Beauty in Beachmont: Community Garden Will Be Built on Broadsound Avenue

Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna and the Beachmont Improvement Committee looked at a vacant area on Broadsound Avenue and wondered what the best option for the site would be.

The best option has been determined and a new neighborhood community garden is coming to Broadsound Avenue.

“The neighbors have been in a dispute about the site for about five-and-half years,” said McKenna. “We’ve been down here a number of times looking at the property and figuring out what we can do with it. I have to get rid of this dispute that’s going on, because it’s constant.”

McKenna said the property has been vacant for many years. “This lot has been empty since 1978,” said McKenna. “There was a house here. When the waves came in during the Blizzard of ’78, they knocked down the house, so FEMA deemed the lot as ‘non-buildable.”

McKenna said she reached out to Project Manager Elle Baker of the Revere Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development with the idea for a community garden and “Elle just ran with it.”

“Elle has done all the legwork – I just mentioned it to her and she took it from there,” lauded McKenna.

If Baker’s past efforts in carrying out Mayor Brian Arrigo’s initiatives to beautify Revere and renovate its parks – Gibson Park and the Paul Revere School yard last year, for example, and Curtis Park and Sonny Myers Park to be completed this year – are an indication, the residents of Broadsound Avenue will have a community garden that will be a treasure and a focal point of the neighborhood.

McKenna believes the idea will be well-received and she has full confidence in Baker’s abilities to make it happen.

“The community garden is going to beautiful,” said McKenna. “We need to grow food. This garden is going to be beneficial to the neighborhood.”

At its last meeting, the City Council approved $25,000 from the Community Investment Trust Fund for the project.

Baker has taken the first steps toward developing the garden whose address is 133 Broadsound Ave.

“Our first step will be to bring the water service in and then we will go from there,” said Baker. “We’re in a planning phase and we’ll begin to execute as the weeks unfold. We’re going to do something useful with it and make it a community garden.”

Plans call for the placement of 16, two-foot high community beds with access to a water irrigation system. There will be a small seating area, benches, fruit bushes in the back, a shed, a walkway,and a a chain link fence and a gate at the front of the property.

Baker anticipates the project will be completed by the late fall, opening the door for people to begin planting seeds (tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, herbs, basil, etc.) in the spring. The Revere Department of Public Works and volunteers will collaborate on the building of the garden.

Once the project is completed, Viviana Catano-Merino of Revere Cares will be the manager of the community garden, which will become the third such garden in the city. The other community gardens are located at Gibson Park and the high school.

Baker is also currently overseeing the beautification project for the MBTA fence on Ocean Avenue and the external renovations project at the Revere History Museum on Beach Street. The Revere Parks and Recreation summer program staff is assisting in the Ocean Avenue project.

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