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Boston Natural Areas Network, Inc.

 62 Summer Street
 Boston, MA 02110
[P] (617) 542 7696
[F] (617) 542-0383
[email protected]
Valerie Burns
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2693273

LAST UPDATED: 01/30/2015
Organization DBA BNAN
Former Names Boston Natural Areas Fund (1977)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes



Mission StatementMORE »

Boston Natural Areas Network, organized in 1977, works to preserve, expand and improve urban open space through community organizing, acquisition, ownership, programming, development and management of special kinds of urban land--Urban Wilds, Greenways and Community Gardens. In all its endeavors, BNAN is guided by local residents advocating for their open space and assisting them to preserve and shape their communities.

Mission Statement

Boston Natural Areas Network, organized in 1977, works to preserve, expand and improve urban open space through community organizing, acquisition, ownership, programming, development and management of special kinds of urban land--Urban Wilds, Greenways and Community Gardens. In all its endeavors, BNAN is guided by local residents advocating for their open space and assisting them to preserve and shape their communities.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Apr 01, 2012 to Mar 31, 2013
Projected Income $1,415,700.00
Projected Expense $1,415,525.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Community Gardens and Food Access
  • Grassroots Open Space Advocacy
  • Stewardship of Greenways, Urban Wilds and Urban Forests
  • Youth Programming

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Boston Natural Areas Network, organized in 1977, works to preserve, expand and improve urban open space through community organizing, acquisition, ownership, programming, development and management of special kinds of urban land--Urban Wilds, Greenways and Community Gardens. In all its endeavors, BNAN is guided by local residents advocating for their open space and assisting them to preserve and shape their communities.

Background Statement

Boston Natural Areas Network was founded in 1977 as the Boston Natural Areas Fund by citizens concerned about the preservation and potential loss of open space in some of Boston’s most under-served and densely built neighborhoods. BNAN's goal is to protect these spaces known as Urban Wilds by developing a community of stewards so the Wilds will remain a permanent part of an urban open space network.  BNAN is proud that today more than 800 acres and 85 sites have been protected and are publicly accessible.

BNAN is the largest owner of Community Gardens in Boston assisting in the management and maintenance of 59 sites.  In addition to owning gardens, BNAN has expanded its responsibilities to provide community garden support services to over 10,000 gardeners and 170 community gardens in the city of Boston. In the past two years BNAN has almost completed its goal of doubling the number of garden plots in Dorchester through the Boston Is Growing Gardens program (BIGG).  BNAN has this fall completed a merger with the South East Lower Roxbury Open Space Land Trust which, with the cooperation of the City of Boston, has resulted in the permanent protection of 16 gardens and parks.

In 1992, BNAN developed a new approach for stewardship of Urban Wilds by focusing on the opportunity to connect Urban Wilds with existing or potential public parks and abandoned urban land to create new linear systems of urban of urban Greenways.  Over the past 20 years BNAN has worked with local residents and government officials to build and extend the Neponset River Greenway and the East Boston Greenway. In 2012 both pedestrian/bike trails are near completion.  The Neponset River Greenway is a 10 mile trail extending from the mouth of the Neponset River to the Blue Hills and the East Boston Greenway is a 3.3 mile trail from Boston Harbor to Constitution Beach.

To strengthen the organization and provide increased stewardship for community gardens, greenways, and urban wilds, BNAN and The Trustees of Reservations affiliated 2008. Staffing and the annual budget has grown significantly since the affiliation. In the last five years, the affiliation has afforded BNAN strong financial and organizational support, allowing our organization to reach out to more people looking to participate in our programs and events.

Impact Statement

Community Gardens/Boston Is Growing Gardens Program (BIGG)-

BNAN has provides support to over 170 community and school gardens, 59 of which are owned by BNAN. BNAN has helped communities acquire properties; design the gardens; make capital improvements; and oversee ongoing management of the gardens. These 170 community gardens contain more than 3,500 garden plots that provide healthy food and recreation to more than 10,000 residents. BNAN also supports residents with a robust series of garden, nutrition and health workshops.

BNAN has also been building new garden plots in Boston's largest neighborhood, Dorchester.  In 2013 BIGG will reach its goal in Dorchester by doubling the number of garden plots from 250 to 500.
Urban Wilds Program- In1977,  Boston identified 143 open space sites in the city known as Urban Wilds.  BNAN is proud that along with local residents 85 sites containing more than 800 acres of Urban Wilds have been protected and are publicly accessible.
Greenways Program- In 1992, BNAN started the Greenways to Boston Harbor program - working with residents and public officials to create the Neponset River and East Boston Greenways .Close to completion, the Neponset River Greenway, which includes 17 Urban Wilds is a 10 mile pedestrian/bike trail from the mouth of the Neponset River to the Blue Hills reservation. The East Boston Greenway protects 12 acres of new parkland and will be a 3.3 mile trail from Boston Harbor to Constitution Beach.

The Youth Conservation Corp (YCC) program offers 3-season employment for Boston area youth working on the greenways and in urban wilds. This year an agriculture component was added as a crew of youth created an urban garden on MADCR's Stony Brook Reservation.

The Grow Boston Greener Program has a goal of planting 100,000 trees in Boston by the year 2020. BNAN works with residents and the city to plant trees in schools, parks and public open space throughout Boston.

Needs Statement

Gifts and Grants to support BNAN programs and operations.
Funding is needed for capital improvements to create new and renovate existing community gardens.  Today, there are 170 community gardens which produce 700,000 pounds of fresh healthy produce for underserved residents every year.  An investment in a community garden brings a bountiful return year after year.
Boston's community gardeners need access to a reliable and affordable source of safe compost for the gardens. Recently, because of BNAN's rigorous testing, the quality of the city compost has been questioned.  To the city's credit they have worked hard to find a reliable and affordable source for the compost.  The challenge is to find good compost that can be affordably delivered to Boston's community gardens.
In 2012 BNAN increased the Youth Conservation Corps so 80 youth were employed from spring through fall. Funding will be needed to supplement generous city, state and foundation support so we can continue to employ Boston youth who will work to keep trails open, create new habitat and now grow fresh healthy vegetables for local food pantries.
Funding is needed to purchase and plant trees throughout Boston.  Working with the city, BNAN has a goal to increase the city's tree canopy from 29% to 35% by the year 2030.

CEO Statement

Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) transforms urban land into permanent, usable and productive green spaces. We work with residents and many partners to create, transform, expand, improve and protect special kinds of urban green space. BNAN focuses on community gardens, greenways and natural areas known as Urban Wilds. BNAN’s goal is to create and protect permanent, sustainable green spaces in Boston that serve all of the city’s residents.


To accomplish its goals, BNAN uses the tools of community organizing, advocacy and education. BNAN may own, manage, develop, support or provide programs in Boston’s green spaces. BNAN’s work is guided by residents’ visions for creating change in their neighborhoods through green space. BNAN’s accomplishments are a result of effective partnerships and collaborations with residents, government officials and the non-profit community. The hallmark of BNAN’s effective advocacy is the local resident council which encourages neighborhood involvement building on the unique assets of each community.


Over the past thirty-five years BNAN has worked to protect more than 800 acres of Urban Wild open space; lead the advocacy for Boston’s two major bicycle/pedestrian greenways, the Neponset River Greenway and the East Boston Greenway; and supports the 170 community gardens found throughout Boston, which, each year produce more than 700,000 pounds of fresh, healthy and affordable produce. Over the past 18 years BNAN has provided summer employment and hands on environmental education to more than 600 local youth, creating the foundation for tomorrow’s leaders to protect urban green space. In the past year, the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have chosen to partner with BNAN in a new venture and that is to increase Boston’s Urban Forest Canopy from 29% to 35% by the year 2020.


BNAN is proud of its many accomplishments over the years and will continue to be guided by Boston’s residents, advocating for their open spaces and assisting them in preserving and enhancing their community.

Board Chair Statement

Boston Natural Areas Network has, for thirty-five years, worked with local residents in advocating for open space in their neighborhood and assisting them in shaping the community where they live. Over the years, BNAN has protected more than 800 acres of Urban Wilds; served as the primary advocate for the city’s two major pedestrian/bicycle paths, the Neponset River Greenway and the East Boston Greenway; and since 1982 been the primary steward for Boston’s Community Gardens where today, BNAN owns 59 community gardens and supports another 111 community gardens throughout Boston. Every year the city’s 170 community gardens produce 700,000 pounds of fresh affordable produce for the gardeners and their families to enjoy.


With help from more than 350 volunteers, the hard working staff of ten full time employees accomplishes a great deal. However, more could be done with more staff and capital funds to build and renovate more gardens. The City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have been very supportive of our work and the local Foundation Community has served as a wonderful partner over the years. However, our constituency, while providing a huge amount of sweat equity, is unable to support our work financially. BNAN recognizes that it must increase its revenue stream from private donors. The BNAN board is working with staff to develop a comprehensive plan that will identify, cultivate and develop a dependable revenue stream from major private donors.


In 2008 BNAN affiliated with the Trustees of Reservations. The affiliation, which coincided with a Trustees capital campaign, enabled BNAN to create an endowment of $4million. The affiliation further allowed BNAN to take advantage of the Trustees larger and more established administrative operation. There have been some growing pains, as with any new partnership, but overall, the affiliation has served both organizations quite well.


Boston Natural Areas Network is the little engine that can. The staff and volunteers work hard every day to make Boston a better place to live. When I travel through the city I see the wonderful work of this great organization. There are thousands of gardeners cultivating and caring for their community gardens. On the weekends once abandoned railways now serve as free recreational thoroughfares where hundreds (maybe thousands) of families can go for a walk, picnic or bike ride. And around almost every corner is an Urban Wild, which but for the work of BNAN would have been another urban open space lost to development.


In my previous life in New Haven, Connecticut, I served as President of the Board of Commissioners for Parks and Recreation.  When I moved to Boston in 2001, I discovered Boston Natural Areas Network. I started attending regularly the meetings of the Neponset River Greenway Council and experienced the leadership of BNAN staff and the work of dedicated volunteers.  In 2003 I joined the BNAN Board of Directors and now serve as Chair of that Board.  BNAN's work is truly remarkable as it quietly, but constantly, works with the residents to make their homes a better place to live.

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
City of Boston, MA

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Environmental Education
  2. Food, Agriculture & Nutrition -
  3. Youth Development -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Community Gardens and Food Access

The Community Gardens program provides a range of support for 170 active community gardens located throughout Boston. Over 10,000 people, many of whom are low-income, use these gardens. Boston Community gardens to produce 700,000 lbs of fresh healthy food worth every year. Almost 6,000 lbs of excess produce (none is sold) is delivered to local food pantries.
BNAN offers free programming throughout the year through its Seed, Sow and Grow and Master Urban Gardener Programs, Perennial Divide Festivals and annual Gardeners Gathering.  Together thousands of gardeners benefit from hundreds of free programs every year. BNAN also runs a Garden Learning Campus, City Natives, in Mattapan that serves as a hub for hosting many of our programs and volunteer engagement.
In 2010, BNAN launched Boston Is Growing Gardens, a successful and innovative program to double the number of garden plots in Boston's largest neighborhood, Dorchester from 250 to 500. The program will reach its goal in 2013.
Budget  $750,000.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other
Population Served Adults Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success  BNAN's recent short term successes include: Doubling the number of community garden plots in Boston's largest neighborhood, Dorchester from 250 to 500 garden plots; Renovating and reinvigorating a roof top garden at the Boston Medical Center where working with teens and other volunteers produce is harvested and delivered directly to an adjacent food pantry that is associated with the hospital's nutrition program; Expanding our Youth Conservation Corps to include a new team of youth that created a new urban garden which grew and delivered produce to a local food pantry; and finally, each year, in fact every year Boston's community gardens produce 700,000 pounds of fresh, healthy and affordable (worth more than $1,400,000) food to local Boston residents.
Program Long-Term Success  Access to open space and community gardens is an issue of environmental justice that BNAN works for every day.  By serving as the primary steward of Boston's 170 community gardens, BNAN is the most significant non profit organization operating throughout Boston on the issue of neighborhood access to fresh healthy food. Ultimate success will be achieved when urban residents have just as healthy a diet as do their neighbors in nearby suburban communities.
Program Success Monitored By  Our success is monitored by participation.  How many gardeners, how many residents are enjoying open space and free recreation in the city.  It is a measure that is not easily obtained.  However, we can count the increase in garden plots which is now more than 3,250 plots (and which are almost always 100% used) and use of our free programs (many with waiting lists) as a measure of the local approval of our work.
Examples of Program Success  Examples of success include the newly renovated Nightingale Community Garden in Dorchester. A former school lot that now hosts 131 community garden plots.  The roof top garden at the Boston Medical Center.  BNAN has also increased the size of its Youth Conservation Corp by 50% and has had the teens establish a new urban farm on the MA DCR Stony Brook.   Reservation. An investment in a community garden, is a sustainable investment that will bring a bountiful return that benefits residents in need for many years.

Grassroots Open Space Advocacy

At the very core of BNAN's work is grassroots advocacy.  Many of the residents who benefit from BNAN's work do not have a strong voice at city hall.  Other issues such as an urban trail near a suburban town can raise irrational tensions.  BNAN, as stated in its mission, in all its endeavors is guided by local residents advocating for their open spaces and assisting them to preserve and shape their communities.
BNAN has been involved since 1977.  Over that time it has built a reputation as being a fair and firm bargainer for underserved residents throughout the city.  BNAN looks for the win/win situation that benefits local neighborhoods, city hall and the community at large.  Whether is is advocating for funds to build a new garden, to extend a new trail, protect an unprotected open space or plant a orchard of apple trees, BNAN is always working with local residents, government officials and institutions to achieve an outcome that is best for the residents.
Budget  $150,000.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Urban Beautification
Population Served Families Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  BNAN's grassroots advocacy has expanded a network of 16 community gardensin 1982 to 170 gardens that now grow 700,000 lbs produce every year. BNAN's has advocated for two urban greenways that have grown from abandoned railroad right of ways to trails that wind through almost 15 miles of the city.  BNAN was created to advocate for and protect 143 urban wilds in Boston.  Today, 85 of the original 143 wilds remain and 800 acres are protected for all to enjoy.  Recently BNAN has taken up the mantel of food access which includes not just advocating for more gardens to grow food, but working with local residents from all backgrounds to ensure access to the gardens and learn more about a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition.  Finally, BNAN is advocating for funds and support to increase Boston's Forested Canopy.  BNAN was designated by the city and state to be the lead organization to be the voice and spearhead the effort to plant more trees, protect existing trees and create a greener city
Program Long-Term Success  BNAN over the long run works with local residents to build a better city.  Underserved neighborhoods deserve safe open space, affordable healthy food, access to recreation for their families.  BNAN can serve as the catalyst to make changes that will reach the above stated goals.  BNAN has proven that community gardens, urban wilds, greenways and more trees can build better neighborhoods and communities.
Program Success Monitored By  Grassroots advocacy takes patience.  Over time persistant effort, wise strategy and a little luck leads to positive results.  BNAN's advocacy strategy is based on a connection to both local residents and local officials.  Success can be measured not only in terms of projects completed and funding secured, but more importantly by the fact that is not just residents who seek out BNAN when presented with a problem that needs resolution.  Local and state officials also want to partner with BNAN as they know we are a respected voice in the community and an organization that can get things done.  So, ultimately, the best measure of success is that after 35 years we are the go to organization for both the community and government officials.
Examples of Program Success 
Examples of success:
Neponset River Greenway is nearing completion-residents of Milton have agreed to completion of trail after years of objection.
East Boston Greenway is nearing completion-Massport has agreed to extension of greenway over its property  after years of delay.
Almost 4 acres of open space in the South End and Lower Roxbury were conveyed to BNAN by the Boston Redevelopment Authority which also released its development rights and allowed the gardens and parks to be permanently protected.

Stewardship of Greenways, Urban Wilds and Urban Forests

BNAN was created in 1977 to steward the 143, newly identified, Urban Wilds in Boston.  Urban Wilds are a special collection of natural lands including woods, meadows, wetlands, shorelines, rock outcrops and hilltops.  The objective of BNAN was and is to protect and steward the Urban Wilds by developing a community of local stewards who will monitor and take care of these special properties.  In 1992, BNAN expanded this concept to include Greenways.  With local residents, BNAN created Greenway Councils for both the Neponset River Greenway and the East Boston Greenway. BNAN now works with both councils to advocate for and steward these two urban trails.  In 2010, both Boston and Massachusetts turned to BNAN for assistance in managing and growing Boston's Urban Forest.  In 2007, Boston announced a goal to expand Boston's Urban Canopy to include 100,000 trees by 2020.  Since then BNAN has assisted neighborhood groups throughout Boston to plant new and take care of existing trees.
Budget  $250,000.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Urban Beautification
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success  BNAN's stewardship program is about to reap the rewards of many years of work.  The Neponset River Greenway may soon be a complete 10 mile pedestrian/bike trail that will connect to the Boston Harbor walk and allow you to bike from Castle Island in South Boston all the way to the MA DCR Blue Hills Reservation in Milton/Qunicy.  The East Boston Greenway may soon be a 3.3 mile pedestrian/bike trail that will take you from Piers Park along Boston Harbor, through the middle of East Boston, past the new YMCA and Library and then around Logan Airport and eventually the the sandy expanse of Constitution Beach.  In addition to the greenways, BNAN has recruited a dedicated corps of Urban Wild stewards that tend to Wilds throughout the city.  The Urban Wilds council hosts hikes, bike tours, rock climbing, cider fests and concerts throughout the year.  Finally, BNAN manages the Boston Urban Forest Council and the Brow Boston Greener programs.  Both help BNAN expand Boston's urban canopy.
Program Long-Term Success  Environmental justice requires that urban residents do not bear the burden of urban congestion, a degraded local environment and no accessible and affordable opportunities for outdoor recreation.  Protecting 800 acres of opens space, advocating for, creating and building stewardship for miles of local pedestrian/bike trails and planting and caring for thousands of trees is what BNAN's stewardship program is all about.  Through the work of BNAN and local resident volunteers, Boston is a more liveable, enjoyable and greener city.  BNAN is the catalyst that affords local residents the opportunity to shape their community and make Boston a better place to live.
Program Success Monitored By  The success of the BNAN stewardship program can measured by miles, acres and trees. The Neponset River and East Boston greenways are nearing completion and will soon be readily accessible 10 and 3.3 mile trails that will benefit hundreds of thousands of Boston residents.  Urban Wilds can be measured in acres.  Today 800 acres are protected with another 400 acres identified but yet to be protected.  Working with local residents BNAN will continue to monitor, steward and protect Urban Wilds in Boston.  BNAN will also help residents and the city plant trees and take care of existing trees.  The goal is to expand, by 2020, coverage by Boston's forest canopy from 29% in 2007 to 35% by 2020.
Examples of Program Success  BNAN's stewardship program has many success stories that are readily measured.  In 1992 neither the Neponset River Greenway nor the East Boston Greenway existed.  Today they are nearing completion.  In 1977, 143 different sites were identified as Urban Wilds.  Today, 110 sites totalling 800 acres are protected and 400 acres may someday be added to that list.  And finally, while a daunting task, BNAN is working to plant 100,000 trees by 2020.  Working with the city, the state, residents, and local businesses, schools and institutions BNAN continues to march toward a goal that will greatly benefit Boston by making it safer, cooler, greener and a better place to live.

Youth Programming

BNAN has two highly successful youth programs.  The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) has employed more than 600 youth over 18 years. The youth represent a wide variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and majority live in low-income homes.  YCC provides valuable job skills and understanding of their surroundings. The goal of the program is to foster a sense of stewardship for Boston's natural and green spaces.  Since its inception, YCC has progressed from clean-ups to substantial construction projects to growing food for local pantries.
The other youth program is Students Learning Through Urban Gardening (SLUG).  SLUG provides Boston school teachers with training and support in urban gardening.  Now in 15 schools, the program integrates a gardening program into the existing curricula enabling teachers to teach basic principals of science and math while at the same time giving their students a chance to learn about good nutrition and have fun getting dirty in the garden.
Budget  $250,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Agriculture
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
This year's short term success in the YCC is linked to an expanded summer program than now includes summer and fall. And a 100% growth in the program from 40 participants to 80 youth now employed by the program.  The increase now includes a new program emphasis: urban agriculture.  The YCC has established an urban farm at the MA DCR Stony Brook Reservation and established a roof top garden at the Boston Medical Center.
The short term success of SLUG will be the implementation of a new strategy. Although the program was in 15 schools in 2011-12, we found that participation in the program was centered around 8 schools. BNAN will now focus on 8 schools with the most enthusiastic teacher participation.  BNAN staff will bring a deeper level of understanding to the teachers involved at the 8 designated schools.  BNAN will continue outreach to expose teachers at other schools so they too will embrace the program and allow us to expand the program where interest is greatest.
Program Long-Term Success 
Urban Youth are underserved when it comes to employment and opportunities for environmental learning.  They also, quite often, have not been afforded the opportunity to understand and appreciate their nearby open space.  The Youth Conservation Corp's long term goal is to provide urban youth with employment skills that are coupled with an understanding and appreciation of the open space in their neighborhood from April to Octyober
With SLUG the ultimate change will occur when Boston Public School teachers have seamlessly integrated a gardening program into their curricula so that urban public school children will learn the basic principals of gardening and more importantly good nutrition.
Program Success Monitored By 
Each year the YCC youth are surveyed, both in the middle of the year and at year end.  Their feedback helps BNAN tailor the next years program so that participating youth will continue to have an enriching experience.
Success of SLUG will be closely monitored by BNAN staff and the teachers involved with the program.  The real measure will be how BNAN takes the new model focusing on  the most enthusiastic teachers and uses their feedback to expand the program.  Ultimately the success will be measured by the number of children the program reaches, as they will benefit from an innovative learning experience that teaches them academic skills and an understanding of good nutrition.
Examples of Program Success 
Examples of success in this years YCC program include: Establishment of a new hummock habitat at Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester; establishing a river trail at Mattapan's Ryan Playground; enhancing the East Boston Greenway; and new this year, growing fresh produce in the Stony Brook Reservation and delivering it to local food pantries.
2012 saw the SLUG program expand to 15 schools and reach over 2,000 students.  The model of teachers teaching teachers with online support has worked as the program added 9 new teachers.  The challenge for the program is to adequately serve teachers with greater needs while providing only basic support to those teachers with existing gardening skills. Our change in strategy is an example of how BNAN can be flexible and adapt the program to meet the needs as expressed by the teachers partnering with us.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Valerie Burns
CEO Term Start Apr 1988
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Valerie Burns has been with BNAN since 1987, first as Executive Director, then as President of BNAN and then also as Vice President of the Trustees of Reservations. She oversees strategic planning and the long-term vision of the organization as well as day-to-day operations, programming and fundraising. Before joining BNAN, Valerie served as Planning Director for the Boston Harbor Association, and Director of Planning for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Valerie earned her Bachelor of Arts in art history, film and photography from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Vidya Tikku Vice President --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 10
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 10,000
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 90%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 9
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Paula Cortes
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cortes Associates
Board Chair Term Apr 2013 - Mar 2015
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term Sept 2011 - Sept 2013

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Amy Auerbach Boston Childrens Museum Voting
Mr. William Constable AW Perry Voting
Ms. Paula Cortes Cortes Associates Voting
Mr. Peter Creighton Land Resources Asso Voting
Ms. Sally Fisher Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Patricia Flaherty Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Kwame A. Mark Freeman University of Massachusetts Voting
Mr. Robert Gittens Northeastern University Voting
Mr. H. David Gold WilmerHale Voting
Mr. Matthew Goode Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. James Hoyte Harvard University Voting
Ms. Anne McQueen McQueen Philanthropic Voting
Ms. Jessica Mink Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Voting
Mr. Jack Russell Russell's Garden Center Voting
Mr. Robert Schmalz Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Joanne Zitek Zitek Associates Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 11
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 7
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 95%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Fiscal Year Apr 01, 2012 to Mar 31, 2013
Projected Income $1,415,700.00
Projected Expense $1,415,525.00
Form 990s

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

Audit Documents

2013 Audited Financials

2012 Audited Financials

2011 Audited Financials

2010 Audited Financials

2009 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Revenue $2,083,302 $1,296,720 $910,690
Total Expenses $1,221,413 $1,475,423 $996,225

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$325,000 -- --
Government Contributions $322,375 $510,156 $140,967
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local $235,019 -- --
    Unspecified $87,356 $510,156 $140,967
Individual Contributions $1,121,658 $523,384 $510,737
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $248,570 $205,185 $188,696
Membership Dues $50,759 $44,869 $45,081
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $14,940 $13,126 $25,209

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Program Expense $984,261 $1,280,403 $821,723
Administration Expense $183,804 $141,736 $136,192
Fundraising Expense $53,348 $53,284 $38,310
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.71 0.88 0.91
Program Expense/Total Expenses 81% 87% 82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 3% 5% 6%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Assets $2,019,314 $1,834,638 $1,306,404
Current Assets $322,077 $867,557 $345,830
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $37,189 $757,582 $40,963
Total Net Assets $1,982,125 $1,077,056 $1,265,441

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $4,600,000.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 4.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose Raising $1,000,000 Endowment for the South End Lower Roxbury community gardens
Campaign Goal $1,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Nov 2011 - Dec 2012
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $737,365.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 8.66 1.15 8.44

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS 990s.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.



The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?