Bellingham Community Farm Launches Commonwealth Places Campaign
$5,500 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative
August 15, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)
Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008
Marykate Bergen, Hockomock Area YMCA, 774-571-8029
MassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity have launched a new Commonwealth Places campaign with the Town of Bellingham and the Hockomock Area YMCA to fund infrastructure improvements at the Bellingham Community Farm. The Town and the YMCA partnered to transform a vacant half-acre plot at 200 Center Street into a community farm, with the goal of providing access to fresh, healthy produce for area residents. The Bellingham Community Farm opened earlier this year and operates a community supported agriculture (CSA) program for about 40 families; participants pay a deposit at the beginning of the growing season and pick up a basket full of fresh produce each week. In addition to the CSA program, the farm also donates food through its partnerships with local anti-hunger organizations and will be open to all residents interested in volunteering or learning more about agriculture. Campaign funds will complete infrastructure improvements at the farm, including installing a new fence, planting trees, and adding a farm stand to sell produce separate from the existing CSA program.
“On what was once an unused plot of land, the Town of Bellingham and the Hockomock Area YMCA have created a vibrant, engaging farm, which serves as a source for residents to access fresh and healthy produce and learn about agriculture,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment looks forward to supporting this local partnership as it continues to build out the Bellingham Community Farm and ensure it remains an integral part of the community for years to come.”
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $5,500 by September 30 at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate at https://www.patronicity.com/project/bellingham_community_farm#!.
“We are thrilled to partner with MassDevelopment on this funding opportunity for the Bellingham Community Farm,” said Marykate Bergen, Director of Community Wellness for the Hockomock Area YMCA. “This is truly a community project, made possible through partnerships with the Town of Bellingham and CHNA 6, and will allow us to bring fresh vegetables to local residents. We also hope to create a farm stand and to make this project a beautiful gathering space for the community.”
Commonwealth Places is a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and Patronicity that leverages public support for placemaking projects through crowdfunding and a matching grant from MassDevelopment. The program engages residents in the development of strategic projects in their towns and cities and has supported successful campaigns across the Commonwealth, from Northampton to Hyannis. Communities, nonprofits, and other entities can learn more about these successful projects, donate to ongoing campaigns, and apply at www.massdevelopment.com/commonwealthplaces.
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.