space for Healing: People with disabilities or everyday people with stress can come and have a place with peace.
Improving sense of personal well-being: Promoting an active lifestyle and eating healthy, and supported mental health.
Community Ownership: Claiming public land that is underutilized.
Equity: Creating a space where it’s possible to lift up voices of power of all Everett residents.