Cook St Park Community Garden

In 2012 the Park was a no-mans land. Gangs gathered there, burned equipment and intimidated people. Girls from English High School fought while others watched and videoed. Gunshots were heard. Drug users shot up. Drinking alcohol was normal behavior. Families would not send their children to the Park.

 In 2013, supported by the Parks Commission, neighbors, churches, Councilor Trahant and DPW, we built the first community garden in a City park since the Victory Gardens of World War II. Calvin Anderson transplanted Gateway Park and held a 9/11 service there.

After 4 summers of gardening, gangs no longer frequent the Park. Alcohol and drug use dropped. Families are returning.

 City Council set aside $60,000 for play equipment, converting the tennis court into a play area, fencing off the soccer area, planting trees.

From the success of the garden and Park revival, and through the initiative of Food and Fitness coordinator Kristina Pechulis, the Parks Commission created Rules and Regulations for community gardens and allowed three more gardens to be built in Lynn.

Mohammed demonstrates how to plant potatoes.
Mohammed demonstrates how to plant potatoes.

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