OASIS on Ballou
OASIS (Opportunity Affirmation Sustainability Inspiration Success) on Ballou is an urban agriculture project that represents a unique opportunity for transformative placemaking at 100 Ballou Ave. in the Woodrow-Mountain neighboirhood of Dorchester, on a long-neglected and vacant 20,000 SF lot previously owned by the City of Boston. OASIS on Ballou incorporates urban agriculture with sustainable community development, social equity, and social entrepreneurship. Our vision is to create a community resources that promotes active living, improves resident health, and creates a safe place for children to play, learn, and grow. OASIS will provide green job training, social enterprise economic opportunities, and enterprise management with special involvementof men of color. The site plan includes: a production garden, a demonstration garden with accessible raised beds, a tot lot, and a healthy learning center.
To be completed later….
why we’re doing it
In 2014, a graduate student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government researched and mapped access to healthy food in Codman square in Dorchester, MA. The report–“The Codman Square” Atlas: New Approaches to Understanding Community Health”–reveals that the Codman Square NDC service area contains two healthy food “cold spots”, defined as specific areas where residents have significantly limited choices in terms of the number of markets available and the number, type, and diversity of products available at those markets. For example, unrestricted food markets provide more access (service hours) to more food options (variety). Access to unrestricted food markets contributes significantly to the food choices that people make, and around the site, there are very few unrestricted markets. The study also found that Codman Square ranks among the top ten areas in levels of obesity in Massachusetts. These findings were indicative of the critical need for increasing access and education around nutrition, healthy food, and healthy food preparation to Codman square residents.