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New Bedford Now: Connecting to Grow

Maura Ramsey and Kristin McCullin filling the wagon with plants outside of Haskell Public Gardens on Shawmut Avenue, NB.

Last Thursday, June 7, GROW Education held its annual Community Garden planting at Carlos Pacheco Elementary School. It was one of many the program has done in recent weeks all around New Bedford.

Last week, too, the New Bedford outdoor Farmers Markets opened for the season. You’ll find them on Mondays at Brooklawn Park from 2:00-6:00 p.m.; Thursdays in Custom House Square Park also from 2:00-6:00 p.m.; and Saturdays at Clasky Common Park from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Yesterday, I happened to catch Maura Ramsey, Executive Director of Groundwork USA Southcoast (not affiliated with this Groundwork, the coworking facility) at Haskell Public Gardens. She was picking up some donated vegetable plants from Kristin McCullin, horticulturist at the park.

Groundwork USA Southcoast is planting the community gardens at Riverside Park in the city’s north end this year. The organization is based out of the Community Economic Development Center at 1285 Acushnet Avenue, and is part of the Love The Ave group, which is seeking to help revitalize the greater Acushnet Avenue neighborhood.

Maura told me that one of their interns, Irlanda Antunes is also working with Adam Davenport, who oversees the GROW Education gardens for the Marion Institute, which started the program with Zoe Hansen-DiBello. (Both Adam and Zoe are members of this Groundwork.)

Adam Davenport leads the planting at Carlos Pacheco School, Mt. Pleasant Street, NB.

At Saturday’s Clasky Common Farmers Market, newcomers Marisa Barone and Ian Nichols from Westport’s Backyard Garden were well aware of GROW Education’s gardens. Naturally, they love the concept. They would; they grow and sell holistically grown vegetables and herbs. New Bedford is a destination for their hard work due to the city’s growing embrace of local agriculture.

Kristin at Haskell Park has been growing vegetables there for several years now. Discovering her supporting Groundwork USA Southcoast’s efforts in Riverside Park wasn’t surprising; she, like all the people in this report, put their beliefs into practice.

A common bond is developing through all these efforts. It’s one that is very – no pun intended – organic. Local, sustainable agriculture initiatives across the city are finding each other to make common cause.

That’s intentional. Maura Ramsey says that the groups have been actively searching each other out to find ways to go further together by sharing knowledge and resources.

That not only strengthens each but also strengthens the whole – as well as the holistic.

Maura said on Monday that she was thinking of planting potatoes at Riverside Park, but was afraid it was too late in the season.

Not so, said Kristin and myself. Kristin knew from experience. I knew because I saw Davenport doing it at Pacheco School last week.

No doubt Irlanda Antunes will find that out interning for both Groundwork USA Southcoast and with GROW Education, and share the knowledge.

At this coworking facility, we love the concept and practice of collaboration.

And we like it even more when it occurs out in the wild, naturally.

  • The New Bedford Now weekly briefing is deep dive into news from the Groundwork! city desk featuring items of interest, select happenings, coworking member updates, substantiated rumors and good gossip in New Bedford, Massachusetts by Groundworker-At-Large, Steven Froias.


Drawing on the Sacred Circle at Haskell Gardens – an Installation by Andy Moerlein; in collaboration with Master Horticulturist, Kristin McCullin; and Artist/Curator Jessica Bregoli.

Steven Froias