Women’s Lunch Place, City Unveil Community Garden at Newbury and Berkeley Streets

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Monday, Aug. 14, at the new community garden in front of Women’s Lunch Place. Funded by a grassroots grant from the City of Boston’s Office of Urban Agriculture, the garden will be maintained by Women’s Lunch Place guests during Horticultural Therapy exercises.

“We are honored to have been awarded grant funds from the City of Boston to create a wonderfully landscaped garden for our community,” Jennifer Hanlon Wigon, executive director of Women’s Lunch Place, said in a press release. “Gardening nurtures physical and mental health, and the support of our neighbors in creating this space empowers women in creative and impactful activities.”

The design for the garden was donated by Perennial Gardens, a local company that is a longtime partner of Women’s Lunch Place. Perennial Gardens was also tasked with building the garden and sourcing the plants and materials. Careful selections were made to match the historic Church of the Covenant building.

“Everyone deserves to have access to beauty,” Nancy Armstrong, senior director of operations and programming at Women’s Lunch Place, said in a press release. “We are so thankful to Perennial Gardens for their longtime partnership and their steadfast work in bringing this project to life, as well as to the Neighborhood Association of Back Bay’s Homelessness Taskforce for their enduring support.”

The Neighborhood Association of Back Bay had members in attendance at the ceremony, which was also supported by more than a dozen Women’s Lunch Place guests. In addition to Wigon, Armstrong, and WLP guest Erica, the Mayor’s Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon addressed the crowd.

“I’m proud of the many Back Bay residents who lent their goodwill toward the completion of this community garden,” said Dillon. “Most of all, I want to recognize the women who come to Women’s Lunch Place every day to receive vital services. Thank you for being here, and for enriching this neighborhood.”

Kathleen Young, chair of NABB’s Homelessness Task Force, said: “The Homelessness Task Force is honored to partner with the Women’s Lunch Place on projects such as this garden to further our mutual goal of ensuring services to prevent increased homelessness in our city,” “

An educational forum will be held on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Copley Branch of the Boston Public Library at 700 Boylston St., where the Mayor’s Chief of Housing will present plans to increase services and permanent supportive housing in the city, added Young.

The garden is now open for visitors at the intersection of Newbury and Berkeley streets. Those who wish to learn more about or support Women’s Lunch Place are encouraged to visit womenslunchplace.org.

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