The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) has announced the launch of its Third Annual Jamaica Plain Garden Tour now ongoing at thetrustees.org/jpgt. This event is a key fundraiser for The Trustees’ network of 56 Boston community gardens and parks, which are a more important resource now than ever during COVID-19.
In lieu of the usual in-person walking tour of private gardens in Jamaica Plain, this year’s tour features a video that takes a more intimate look at several outstanding home gardens in the neighborhood and the remarkable people who tend them. The featured gardens range from a small urban homestead complete with chickens to a professionally designed garden in the formal English style. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers.
“These small, hidden oases dotted throughout the city have stunning backstories and an outsized impact on their respective communities,” said Vice President of Nature & Agricultural Properties Alicia Leuba. “As the trend of going back to the land continues, these gardens and the stories of the people who tend them are more important than ever.”
The role gardens play in providing food access as well as connection to nature and community has become essential during the coronavirus pandemic. In Boston and across the country, people who are concerned about food budgets, seeking a stress-relieving activity, and looking for a safe way to spend time outdoors are turning to gardening in droves. The Trustees Boston Community Gardens staff and its affiliated volunteer garden coordinators have seen requests for garden plots more than double this spring. Interest in the free gardening workshops The Trustees provides—moved online this season—has increased exponentially as it’s now common for hundreds of people to participate in classes that used to attract 15-20 people in person.
The particularly nourishing role of gardens during the pandemic applies to home gardens as well as community plots, exemplified by one of the gardeners in the video whose garden is his only connection to the outside world.
“One of the gardeners has a health condition that has kept him home and makes visitors in his house an impossibility, which means his garden serves as a social lifeline for him,” says Boston Community Gardens Engagement Manager Michelle de Lima. “That’s a feeling that many Bostonians can relate to and just proves how gardens connect and enhance neighborhoods.”
The video of this year’s tour is available at thetrustees.org/jpgt and costs $15 for Trustees members and $20 for nonmembers. The funds raised by the JP Garden Tour, as well as the upcoming South End Garden Tour, directly support operations and educational programming in the community gardens.
Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 125 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation’s first preservation and conservation organization, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. We are a nonprofit, supported by members, friends and donors and our 119 sites are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually. www.thetrustees.org.