Our Programs

Leadership

Through investment in Green Team we have projects going:

  • Green Team: Our leadership investment is a robust program that focuses on building 6 core competencies for all of our youth that results in a 72% skills increase average measured across our programs and a 90% retention rate

  • Green Explorers: Working with the near peers of Green Team: 1st-12th grades with a focus on middle school- this program provides environmental leadership development through service and experiential learning.
  • Equity Work: GWSC staff and youth are trained in equity, anti-oppression, and anti-racism and provide education and trainings for youth, community members, non-profits and more. 
  • Part of the Groundwork USA Network; we take youth to National Parks such as Yellowstone and The Grand Canyon for workforce training and connecting with youth and professionals from across the country who are passionate about the environment. 

Stewardship

Food Access Work led by Green Team:

  • Our biggest work focus- we grow at least 750lbs of food to donate to low-income families and soup kitchens:
  • Direct Management of our Urban Farm and Community Garden at Riverside Park
      • Beginning as early as the  summer of 2017 (when we first launched) Green Team has given us consistent feedback to make food access central to our work. The first project we started as a result of this feedback was to take over the Urban Farm and Community Garden site at Riverside Park. Youth and community members have long advocated for this site to be fenced in. Two years ago Green Team presented to the park board and received permission to install a fence and December 2020, this goal became a reality because the fence is now installed. This project would have cost GWSC $27,000 to pay to install, but we have been able to secure this donation from the amazing support of the city and the American Fence Association. We also secured another $15,000.00 grant from MDAR (MA Department of Agricultural Resources) to build out the space inside the fence, including 100 small raised beds (as seen here) that can be adopted by community members each growing season this will also some other improvements including the next steps to ensure that the fence will be a green wall of produce/ vertical agriculture!. This will significantly transform the Coffin Ave side of Riverside Park and become a learning center for food growing and STEAM education in our community. 
  • Partnerships:
    • We are open to partners like Sister Rose House to support garden management and produce harvest to ensure that fresh, locally grown produce is distributed to low income families. (contact us) if you’d like support to manage your site
  • Streetscapes Work:
      • Currently on the Acushnet Ave and adjacent Green Team does 3 hours of weekly maintenance related to landscaping and trash removal of the Avenue from Coggeshall St. to Nash Rd. and cares for 1 open lot, 3 pocket parks, and 3 parking lots that are adjacent to the street. This assists business owners with the removal of trash in front of their businesses and make the Ave a more engaging place to shop, visit, dine, and live in. 
  • Urban Trails: 
    • Maintenance and improvement of existing trails: Our work focused on nature trails: maintenance of the trails to foster the natural beauty of these spaces. We have worked on and seek funding to continue to work on:
          • Ida B. Piece Trail
          • Ross C. Mathieu Trail
          • The Alfred J. Lima Quequechan River Rail Trail
  • Environmental Resilience: 
    • Tree planting (Please see Community Engagement for our current work)
    • Riverbank Restoration: GWSC is working diligently in partnership with the City of New Bedford’s Department of Parks Recreation and Beaches to secure funding for this restoration project. Now is the time! DPI has removed the larger invasive species and we have a plan to further remove and restore this embankment. We have applied to two grants and are planning to apply to two more as well as continuing to seek additional funding to make this a reality. , inc
  • Tree and Orchard Management: 
      • Tree planting (Please see Community Engagement and Environmental Resilience for our current work)
      • Managing Hazelwood Park Orchard– pruning, gleaning, and engaging community members to harvest.

Community Engagement

  • Adventure Walk: Our QR Code sign installation project for Riverside Park. The Green Team have been working diligently on this project and they presented the final plan to the Park Board in November and it was approved as well as Green Team being complemented for a stellar presentation! This will result in 5 signs being installed in Riverside Park that will connect users through their cellphones to content on the website. The Green Team decided what the content would be, researched it, learned about creating pages, website layout, etc. and are working to have the initial content ready, and then install the signs. Over time they will add more content and do community outreach. This project was kicked off with secured EPA EJ mini-grant and we have requested additional funding from Wicked Cool Places to do further place-making for this project and to aesthetically tie this project together and deepen community engagement.
  • Sow and Grow:
    • Last spring we did free (for low-income folks) seed kits and seed starting educational supports program led by Green Team. We distributed about 60 kits at that time. Learning from last year we have developed a plan to ensure that Green Team leads the educational support aspects of the kit and to work with partners to distribute the bulk of the kits and work with paid artists and volunteer kit assemblers to streamline the kits and distribute in February and March. This ties to Riverside Park because the first 100 participants in this program who would like to adopt a raised bed at our Riverside Park Community Garden, will be able to do so without paying a small usage fee. It will require a big, unexpected fundraising push at the end of this year, but we hope to seek additional funding to try to distribute 2,000 kits this year.
    • Environmental Resilence: 
      • Greening the Gateway Cities Tree Planting Program:
        • Planting trees is vital in this community to increase our tree canopy to reduce heat, flooding and other extreme weather impacts. 
        • This project requires 80% of trees planted to be on private property and 20% on city property. This will deepen our community outreach and the more outreach and connections our youth and team build in the North End, the more we will be able to continue to foster those connections in our future resiliency efforts for community and our open spaces like Riverside Park, the Ave, and potentially our trails too. We were just awarded $15,000 for the Greening the Gateway Cities program in New Bedford.
  • Planning: We are working with a variety of partners to pull together funding to kick-off a project to develop a community-centric plan for our parks, open spaces, streetscapes, history, and culture. 
  • Volunteering: we provide opportunities to volunteer in your community. Contact us for more information.

 “I love working with my team. It’s awesome to learn, have fun and help the community!”

Destiney Cannata & Jade Pennington
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