September 18, 2013

Center for Community and Learning Partnerships Launches co+build: the community building project

Boston, MA – September 18, 2013 – Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Center for Community and Learning Partnerships is launching a pilot program to engage Wentworth students and the community in a hands-on collaboration. The program intends to connect community members in conversations around improving the local neighborhoods, facilitate and strengthen relationships with stakeholders, and work on community projects in Mission Hill, Roxbury, and the Fenway. The first project will focus on redesigning and rebuilding the community garden that currently sits in the backyard of the Tobin Community Center as part of a community build day taking place on Saturday, September 21, from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Tobin Community Center, 1481 Tremont Street, Mission Hill.

Raised flower beds, composting structures, and an equipment shed will be built during the community build day and on subsequent weekends. In addition, teams of community members will participate in a design charrette to design the next phase of the garden, including an outdoor classroom, garden entrance, and garden logo and signage. Youth from Sociedad Latina and the Tobin Community Center, students from Wentworth, and adults/seniors from Mission Hill will work together to make the community’s vision a reality.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for Wentworth students to apply learned skills in engineering, technology, design, and management to impact the community,” said Sandy Pascal, associate vice president of community relations and external affairs. “This program expands Wentworth’s existing community initiatives and support, and we look forward to implementing a sustainable program that will benefit our local neighborhoods and our students’ educational experience.”

The ultimate goal of co+build is to support community members as constructors of their environment. The program aims to strengthen partnerships with local youth and community development nonprofits, giving stakeholders a voice and empowering them to execute a vision for neighborhood improvements.

The initial community build day at the Tobin Community Center is one of four projects that will be held throughout the academic year. The first iteration of the program is an extension of the Tobin Backyard Project, which took place in 2012, where two Master of Architecture students from Wentworth worked collaboratively with the community, providing design services to create a space that could provide revenue for the non-profit center and enliven the center’s backyard for use by the whole community.

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