SOMERVILLE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE CELEBRATES 5TH ANNIVERSARY OF COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT

Residents invited to join the Committee for a walking tour and community celebration on September 9

SOMERVILLE – Somerville’s Community Preservation Act (CPA) is turning 5! To celebrate, the Somerville Community Preservation Committee is hosting a walking tour and community celebration on Saturday, September 9. All residents are invited to attend and partake in the day’s festivities.

The walking tour will kick off at 12:30 p.m. with the groundbreaking for a CPA-funded affordable housing project at 163 Glen St. This former American Legion Post is being transformed to eight affordable homeownership units and three market rate homeownership units by the Somerville Community Corporation. The tour will then move on to other CPA project sites, including the historic Grace Baptist Church, home to the Somerville Hispanic Association for Community Development (SHA4CD), the East Somerville Community School Garden, the Somerville Central Library, and finally the Community Growing Center on Vinal Ave.

The Desperate Measures Street Band will then lead a procession from the Community Growing Center to Prospect Hill Park to start the community celebration, which will begin at 2:30 p.m. CPA funds were used to stabilize the Prospect Hill Tower and are making a redesign of the park possible. The celebration will feature music, lawn games, and refreshments. CPA projects will be featured at tables throughout the event and the tower will be open for tours. There will be a brief speaking program featuring Somerville elected officials and individuals and organizations that supported CPA when it was on the ballot in 2012. Local historian Larry Willwerth will be on hand to tell the history of Prospect Hill, where George Washington ordered the raising of the Grand Union flag on January 1, 1776, to raise the spirits of the colonial militia that retreated to the hill following the Battle of Bunker Hill.

“We could not be more proud of what CPA has accomplished in Somerville over the past five years,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “CPA is making a real difference in increasing available affordable housing, improving local treasures like the Community Path and the Somerville Museum, and bettering places for our children to play like the Winter Hill Schoolyard and Hoyt Sullivan Playground. I look forward to the next five years as CPA continues to preserve the character that makes Somerville a unique and diverse community.”

In 2012, Somerville voters passed CPA by 76 percent, the second highest passage rate in CPA history (excluding Cape Cod communities that passed the predecessor to the CPA). Since then, more than $12 million has been awarded to 43 projects that increase affordable housing, improve parks and open space, and preserve history.

“In adopting CPA, the people of Somerville voted overwhelmingly to invest in our community. Five years in, we can point to more and better open parks, more affordable housing, and historic landmarks that are not only being preserved but being made more accessible,” said Community Preservation Committee Chair Dick Bauer. “We have become a leader in Eastern Massachusetts in applying CPA to meet the challenges facing densely populated cities, where open space is scarce and we risk the loss of existing affordable housing. We hope that our community is as excited as we are about when we have been able to accomplish so far, and about the opportunities we now have to invest more in our community in all three CPA areas: affordable housing, open space, and historic preservation.” 

Somerville Community Preservation Act Highlights

Over $12 million has been awarded to 43 projects, resulting in:

· 53 new units of affordable housing

· Improvements to 6 open spaces

· Schoolyard gardens at all neighborhood schools improved

· Preservation for 8 historic buildings and 2 historic collections

· 5 historic building becoming ADA accessible

· Projects implemented by 9 different community organizations and 6 different City departments

· Projects taking place in every ward in Somerville

For more information on the CPA, sign up for the CPA Email Newsletter by visiting the City’s website at www.somervillema.gov/cpa and clicking “Sign Up Now for CPA News.”

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nency Salamoun, at NSalamoun@somervillema.gov or 617-625-6600 ext. 2323.

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