Community gardens have the power to transform urban neighborhoods. They can offer health benefits through access to fresh produce, social benefits by bringing neighbors together, and environmental benefits, including a cooling effect on the area, among other positive impacts. That’s why the Legal Food Hub was thrilled to support The Neighborhood Developers (TND), a nonprofit community development and affordable housing organization, to help set up a community garden on an overgrown lot.
TND serves the communities of Chelsea and Revere, Massachusetts, to promote healthy, affordable homes, financial mobility, and enriching community connections. A group of residents in Chelsea asked TND if they could turn a vacant lot owned by the organization into a garden, which would serve as a focal point for gathering community members, growing healthy food, and beautifying the neighborhood. “This project is making a big difference for our residents,” says Sharon Fosbury of TND. “We wouldn’t have been able to get it across the finish line without the Legal Food Hub.”
TND turned to the Legal Food Hub to find attorneys to help them get the community garden off on firm legal footing. A team of attorneys at WilmerHale, including Mike Heyison, Avery Reaves, and Paloma Naderi, helped TND draft a liability waiver to allow residents to use the garden. And as plans for the garden have grown, the organization has teamed up with another local nonprofit to provide urban agriculture programming. The WilmerHale attorneys also drafted an agreement between the two organizations to lay out the terms of their collaboration, which will help ensure the project’s success and durability.