More than 50 volunteers will help improve two outdoor spaces in Dorchester and Mattapan this weekend as part of National Rebuilding Day, which was re-scheduled from its original date in April. The Boston effort is led by Rebuilding Together Boston, which helps corporate sponsors and volunteer partners focus their energies on city neighborhoods.
Saturday’s efforts will provide improvements to two outdoor areas at the Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan and the Ballou Farm in Dorchester. All the work is being planned and executed according to COVID-19 safety guidelines established by the US CDC, the City of Boston, and Rebuilding Together.
“Rebuilding Together Boston is the only nonprofit in Boston to do hands-on critical repairs at no cost to the homeowner or community center,” said Karen Clay, executive director of RTB. “We’re excited to be able to hold these outdoor events with additional COVID-19 safety guidelines as it allows us to continue to support our community and provide an opportunity for volunteers to help give back when so many are in need.”
At the Mattahunt, a pre-kindergarten through grade three elementary school that houses Toussaint L’Ouverture Academy, a first-in-the-nation Haitian-Creole pre-K dual language program, the work will focus on creating usable outdoor space in an overgrown two-acre wooded area and clearing access for a nature trail. The school was awarded a landscape expansion grant in 2019 by Cambridge, Mass.-based COGdesign that provided designers to work with the Mattahunt community to create an ideal plan for an expanded outdoor learning area. Thanks to the sponsorship of Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers, Inc., volunteers from RTB’s network will spend the day implementing elements of this plan including an outdoor classroom.
In Dorchester, volunteers will pitch in at Opportunity Affirmation-Sustainability-Inspiration-Success (OASIS), an urban farm run by the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation. It is located at a formerly abandoned and neglected site at 96-100 Ballou Ave. A group of volunteers from the site sponsor the Huber Family Action Fund along with residents from the Codman Square community will work safely outdoors to prepare the Farm for spring planting. Work to be performed includes preparing the site for winter by clearing weeds and debris, applying mulch, constructing grow boxes, and painting a tool shed and watering station. To learn more, see rebuildingtogetherboston.org.