Green Team Accomplishments

The Green Team consists of environmental stewardship work, and job readiness training.

An inside look at the Green Team

Environmental Stewardship

Urban Wild Restoration

In partnership with the Boston Parks Department the Green Team has improved the health and accessibility of 7 local Urban Wilds – Sherrin Woods, Deforest Street, West Street, West/Austin Street, Monterey Hilltop, Dell Rock, Mother Brook. These sites are major assets to the neighborhood. Green areas are serene wildlife havens, spaces for active and passive recreation, and improve the environment by absorbing carbon emissions, urban heat, and buffering sound pollution.  Youth learn valuable landscaping and gardening skills while improving these sites for the entire community.

Accomplishments include:

  • At the 25 acre Sherrin Woods urban wild over 2 miles of trails built and improved;  trash and harmful invasive species removed;  Pine Rock cleared for use as an urban wild rock-climbing spot
  • At Deforest Urban Wild 19 native Hawthorn and Serviceberry trees planted in collaboration with Grow Boston Greener
  • At West Street, Deforest, and Monterey Hilltop urban wilds illegally dumped materials including lumber, construction debris, home appliances, yard waste, plastic and glass bottles removed
  • Removed signficant invasive weeds at West Street Urban Wild to prepare the site for 80 native shrubs and trees to be planted. Youth then ensured the plants survived a summer draught through regular watering and weeding.
  • At Mother Brook urban wild invasive plants removed to open a vista to the Mother Brook.
  • Constructed and installed dozens of “No Dumping” signs at several of the urban wilds

2014 GT At Work in Sherrin


In 2014 the Green Team pioneered Goatscaping in the City of Boston. Goats are a low cost and eco-friendly alternative to the use of chemical pesticides and heavy machinery for invasive plant control. At the West Street Urban Wild goats were introduced to eat poison ivy and thorny invasive plants which were making the site impassible. Goatscaping also provided urban youth with unique exposure to farm animals. All Green Team youth assisted with daily feeding and health checks.  Two of our most experienced and capable Green Team members were trained by the Goatscaping Company as full-fledged goatscapers, learning to use power tools and set up the electric fencing. The goats were effective community builders, as neighbors helped remove trash, provided a water source and cared for the goats on weekends.  Community members of all ages visited the urban wild daily to check on the goats and report problems.

The Goatscaping Program expanded in its 2nd year to include The George Wright Golf Course – in this video SWBCDC staff, Green Team Crew Members, and the Boston Parks Dept discuss the concept behind the project.

Goatscaping at West Street Urban Wild was the focus of much media attention in its first year, 2014

Placemaking and Business District Beautification 

  • Trash pick-up and watering planters outside local businesses in the Cleary and Logan Square business district
  • Fairmount Avenue Art Installation in collaboration with Essence of Thyme Cafe – turning recycled CDs into art

Watering Planters Business District

Community Outreach and Education

  • “Slam Dunk the Junk” anti-littering awareness campaign with businesses and younger children.
  • Anti-dumping outreach to residents living along the urban wilds
  • Annual community meeting and tour of the woods to engage neighbors in Sherrin Woods Restoration
  • “Can the Trash, Love Hyde Park” outreach to shoppers in the business district
  • Storm drain stamping in collaboration with Boston Water and Sewer Commission


Job Readiness

Green Team participants receive valuable job readiness training including appropriate work conduct and conflict resolution, resume writing, interviewing, and personal financial management. They learn landscaping and trail building skills, community outreach, and public speaking skills.

2012 Green Team Crew Members speak at a legislators meeting about the value of youth jobs

Green Team Crew Members speak at a state legislators’ meeting about the value of youth jobs


Youth at Mayors Roundtable Discussion

In 2015 2 Crew Members and 1 Crew Leader attended the Youth Roundtable Discussion with Mayor Marty Walsh.

Each youth receives a rebuilt bicycle donated by the Boston Bikes Roll it Forward Program to ride to and from work sites, which they are allowed to take home if they complete the program. In 2010 the program received a Green Business and Bike Friendly Business Award from the City of Boston for promoting sustainable business practices and alternative forms of transportation.

Boston Bikes

Through educational field trips to the Boston Recycle Center,  Artists for Humanity, Blue Hills Weather ObservatoryThe Food ProjectBrookwood Community FarmThompson Island, the Neponset River with UMASS-Boston, and the Boston Architectural College youth learn about urban and organic gardening, harbor and river ecosystems, and open space (land and water) management, green building and recycling. During field trips youth learn from college professors, experts in environmental fields, and other youth, and are exposed to higher educational opportunities and future career possibilities.

Canoe Trip - Ponkapoag Pond

Fara on Thompsons Island

Click Here for the 2012 Green Team’s blog .

Our Crew Leaders

Green Team Crew Leaders are young adults, age 20-24, who are residents of Boston, with diverse experience and backgrounds. The Crew Leader position is a stepping stone for students, recent grads, and former Crew Members who are aspiring leaders in the fields of youth development, environmental stewardship, and community service. Crew Leaders receive in-depth training prior to working with Crew Members. Serving as a Green Team Crew Leader helps prepare young adults for success. Our Crew Leaders have gone on to pursue a variety of careers including degrees in horticulture, business, social work and engineering and law enforcement.

Crew Leaders in 2015 at Orientation

Crew Leaders in 2015 at Orientation

We sincerely appreciate the support of our  collaborating organizations.

Summer youth and crew leaders are hired through the Boston Department of Youth Engagement and Employment. Collaborating organizations which have provided training, technical assistance, and other forms of support to the Green Team include Blue Hills Bank, Brookline Bank Charitable Foundation, Dedham Institute for Savings FoundationJVS Career SolutionsRoll it ForwardBoston Cyclists UnionBrookwood Community FarmBoston Water and Sewer Commission, Department of Conservation and RecreationUMASS-BostonThompson IslandUSDA Forest ServiceBoston Public Health CommissionBoston Natural Areas NetworkBoston Architectural CollegeThe Food ProjectBlue Hills Weather ObservatoryRoxbury Environmental Empowerment ProjectHyde Park E-18 Police Department, MassCOSHHyde Park E-48 & L-28 Fire DepartmentTILL House, and Tierney Realty Group.

For more information on the Hyde Park Green Team please contact Patricia Alvarez.