As Artist in Resident at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) I developed Everett Earthworks, a new space for the community to grow food, enjoy artistic expression, and experience the changing seasons in a new way. The centerpiece of the design is a sculptural bench. Cutoffs from the bench were transformed into sculptural mural panels by Everett high school students and put on the garden shed. The paths and garden beds are designed in concentric circles around the bench, which represents the rippling of the water that flows outwards from a drop of water. This site has a high water table and we built the garden beds using hugelkultur principles, meaning there are buried logs in the garden beds, filled in with compost and covered in topsoil. The logs absorb the water so that it doesn’t need to be watered regularly once the garden gets established. This demonstration project is intended to create a ripple effect for community-engaged public art and urban agriculture, and promote innovative thinking with regards to the beautification and improvement of public health and community building.
I worked with Public Health and Environmental Planners to define and measure public health and environmental benefits of the project. I worked with the City of Everett and Everett Community Growers to create a plan and design for the garden and sculptural elements with community input, city support and volunteer power. 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. Students from the UMass Boston School for the Environment were also involved in the design process. Lumbercats provided design and installation support for the sculptural bench, as well as design and installation of the shed.
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. Visit MAPC’s website for more information.