Working Together for a Greener Boston
MA -, the nation’s oldest regional land trust, are based in Massachusetts but have never had a Boston presence…until now! They recently announced a permanent affiliation with the (BNAN).
The idea first came up in 2000 when The Trustees learned that some of Boston’s community gardening organizations were closing their doors. The Trustees had been thinking about expanding their urban conservation efforts, so they approached BNAN and asked how they could help.
BNAN accepted the offer and soon The Trustees were rehabilitating older gardens and building new ones in support of Boston’s 10,000 gardeners. As they worked together both groups realized how much they had in common and became interested in forming a long-term partnership to conserve the city’s character and diminishing natural landscapes.
Six years after The Trustees' initial offer of help, the two organizations celebrated their permanent affiliation in September at City Natives Nursery (the nursery was started in 2001 by BNAN). Boston’s mayor Thomas M. Menino and Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Stephen Burrington headlined, with gardeners and open space advocates from across the city in attendance.
As an affiliate of The Trustees, BNAN will remain a separate nonprofit and continue to own its 37 community gardens. Valerie Burns will continue as president of BNAN, and will join The Trustees as a Vice President. BNAN staff will become employees of The Trustees. The Trustees’ board will now include two BNAN directors, and vice-versa. Supported by a new $4 million endowment they raised together, the groups have expanded resources to carry out their mission in Boston.
The Trustees’ President Andy Kendall stressed that they look forward to learning even more from BNAN, whose expertise and experience with community activism and urban conservation is a tremendous resource. He also explained that “our affiliation with BNAN is a key step in providing special places for people in urban areas, and mobilizing a greater force for conservation across the Commonwealth.”