ELA Community Action Project – 2014
On July 22, 2014, the Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) collaborated with the Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) and the Landscape Institute at Boston Architectural College to restore Arcola Park located in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Arcola Park was created in the late ’90s, converting a vacant lot into a landscaped sitting park in the Hyde Square area of Jamaica Plain. The passive sitting park compliments the nearby Nira Rock Urban Wild and Nira Avenue and Roundhill Street community gardens, bringing a diversity of greenspace for area residents.
Over the last 15 years, stewardship of the park has waxed and waned, and the plant material has subsequently declined to a point that only the hardiest specimens remain.
The existing plants were pruned, with some selective removals, to establish the woody base of the new landscape. Existing soil was amended with rock powders and compost, before being planting with a diversity of perennials and shrubs. All planting areas were then mulched with leaf mold to revitalize the soil and establish a living, ecologically vibrant landscape.
Plant material was donated for this project by The Gardens at Rosewood Fields (a wholesale, field-grown nursery in New Hampshire) and The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy (designated steward of the Rose Kennedy Greenway). Our thanks go out to each of these organizations for the generous contributions.
And many thanks to the volunteers from the ELA Board of Directors, ELA Members, and current and former students of the Landscape Institute at the Boston Architectural College. The old adage proved true once again: many hands make light work!