New Bedford Creates Historical Teaching Garden With Support from GRO1000 Garden and Greenspace Program

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New Bedford Creates Historical Teaching Garden With Support from GRO1000 Garden and Greenspace Program

City leaders revitalize public greenspace designed to teach residents about New Bedford’s history
Friday, May 12, 2017 - 8:20am

CAMPAIGN: Scotts Miracle-Gro | Community Enhancement

CONTENT: Press Release

NEW BEDFORD, Mass., May 12, 2017 /3BL Media/ – The City of New Bedford received a grant to fund the development of The Abolition Row Park Project, a community greenspace designed to revitalize vacant property facing the Nathan and Mary Johnson House and the Friends Meeting House, both properties on the National Historic Register. The space will become a teaching garden that will focus on New Bedford’s history as a community of tolerance and a haven for freedom seekers escaping the institution of slavery. The project is supported by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation’s and The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ national GRO1000 gardens and greenspaces program.

GRO1000 is The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation’s commitment to support the creation of more than 1,000 community gardens and greenspaces throughout the U.S. by 2018, in conjunction with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s 150th anniversary. To date, more than 900 community-based projects have received GRO1000 funding.

Spearheaded by the New Bedford Historical Society, Abolition Row Park will become an inviting public greenspace that focuses on local history and creates more foot traffic in a new area for cultural heritage tourism within the Seaport Cultural District. Educational kiosks and symbols erected in the park will tell the story of New Bedford’s role in the Abolitionist Movement and the Underground Railroad. Local school children will aide in the creation of a Monarch Butterfly Pollination Highway within the park, correlating to the Underground Railroad and the city residents who created a highway to freedom.

“Abolition Row Park will be a welcome addition to New Bedford’s parks and green spaces, and it will complement our historic downtown. The park will be a place for visitors to learn about our city’s past as a major stop on the Underground Railroad as a beacon of tolerance and safety for those seeking freedom,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “We are thankful the U.S. Conference of Mayors and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation recognized the value of this project to our community with this generous grant.” 

TheGRO1000 New Bedford event kicks off at 11 a.m. on May 12 at Abolition Row Park at 18 & 20 Seventh Street, New Bedford, MA 02740. Youth and local leaders will join volunteers, including ScottsMiracle-Gro associates and GRO1000 national and local partners, in garden-related educational activities. In addition, a youth from New Bedford will be presented with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation’s Give Back To GroYouth Gardener Award.

“Abolition Row Park is a truly unique greenspace that will connect New Bedford residents, and future generations, to the benefits of nature while also teaching them about their City’s history,” said Su Lok, Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Vice President. “It’s an honor to partner with Mayor Mitchell and the New Bedford preservation community on this innovative project.”

GRO1000 New Bedford was made possible through the combined efforts of local partners, including the City of New Bedford, the New Bedford Historical Society, COGdesign, the Island Foundation, the Demoulas Foundation and national partners including The U.S. Conference of Mayors, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, Plant A Row for the Hungry,, the Garden Writers Association Foundation, and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The New Bedford GRO1000 event is one of several public installation events being held in the U.S. in 2017. For more information, visit and follow ScottsMiracle-Gro on Twitter at, #GRO1000.

About The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission is to inspire, connect and cultivate communities of purpose in the areas of environmental improvement, youth empowerment, and community gardens and greenspaces. The Foundation carries out its mission by funding qualifying charitable entities that support its core initiatives in the form of grants, endowments, and multi-year capital gifts. The Foundation is deeply rooted in preserving our planet, empowering the next generation, and helping create healthier communities. For more information, visit​

About The U.S. Conference of Mayors
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,210 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Find us at, on, or follow us on Twitter at

Molly Jennings
(561)681-7683 (office)
(561)350-5734 (mobile)

Mary S. Rapoza
City of New Bedford
508-961.3015 (office)
774-328-6053 (cell)

Lee Blake
New Bedford Historical Society 
(774) 929-3035 (office) 
(508) 971-8305 (cell)