Somerville Community Growing Center - Urban Food Forest Design

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision is just passing time. Vision with action can change the world.” - Joel Barker

Client: Somerville Community Growing Center
Date: 2015 - current
Location: Somerville MA
Key Collaborators: Friends of the Community Growing Center / COGDesign/ City of Somerville
Funding Source: Somerville Community Preservation Act Grant / FCGC (501c3) donation/ COGDesign in-kind service.

Do you love the The Somerville Community Growing Center? Have you ever attended an event there? Do you not know what this urban garden oasis is in Somerville? Learn more about one of Somerville's best kept green spaces in this short educational video.

The video was created by the ever talented Stuart Roelke and stars Eva Leung and Adam Davenport of Terra Cura Inc. and Lisa Brukilacchio of the Growing Center.

A community design process

The redesign of the Somerville Community Growing Center has been a year-long community process led by Terra Cura.  Our team developed the concept proposal for securing funding through the city of Somerville. The project began with Analysis and Assessment of both the site and programs ran by the Friends of the Growing Center, 501(c)3.  The site analysis supported a Community Visioning Charrette which articulated goals for the future of the Growing Center, driving Schematic Design.  Terra Cura conducted iterative design feedback sessions through educational workshops, digital updates, and other public Design Charrettes that informed Design Development.  Terra Cura organized and managed multiple review sessions with the city and Landscape Architect; produced Performance Specifications (design details and instructions) to develop a project budget for construction and fundraising.  Terra Cura is currently helping SCGC secure implementation, project management and educational program funding.

April 30, 2016 Community Schematic Design Presentation:

View presentation slides for schematic design/ community feedback session below:


January 9, 2016 Community DesignHighlights:

Event Poster: Courtesy of Somerville Community Growing Center

Event Poster: Courtesy of Somerville Community Growing Center

On Saturday January 9th, 2016, we conducted our first design charrette with our friends at the Somerville Community Growing Center to kick off the concept design phase of the center's upgrade. The goal was to present site analysis findings and generate a collective Vision for the future of this unique 1/4 acre urban forest garden in Somerville, Massachussetts. 

Despite the cold and rain, 15 dedicated participants, friends and strangers alike, gathered to share and exchange ideas, identifying challenges and brainstorming solutions. Through a guided Speed Charrette, break-out teams cycled through 3 design stations -- Program , Ecology, Site Management -- drawing and building upon one another's ideas pertaining to each design focus for the site.

The results are amazing and our Terra Curators look forward to integrate all the contributions as we move forward. Stay tuned and hope to see you at the next charrette. Last but not least, a shout out to friends from COGDesign, Green City Growers & Groundwork Somerville who participated in this community-building event, and Cambridge Health Alliance for providing the event space!

View Community Visioning Charrette - Ideas Compilation below: