UEI's CityRoots program is an innovative, community-driven approach to urban greening that provides residents of Greater Boston's underserved neighborhoods the opportunity to come together, create a plan, and take action through hands-on community planting projects. It also involves an opportunity for participants to learn about the ecology in their urban environment, to develop stewardship skills, and to participate in citizen science.
In nine years, CityRoots has worked with over 40 community groups, comprised of over 650 residents, on more than 50 projects ranging from community greenspace installations to tree plantings and low-impact landscaping. CityRoots has helped transform front yards, streets, parks, vacant lots, and median strips into beautifully restored green areas. Since its inception in 2003, hundreds of trees have been planted in Boston's urban neighborhoods, as well as, countless shrubs and perennials.
CityRoots has proven to be more than just a community planting program. The physical and social transformations CityRoots has made possible over the years illustrate that the health of the urban ecosystem is closely tied to the strength of the urban communities residing within it. The program also provides opportunities for university professors, students, and citizen scientists to study urban ecology in the field that is our city. The underserved neighborhoods where CityRoots projects take place are disproportionately lacking in trees and parks, and often shoulder a disproportionate environmental burden. CityRoots recognizes the role these projects play in building community to address these problems.
As a result of our projects, community spaces are transformed and we understand more about how community greening impacts urban ecology. Furthermore the health and wellness benefits of the program's ecological improvements are brought back to neighborhoods that need them most, and stronger social bonds that foster community engagement and environmental stewardship are formed.
View All CityRoots Groups in a larger map.