Produce to Pantries Seeks Volunteers

This year, the Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) is expanding the "Produce to Pantries" project run through the Boston Gardeners Council. In the past two years, community gardeners and local farms donated over a thousand pounds of produce to food pantries throughout Boston. Last year this program reached approximately 150 families in the first 3 months alone. This year, BNAN will be working with three different food pantries within the city: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, and the Haitian American Public Health Initiative (HAPHI). BNAN is excited to reach out to a larger range of communities in different neighborhoods and hopes to expand the program further in the coming years. As with any volunteer effort, help is needed! BNAN is currently seeking volunteers to help out on Tuesday and Friday mornings with both delivering produce from farms to pantries and sorting/distributing produce at the pantries themselves. The commitment would be for about an hour or so depending on the location. Please contact BNAN if you are willing and able to help out with this effort!

Email Shauna Mulvihill at or Karen Chaffee at for more information. Or call the BNAN office: (617) 542-7696.

Explore Pope John Paul II Park Event for Families, Jun. 18

Department of Conservation and RecreationHey families: Get Outdoors! Local residents and families are invited to explore Pope John Paul II Park on June 18 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The North Face, American Hiking Society, Leave No Trace and local partners are joining together with state parks to promote the importance of being active and getting outdoors with seven free events across the US. These events are meant to encourage the local community to get outdoors and truly explore the state parks close to home. There will be ranger led hikes and other activities, snacks, speakers, partner demos, as well as giveaways, including the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) Challenge information, Explore Your Parks activity guides, and free state park passes. For more information or to RSVP, please call 617-727-6034 or You may also visit >> Read More

Boston is Growing Gardens Spring Meetings and Workshops, Jun. 4 & Jun. 9

BIGG LogoWant to grow healthy, tasty, & organic vegetables in your neighborhood? Community garden plots are available in Dorchester! Join Boston is Growing Gardens now for a series of workshops and community meetings to help you get started. A community garden plot sign-up will take place Saturday, June 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Nightingale Community Garden, 512 Park Street, Dorchester 02124. A "Planting Seedlings and Helping Them Thrive" workshop will take place Thursday June 9, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Barry Street Garden, 39 Barry Street, Dorchester 02125. If you have any questions please contact Grantley Payne at 617-542-7696 x. 21. >> Read More

Sign up for a "Moonlight Neponset Paddle," Jun. 10

BNANEnjoy a peaceful evening out in the Neponset Estuary. Register now for a canoe trip with BNAN! The voyage departs from Neponset Park, Hilltop Street, Dorchester on Friday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m. Experienced paddlers only. Registration required. Co-sponsored by MA DCR. Contact 617.542.7696 or email

Neponset Greenway Gardeners, May 19 and 26

BNANBe a 'Greenway Gardener' volunteer and help with planting & habitat improvement projects at Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester. Tasks will range from mulching, weeding, pruning, to planting small plants and trees. Bring a pair of gloves if you have them and BNAN will supply the tools. To volunteer, contact Candice Cook at Boston Natural Areas Network, via email ( or phone, (617) 542-7696. Volunteer for one or all days, groups welcome! This opportunity is a cooperative effort of BNAN and MA Dept of Conservation and Recreation.

Pope John Paul II Park, Dorchester, Hallet Street Entrance (approx 170 Hallet Street, Dorchester)

Dates Remaining:
· Thursday, May 19 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
· Thursday, May 26 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Spring Planting Festival & Perennial Divide, May 21

Boston Natural Areas NetworkToo much hosta and not enough irises? Dig up the excess perennials in your garden and bring them to the Perennial Divide where you can exchange them for someone else’s overage. Sponsored by the Boston Natural Areas Network. This celebration of spring also offers a sale of vegetable seedlings, native trees, shrubs, and perennials and plenty of great gardening advice. Event takes place Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Natives, 30 Edgewater Drive, Mattapan (Off River Street in Mattapan Square).

Screening of "Fresh" @ Codman Square BPL, Mar. 7

Why wait until spring to think about gardening? Join Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) Master Urban Gardeners at the Codman Square Library as they present the Gardening Keeps Us Healthy Film Series--family movies about eating well and gardening in the city. "Fresh" will screen Monday, Mar. 7 at 6:00 p.m. Presented by BNAN and Boston Gardeners’ Council. 

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

For more information, contact Karen at 617.542.7696 or Codman Square Branch Library, 690 Washington Street, Dorchester, MA 02124

Boston Natural Areas Network





Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN), organized in 1977, works to preserve, expand and improve urban open space through community organizing, acquisition, ownership, programming, development and management of special kinds of urban land.


62 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02110-1016
United States
How to get involved/application guidelines and procedures: 

You can join, volunteer or donate to BNAN Here

Key Programs Offered: 

The Greenways to Boston Harbor program - Working with the community and public officials to create and maintain the Neposet River and East Boston Greenways. Thie project facilitates the development of a voluntary neighborhood strategy for preserving the scenic, natural, historic, cultural and recreational resources while encouraging compatible economic development and land use.

Master Urban Gardener Program - The MUG program is an intensive 8-session "Master Gardener-model" program for people who want to increase their community garden knowledge, meet other community gardeners and provide volunteer service to community gardens.

Youth Conservation Corps - The YCC will have served over 500 girls and boys ranging in age from 15-17. Teams will work along the Neponset River Greenway, the East Boston Greenway and in Boston’s Urban Wilds. The teens learn teamwork and job skills while engaged in environmental improvement projects involving environmental restoration, trail building, landscaping and more.

Boston Gardeners' Council - The BGC meets regularly to organize and promote sustainable urban gardening efforts and community gardening. We believe that gardens are as integral to Boston as its parks and playgrounds, and that they are to be included in city planning and are to receive regular municipal support and services. We want every neighborhood to have access to gardens, where all diverse residents can enjoy the benefits of healthy food, recreation and community beautification, with neighbors working together for their common interest.

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