The Fannie Lou Hamer Community Garden was created in the early 80's by several local residents of the neighborhood. The site had been home to two vacant single family homes that had burned down. The economy was struggling, and there was no interest in redeveloping the site for housing. Residents pulled together to purchase the land for a garden and started growing!
Some years later, Dorchester Gardenlands* assumed ownership of the site.
Over the last many years, some of the original gardeners have moved away, or have became unable to keep gardening on their plots.
In 2017 several neighbors of the site came together to revive the plots that were no longer in use. We connected with the few gardeners who were left – they welcomed us to pick up the vacant plots.
We also removed the overgrown weeds from the City-owned plot in front of the garden, in order to plant flowers.
Each year since, more community members have gotten in touch with interest in gardening at the site, so that there is now a waitlist and an active set of gardeners using all plots each year.
* Dorchester Gardenlands is a nonprofit that is now controlled by only one person who has been blocking the larger community's desire to restore the garden and ensure it's accessible and sustainable. The City of Boston and Boston Food Forest Coalition are interested in working with the current active stewards of the garden to restore it and implement a beautiful new design, but we cannot move on those plans until the current control of the land changes. Email us if you want to learn more and help advance a strategy to make this change.