City Soil is a community-based business serving a vital role in developing Boston‟s rapidly-growing
agricultural infrastructure. For over 30 years, City Soil has provided innovative programs that are the basis for
public policy, regulations, education, and best practices for composting – all in support of sustainable
agriculture in Boston and the Commonwealth. In May 2013, Zoo New England leased City Soil a lot on
American Legion Highway in Mattapan to serve as our retail location and as the site for an Ecovation Center
(Attachment C). This groundbreaking Urban Agriculture Demonstration Project for composting food waste,
Zoo manure, and landscape organics was funded through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of
Agriculture (MDAR) to City Soil and the Suffolk County Conservation District. Since early 2014, City Soil‟s
operations have been harmed by the actions of the private vendor on the adjacent public parcel, which it
occupies under a contract with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). And in April 2014, the
DCR notified City Soil that we would be evicted off our leased property. On Thursday, May 8
City Soil
received notice that we must vacate the premises by May 17
, 2014. We request your support by calling
and emailing Governor Deval Patrick to respectfully ask him to stop the eviction of City Soil.

City Soil has deep roots in Boston. We have earned the trust and respect of Boston’s rapidly expanding
urban agriculture community – evidenced by the list of supporting organizations and community
testimonials in Attachments A, B, and F. Working with The Food Project and the Dudley Street Neighborhood
Initiative, we supplied soil and “grow-how” for the groups‟ two-acre city farm. At ReVision House, we
developed a research and demonstration program, which provided job training and employment opportunities
in fields related to urban agriculture. We provide products and services that allow the city‟s community
gardens and urban farms to grow local, healthy food for its residents. The continuation of this business is in
jeopardy as a result of the actions leading up to the scheduled eviction.

Our approach to land stewardship affords numerous benefits. From greenhouse gas reduction, to better
nutrition, to sustainable economic development through “green collar” jobs, City Soil is a key part of a vision
for a vibrant agricultural sector that is being realized across the region. If City Soil is evicted by the
Commonwealth from the land dedicated to the project, the MDAR grant is in jeopardy, as well as City
Soil‟s daily business operations.

Through a no-bid contract, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) recently
awarded the land occupied by City Soil to Landscape Express for its commercial sales of stone and mulch
products, despite City Soil having a signed lease with the Zoo through the end of 2014. This land has been
under the Zoo‟s care and custody for more than 20 years. Our requests to the DCR for access to documents that
pertain to Landscape Express‟ bid for the parcel and subsequent award have received no response, a violation
of public record request laws that apply to all state agencies. We have deep reservations about the process
by which Landscape Express was awarded the Zoo parcel, which was explicitly outside the scope of the
original bid, and maintain our right to it under our lease with the Zoo (Attachments D, E, and G).

City Soil and our supporters feel that the Commonwealth‟s land is a precious, finite resource, and should be in
the care of those who will put it to the highest use. We expect our public agencies, as steward of the
Commonwealth’s land, to act on behalf of its citizens. We remain dedicated to placing the
Commonwealth at the center of sustainable agriculture, energy innovation, and just economic and social
development. We also insist on a fair and transparent process whenever and wherever land is
transferred by the Commonwealth to another entity, whether public or private. Both MDAR and DCR
are under the control of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EoEEA) and its Secretary,
Rick Sullivan. City Soil and our supporters will be meeting with Secretary Sullivan on Wednesday, May 14
to respectfully ask him to reverse the decision to evict City Soil and to commit to an open and transparent
process for all future land contracts in the Commonwealth.
Support City Soil:

Please spread this document to your networks. Thank you for your support of City Soil (


350 Massachusetts
Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE)
BioCycle Magazine
Bootstrap Compost
Boston Building Resource Center
Boston Green Blog
Boston Natural Areas Network
Boston Park Advocates
Bountiful Brookline
Brookwood Farm
Cooperative Energy, Recycling & Organics (CERO)
City Fresh Foods
City Growers
Clark-Cooper Community Gardens
Clean Water Action (CWA)
Conservation Law Foundation
Earthworm, Inc.
The Food Project
Franklin Park Coalition
Green City Growers
Green Dorchester
Haley House
MA Right to Know GMOs
Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition
Mel King, South End Technology Center
Olmsted Green
Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP)
Restoring Roots Cooperative
Revision Urban Farm
Seeds of Solidarity Farm
Suffolk County Conservation District
Urban Farm Institute
Urban Food Forest Coalition
Wakefield Estate


"City Soil is a critical source of materials for my urban agriculture business. Losing them would be
a step in the wrong direction for local food and urban farming. We support their initiative and are
one of their biggest customers."
- J essie Banhazl, CEO & Founder, Green City Growers
“We support City Soil they are locally owned and operated and committed to sustainable practices.
The compost City Soil provides is needed in the community.

We support their efforts in maintaining their current site. City Soil is a Member in good standing
with the Roslindale Board of Trade. We wish them every success.”
- Lisa A. Modecker, Officer, Roslindale Board of Trade

“Bruce Fulford is a local resident living in Roslindale, and a small business man doing good work.
I would like to think that we can assist in his struggle.”
- Anthony Paciulli, President/CEO at Meetinghouse Bank

“Suffolk County Conservation District (SCCD) has been talking with City Soil and doing
significant projects for ten or more years. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
(MDAR) project was to be the most fruitful, especially because it included substantial experiential
involvement of young local people. This is now threatened by the invasive actions by a competitor
and the failure of the (DCR) to restrain their contractor from materially blocking our ability to
implement this grant project.”
- Matthew Goode, Suffolk County Conservation District

“Massachusetts needs to grow infrastructure to keep organic and recyclable materials out of
incinerators and landfill. City Soil is a critical component in this infrastructure and it is the
exceptional composter - processing yard and food waste from Boston and completing the cycle by
returning rich compost to farms and gardens right here in the city.”
- Lor Holmes, Cooperative Energy, Recycling, and Organics (CERO)

“For the past ten years, Boston Natural Areas Network has partnered with the BU School of Public
Health to test Boston‟s compost to ensure its safety. Quality compost is the lifeblood of any
community garden.

Every year each garden needs a clean supply of compost to replenish the soil for a new harvest.
City Soil provides this essential service, and BNAN is concerned that DCR‟s eviction decision
will negatively affect the availability of quality compost.”
- Vidya Tikku, Interim Director, Boston Natural Areas Network

“We applauded Governor Patrick‟s recent announcement regarding final regulations for a statewide
ban on commercial food waste disposal. Likewise, we support local small businesses, such as City
Soil, that are turning food waste into healthy soil to grow nutritious food, and thus are deeply
concerned about the anticipated direct and indirect effects of DCR‟s eviction decision.”
- Veronica Eady, Vice President and Director, Healthy Communities & Environmental Justice
Program, Conservation Law Foundation

“[I am] very concerned about the eviction. I have supported the contributions [City Soil has] made
to support community efforts in urban gardens. Please call a community meeting after you stop the
eviction so residents can express the concerns about the states action. “
- Mel King, MIT, South End Technology Center

“City Soil is a very positive force with an intelligent, thoughtful and insightful staff who bring
health to a city that produces a great deal of waste that can be composted and turned into healthy
jobs and healthy soil for all.
- Ferriss Buck Donham, Horticulture teacher, DOC's Boston Pre Release Center

“City Soil is a provider of high quality soil and compost to urban farms and has been expanding
their capacity as the demand for compost has grown. Strengthening urban communities‟ ability to
grow more of their own fresh fruits and vegetables directly complements the Governor‟s and
Mayor‟s vision for healthier residents in this city and state.
- Glynn Lloyd, Chief Operating Officer, City Fresh Foods Inc.

“Higher Ground Farm believes in supporting local businesses, and in growing the urban agriculture
economy in Boston. For this reason, Higher Ground buys its soil from City Soil and uses City
Soil‟s composting services. Higher Ground Farm values City Soil and supports its growth in
- J ohn Stoddard, Founding Farmer, Higher Ground Farm

“The Food Project depends on City Soil as a supplier of materials to its urban farms and
greenhouse, which grow over 20,000 pounds of produce annually for low-income families and
hunger-relief organizations in Boston and provides year-round community growing space to
gardeners in the Dudley neighborhood. A thriving local composting operation is a crucial element
in any sustainable agricultural system and will be central to the long-term success of the emergent
urban agriculture sector in Boston.”
- Sutton Kiplinger, Regional Director, The Food Project

“Healthy and fertile soil and compost are critical to the success of any agricultural
enterprise. Given Boston‟s ongoing surge in urban agriculture, we believe the expertise and
commitment demonstrated by City Soil is a major asset that should be preserved and protected.”
- Shani Fletcher, Farm Manager, Victory Programs’ ReVision Urban Farm

“City Soil is an important part of the local sustainable agriculture scene in the city, and I am
concerned that this move by DCR is jeopardizing their survival.”
- Patrick Keaney, Boston resident

“City Soil is developing the Mattapan Ecovation Center for the space that is being unjustly taken
from them. This center will serve as a necessary education site for Boston residents about the
benefits of composting.

When Boston students and residents visit the Ecovation Center they will be able to witness first
hand the wonders of composting, and learn about the role that composting can play in healing our
"City Soil". Boston is moving forward with exciting green initiatives, including: Greenovate
Boston and Article 89. Please make sure that the Mattapan Ecovation Center can be a central part
of Boston's exciting green future as well.”
- George Zahka, Hyde Park resident

“I've worked with numerous businesses and non profits in the area to help make Boston the
greenest city in the country, and of course push Massachusetts to be the greenest state. It has
recently come to my attention that one of these amazing organizations may be evicted from their
space. I sincerely hope that action will be taken to prevent DCR's unjust eviction of City Soil from
the Zoo parcel.”
- Cameron Bruns, Boston Green Blog

“I applaud City Soil for its operation of its composting site at the Boston Nature Center in
Mattapan. They have partnered with the Suffolk County Conservation District to develop the
Mattapan Ecovation Center… This is important for the environmental, educational, and smart
business development of Boston, as well as a model for forward thinking cities across the country.”
- Ruth Feldman, Social Entrepreneurial Expertise & Development
(SEED), former President of Boston Greenspace Alliance

“The work City Soil [has a grant to pursue] – an urban agriculture demonstration on state-owned
land leased from Zoo New England - is a valuable use of State monies and resources, please let
them continue on their current site. I think we need to promote the work City Soil is doing.”
- Carl Kurz, Founder, Bikes Not Bombs

“Clark Cooper Community Garden (CCCG) has worked cooperatively with City Soil for many
years. Bruce Fulford, the head of City Soil, is a member of the local community and understands
local concerns - generous with advice and with compost, conscientious about hiring community
members and attentive to community concerns.”
- Kathleen Schnaidt, CCCG Secretary

“For many years our community garden received poor quality compost and mulch, littered with bits
of trash. Since City Soil began to do the city's composting we have had rich, dark, wonderful mulch
delivered to our garden each year.

City Soil is a locally-owned business with a deep commitment to green practices. With their
involvement I believe the city can drastically increase food waste/ compost programs, enhance
community gardens and tree planting efforts, and improve the American Legion Hwy site.”
- Christine Poff, Franklin Park Coalition

“Particularly because of Boston‟s industrial history and widespread lead contamination in urban
soils and growth urban agriculture, I believe it is crucial to support businesses that work directly on
behalf of a broad community to provide high-quality soils, education, and economic opportunities.
City Soil is a key business in Boston‟s resilient development. They understand the linkages
between urban food security, food waste reprocessing, energy security, healthy soils, and local
- Eliana Blaine, Save That Stuff, Inc.

“The decision to evict City Soil seems shortsighted indeed and an example of state agencies
working at cross purposes . This action should have had a community process.”
- Sherry Flashman, Consultant, Oasis at Ballou Urban Agriculture project

“How are concerns for the long term well being of City Soil‟s immediate constituents being
considered; what about the concerns to cultivate habits, practices, policies that support sustainable
eco systems in urban environments? This seems like a highly flawed decision on so many levels.”
- Paula R. Elliott, Jamaica Plain resident


Th e Ma t t a p a n Ec o v a t i on Ce nt e r

© 2014 Bruce Fulford

Vision: Transform 20 acres of polluted public land into a national model for
community-based urban agriculture and climate change resilience. The Mattapan
Ecovation Center will host a sophisticated and cost-effective organic recycling facility
that powers a four-season farm, employs local residents, and restores an ecological
landscape in one of Boston’s most underserved neighborhoods.

The Mattapan Ecovation Center will provide the following:

• Locally controlled and accountable composting operations

• Protection of host community air quality using best odor control technology

• Year-round community greenhouse for educational and community benefit

• Job training, employment and community service programming

• Reduced greenhouse gas emissions from Boston organic waste handling

• Abundant and safe compost, soil, urban forest-based mulches

• Affordable supplies for urban gardeners, growers, parks, schoolyards, BHA

• Carbon-negative bio-heating system for greenhouses, office and workspace

• Landscape-based storm water treatment and recharge to groundwater

• Ecological landscape and Low Impact Design (LID) supplies

• Ecological landscape education for green industry professionals

• Reduced use of toxic materials in landscape industry

• More efficient land use at existing composting sites

© 2014 Bruce Fulford/ City Soil & Greenhouse LLC

Specific goals:

• Establish state of –the--‐ art, „good neighbor‟ composting facility on existing 5 acre
BPWD/Mass Audubon compost site.

• Secure care and custody of state--‐ owned land on American Legion Highway for responsible,
locally controlled organic recycling, education, training and materials distribution to
community residents.

• Reduce net cost to City of Boston for responsible management of residential organic wastes
(leaf and yard waste, food waste) and organics generated by BPWD, BPRD, BHA and BPS.

• Construct local organics recycling capacity for Boston institutions and businesses to comply
with Oct. 1, 2014 ban on food waste disposal and for BPWD to comply with the existing year--‐
round yard waste disposal ban.

• Develop permanent FEMA--‐ compliant storm debris management capacity for
Emerald Necklace urban forest, BPRD and DCR

• Build 3 acres of terraced growing beds for fruit, vegetable, and flower crops.

• Establish 2 acres of specialized habitat and wildlife forage for threatened species.

• Erect 10,000 square foot greenhouse in 2014 that is heated by compost bioenergy and captures
CO2 from composting materials.

• Capture and utilize 400,000 therms of bioenergy from composting Boston organics,
and mitigate 5,000,000 lbs CO2e annually.

• Protect local air quality; capture and filter odors, minimize dust and reduce diesel fuel
emissions during composting and shredding of materials.

• Install 10 acres of high performance storm water management infrastructure in flood prone
zones of contiguous land in Mattapan, Roslindale and Dorchester.

• Increase storm surge bioretention and treatment capacity by 1 million gallons for runoff from
City--‐ and State owned properties in Boston.

• Reduce flooding and associated transportation interruptions on key traffic arteries serving more
than 50,000 cars/day.

• Reduce costs to Boston Water & Sewer Commission and ratepayers for compliance with EPA
NPDES Phase II MS4 permit, catch--‐ basin cleaning and disposal.

• Secure state, federal and private funding, New Market tax credits and IDB‟s for innovation
initiatives and infrastructure investments.

• Offset costs to City of Boston and DCR by avoided expenses for services and products.


Boston-based City Soil & Greenhouse LLC (CSG) operates the City‟s of Boston

Public Works
composting site in Mattapan. CSG has provided vision and

operational expertise to Boston‟s
composters, land stewards and agricultural

community for 25 years. CSG provides responsible
organic recycling services

and premium quality compost, soil, mulch, and storm water treatment

CSG is currently completing a $50,000 Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

design and
feasibility analysis for an integrated composting and greenhouse

system for Zoo New England in
Franklin Park. In 2006, CSG convened 12

stakeholders to complete a $450,000 project at the
Boston Nature Center and

Olmsted Green to mitigate pollutants from construction and developed

landscapes. The project showcased innovative and practical applications of

compost, urban forest
woodchips and amended soils on more than 20 acres of

the Charles River watershed.

Current land uses:
Boston Public Works compost site is located in Mattapan on 5 acres of the

Boston Nature Center.
It is accessible from American Legion Highway between

Walk Hill and Morton Street, and
connected by walking trail to the Boston

Nature Center. CSG operates an adjacent composting
and landscape products

yard serving landscapers, gardeners and urban growers on the Zoo

Parking Lot site that has been leased from Zoo New England since Spring 2013.

Land abutting Boston‟s compost site and CSG‟s adjacent commercial site on the

Zoo Overflow
Parking Lot consists of stony fill deposited during the construction

of American Legion Highway
and Morton Street. It lacks topsoil and contributes

to flooding of local roads and the pollution of
the Charles River, the Muddy

River, and Boston Harbor. It is overgrown with invasive vegetation,

targeted by illegal dumpers, and has accumulated litter from flood-borne

floatables and
windblown trash. Large berms formed around the site from

materials left behind by previous site
operators contain weeds and trash mixed

in with compost, street sweepings and soil.

City Soil & Greenhouse LLC will convene stakeholders to redesign, remediate,

and develop the
composting sites in Mattapan, Roslindale and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods. These composting
sites serve Boston‟s expanded municipal yard waste collection, Zoo New England, BPS and other
schools, state

institutions, and local private sector generators. This initiative will also redesign

and manage the Boston Parks Department‟s composting site to optimize the

handling of leaves,
brush, trees, stumps and wood chips, horse manure and

bedding, and horticultural refuse from the
BPRD Franklin Park yard. A

permanent FEMA-approved location will be designated for
processing storm

debris from BPRD‟s urban forest, and end-use plans developed that derive

maximum local value and incur least cost for the resultant surge of woody

biomass from these

Stormwater infrastructure
The land stewardship practices and products generated by the Mattapan

Ecovation Center will be
used on public and private landscapes that encompass

more than 5000 acres of Boston‟s urban
watershed. City Soil will use materials

produced on-site to build a regenerative storm water
treatment system and

functional and highly productive landscapes. Invasive species that now

the landscape will be replaced with selected native and non-invasive high

plantings to
enhance wildlife habitat and functional value of the landscape. The

infrastructure and facilities will
be developed abutting the DOC- Boston Pre-Release Center, around the margins of composting
sites the City‟s Public Works

and the Zoo Overflow Parking Lot and the Department of Youth

Connelly Center.

Agriculture Supporting Community
Public land and facilities would be rehabilitated for direct community benefit

including horticultural
training, employment and therapy, and for research,

demonstration and education purposes.
Growing space in the greenhouse and

terraces will be used for community-oriented programming to
produce food, cut

flowers and ornamental crops, and multipurpose and storm water buffering

plantings and wildlife habitat. Harvested food and cut flowers would be

available to residents of
the Hearth Elder Housing complex at Olmsted Green,

the Shattuck Hospital, VA hospitals in
Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury, Rosie‟s

Place, Haley House, Pine Street Inn, and inmates and
their families at the DOC

Pre-Release and DYS Connolly Center facilities.

Job training and employment
This program will train and employ at-risk youth and adults in ecological

landscape design,
construction and maintenance, equipment operation, safety

and OSHA compliance, and intensive
year-round food production. This program

will build marketable „green-collar‟ job skills and
employment experience for

adjudicated youth and adults from the community, veterans and City
Soil will

also work with the Youth Build and other programs for teens and young adults

to provide hands-on skill building in ecological landscape design and


Phased Implementation
Planning and implementation will be managed in phases. Core elements of the

construction and storm water infrastructure will be developed during

the first phase of site cleanup,
and in operation of the City‟s composting site and

an environmental landscape and urban
agriculture products retail center.

Phased development of program elements will be financed through a blend of

financial instruments.
Contracts for essential services and product sales form the

core of a self-sustaining business model
for the compost and greenhouse

operations. Proposed infrastructure investments can access bond,
debt and

equity financing, New Market Tax Credits, federal and state grants, targeted

philanthropic initiatives, and impact investment. Low–interest debt financing

from the Recycling
Loan Fund would be used for dedicated composting

equipment. The first phase of the bioenergy
recovery system from the City‟s

compost site can be funded from operational costs of the facility
and grant

support from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MCEC). MDEP‟s existing

grant programs will underwrite a substantial portion of the composting and

bioenergy system design
and implementation. In-kind contributions and

program funding from strategic project partners will
support specific elements of

planning, construction, and maintenance activities.

This vital public asset will be built on longstanding relationships with state

agencies, the City of
Boston, local community groups, non-profits and

businesses, and philanthropic stakeholders.


Commissioner Jack Murray
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
251 Causeway St., Suite 600
Boston MA 02114

Dear Jack,

I am writing directly to you regarding the notification we received on Thursday, April 3 from Zoo
New England CFO and VP Robert George that DCR was compelling ZNE to terminate, with two
days notice, City Soil & Greenhouse LLC's lease, and to remove our environmental landscape
materials, infrastructure and equipment from the site that we have rented at the entrance to the
site accessed off of American Legion Highway in Roslindale.

If I understand this correctly, DCR is demanding that my Roslindale and Mattapan-based
company cede our primary, publicly accessible space that we have leased from ZNE for an
MDAR-funded Urban Agriculture Demonstration Project and has or is intending to award,
without any competitive bidding process, the exclusive use of this land to Landscape Express for
its commercial sales of stone products and mulch.

This publicly owned property has been under Zoo New England's care and custody for at least 20
years, and was specifically excluded from consideration during the first and second round of
DCR's 2013 RFR's for the cleanup and professional management of the Boston composting site.
(DCR-565 and DCR-580). In both the bid documents, and during subsequent bidders meetings
that were convened by DCR at the DCR Boston composting site, the use of this and all other
portions of the Zoo Overflow Parking lot were specifically defined as being under the jurisdiction
of Zoo New England. This was stated by DCR representatives Rob Lowell and Shab Khan in
direct response to questions posed by two prospective bidders that were publicly witnessed and
answered at the second bidders meeting on the site to address RFR 580.

In early March, 2014 MDAR awarded funding to the Suffolk County Conservation District and
City Soil & Greenhouse based on our lease agreement with the Zoo for the use of the ZNE
parking lot site, and on our team's extensive and successful track record of completing complex
and innovative projects, and managing challenging materials in urban and agricultural settings.
City Soil certified the site with Mass DEP and the City of Boston Public Health Commission for
our commercial composting uses in November 2014, consistent with the General Composting
Permit under the modified 310 CMR 19.00.

On April Fools Day (Tuesday, 4/1/14), ZNE requested that we meet with Robert George and
Marshall Judges at the Zoo; we were informed in that 2:30 pm meeting that DCR had proposed a
new site plan that would displace us from our leased parcel, and supplied us with a very low-
resolution map delineating new boundaries. We deemed DCR's proposed disruption of our
existing and planned operations and activities unacceptable, and verbally detailed our reasons in
the meeting. Mr. George and Mr. Judges said that they would convey this to DCR, and then
follow up with us to determine next steps. I spoke to Nick Gove on site in the Zoo Overflow
Parking Lot on Wednesday (4/2) and reiterated City Soil's commitment to maintaining our use of
the site that we have rented and to also assuring unfettered access by Landscape Express to their

On 4/4, Robert George told me via telephone that DCR had instructed ZNE to evict us from key
operational space by Saturday April 5. Robert subsequently emailed me and called late on
Thursday afternoon 4/4/14 to inform me that ZNE had persuaded DCR to forestall City Soil's
eviction until April 9. On Friday 4/4 I telephoned Kevin Whalen, who instructed me to take up

our issues with the Zoo, and not with DCR, since ZNE has the land use agreement with the state
and we are ZNE's tenant.

On Saturday 4/5 at 7:45 AM, City Soil's site manager Charles Williams called to inform me that
Landscape Express was moving our concrete push-wall blocks from our site with their excavator
and placing them across the entrance to another portion of our rented site, effectively blocking
deliveries of products that we are moving in and out of the site and restricting access by our
commercial customers and vendors. When I arrived on-site, a DCR employee who reports to
Nick Gove was in a DCR truck, supervising or observing these actions and the installation of a
new gate across the common entrance to the site. I informed Landscapes Express management
that the actions they were undertaking contravened our lease agreement, and the subsequent email
provided by Robert George that delayed our eviction until April 9. DCR's contractor (Landscape
Express) continued their operations to block off our site, and also removed at least 7 of our
concrete 'Jersey' barriers.

I called Robert George and Marshall Judges, as Kevin Whalen had requested, but was unable to
reach them and left voice mails instead. I called State Trooper Gene Lawrence of the Milton
Barracks, and is familiar with the site history and the issues surrounding site access. I left a voice
mail informing him of the active interference with our site operations. City Soil's business
manager Lisa Yane reported the incident to the Boston Police Department.

I was on site most of Saturday 4/5; if Mr. Gove returned later during the day I did not see him and
did not speak with him, nor was I contacted by any other DCR staff to inform me of any of the
actions that were taking place with the DCR's apparent support, approval or direction. When I
left the site at 6 pm a new gate was installed and had been padlocked by Landscape Express,
barring our ability to access critical portions of the site and in violation of the agreement we had
committed to DCR's Holly Richardson in November 2013 to share accessibility and not restrict
the other's flow of traffic through either entrance following Landscape Express bid award. We
have complied with that directive 100%, including letting their staff in to the site when their key
was lost, and plowing out the entrance to the site.

As of today, April 7 2014, our site has been left exposed to theft, and illegal dumping, and our
access to free commerce is severely restricted. We cannot import products to the site in large
volume trucks from other vendors, and the re-engineered access and circuitous route into our site
confuses our customers and is harming our business. Even DCR's directive to Zoo New England
to enforce our eviction by April 9th, 2014 was violated by the State's concessionaire/contractor on
Saturday 4/5, and this took place under the direction of DCR staff. Additional placement of
restrictive blocks belonging to Landscapes Express that cut off our site access took place again on
Sunday 4/6.

I am at a loss to understand how DCR could justify these actions. Could you clarify for me in the
next 24 hours if this is actually DCR's intended decision-making process and management
approach for this invaluable public asset? City Soil‟s ability to conduct business has been
severely hampered and we are evaluating our options to seek immediate injunctive relief.

Bruce Fulford
City Soil & Greenhouse, LLC


April 29, 2014

Richard K. Sullivan, Jr., Secretary
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114

Re: Department of Conservation and Recreation Decision to Evict City Soil

Dear Secretary Sullivan,

The undersigned organizations and businesses ask that you reverse the Department of
Conservation and Recreation‟s (DCR) decision to evict City Soil from the portion of the Zoo
New England (the Zoo) overflow parking lot that City Soil has occupied since May of 2013.
While this land is owned by DCR, the Zoo has occupied it with DCR‟s approval for over 20 years
and leased it to various users. City Soil‟s lease agreement with the Zoo for this site extends to
December of 2014 and may be renewed by both parties.

Our understanding of the facts mirrors those described by Marilyn Ray Smith in her April 23

letter to you. The undersigned are concerned with this matter due to the potential impacts it may
have on City Soil and the Boston urban agriculture community. City Soil‟s founder and president,
Bruce Fulford, has long been an environmental steward of Massachusetts public lands and is
highly regarded by the communities where he works for his leadership and support of fellow
urban agriculture entrepreneurs and community gardeners.

The Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) recently awarded a competitive grant to City
Soil to create an innovative composting facility integrated with bioenergy and agriculture on the
site in question. Yet, instead of honoring City Soil‟s leasehold agreement with the Zoo to ensure
the success of this DAR-funded project, DCR awarded Landscape Express, an out-of state
business, a no-bid contract (with no advance notice to City Soil) to have exclusive use and control
of this very same site.

Since you oversee these two agencies, we want to draw your attention to their respective
conflicting positions with regard to this contested site. Commissioner Watson has indicated that
the DAR-funded composting project can only go forward on the specific site described in City

Soil‟s proposal, the site in dispute. Meanwhile, Commissioner Murray decided to evict City Soil
from the site. DCR‟s decision to grant exclusive use of the site to Landscape Express harms City
Soil‟s business, and in effect, harms the community as well. At a minimum, in the interest of
public transparency, such a decision merits an open procurement process. For these reasons, we
urge you to direct DCR to rescind its eviction of City Soil from the Zoo. By retaining use of this
property, with a willingness to share access through it with Landscape Express, City Soil can
carry out its leading-edge DAR-funded project and its worthwhile mission to educate local
residents about the benefits of composting and environmental stewardship. City Soil at least
should have a fair chance for the opportunity to do so.

The effects of DCR‟s decision will reverberate throughout the local food community. Indeed,
each of the undersigned organizations may be impacted by DCR‟s decision to evict City Soil as

Boston Natural Areas Network works to preserve, expand and improve urban open space
through community organizing, acquisition, ownership, programming, development and
management of special kinds of urban land–community gardens, urban wilds, and greenways. For
the past ten years, BNAN has partnered with the BU School of Public Health to test Boston‟s
compost to ensure its safety. Quality compost is the lifeblood of any community garden. In
Boston; there are 175 community gardens with greater than 4,150 individual plots that annually
produce more than 800,000 pounds of fresh healthy food. Every year each garden needs a clean
supply of compost to replenish the soil for a new harvest. City Soil provides this essential service,
and BNAN is concerned that DCR‟s eviction decision will negatively affect the availability of
quality compost.

City Fresh Foods is a local independent business with a mission to make Boston‟s community
healthier by delivering fresh, wholesome meals to organizations throughout the Boston area.
Since City Soil provides compost to local urban farms growing food for community food service
businesses, City Fresh Foods sees this fellow independent business as a critical piece of Greater
Boston‟s efforts to build a secure and healthy local food system. City Fresh Foods is therefore
concerned about the impact of DCR‟s eviction decision.

Conservation Law Foundation is a New England-based environmental advocacy group. CLF‟s
Farm and Food Initiative, housed in our Healthy Communities and Environmental Justice
Program, advocates for policies that expand urban agriculture opportunities, improve healthy
food access in low-income neighborhoods, and reduce food waste. We applauded Governor
Patrick‟s recent announcement regarding final regulations for a statewide ban on commercial
food waste disposal. Likewise, we support local small businesses, such as City Soil, that are
turning food waste into healthy soil to grow nutritious food, and thus are deeply concerned about
the anticipated direct and indirect effects of DCR‟s eviction decision.

The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social
change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, the Food Project works with over 150
teenagers and thousands of volunteers to farm on 40 acres in eastern Massachusetts in the towns
and cities of Beverly, Boston, Lincoln, and Lynn. The Food Project depends on City Soil as a
supplier of materials to its urban farms and greenhouse, which grow over 20,000 pounds of
produce annually for low-income families and hunger-relief organizations in Boston and provides
year-round community growing space to gardeners in the Dudley neighborhood. A thriving local
composting operation is a crucial element in any sustainable agricultural system and will be
central to the long-term success of the emergent urban agriculture sector in Boston.

Higher Ground Farm is Boston‟s first rooftop farm. It is located on the roof of the Boston
Design Center, a 55,000 square foot space in the Seaport neighborhood of South Boston. Higher
Ground Farm grows greens, tomatoes, herbs, and other crops, which it markets through Boston
restaurants and direct to the community through its on-site farm stand. Higher Ground Farm

believes in supporting local businesses, and in growing the urban agriculture economy in Boston.
For this reason, Higher Ground buys its soil from City Soil and uses City Soil‟s composting
services. Higher Ground Farm values City Soil and supports its growth in Boston.

Victory Programs’ ReVision Urban Farm is an innovative urban agriculture project, the
mission of which is to increase access to local, affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate
food for shelter residents and our extended community. Healthy and fertile soil and compost are
critical to the success of any agricultural enterprise. Given Boston‟s ongoing surge in urban
agriculture, we believe the expertise and commitment demonstrated by City Soil is a major asset
that should be preserved and protected.

Again, we urge you to reconsider DCR‟s decision to evict City Soil and allow City Soil to fulfill
the goals of its DAR funding. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please do not hesitate
to contact Veronica Eady at or (617) 850-1730 if you care to discuss this issue


Veronica Eady
Vice President and Director
Healthy Communities & Environmental Justice Program
Conservation Law Foundation

Vidya Tikku
Interim Director
Boston Natural Areas Network

Glynn Lloyd
Chief Operating Officer
City Fresh Foods Inc.

John Stoddard
Founding Farmer
Higher Ground Farm

Sutton Kiplinger
Regional Director
The Food Project

Shani Fletcher
Farm Manager
Victory Programs‟ ReVision Urban Farm



100 Goddard Avenue
Brookline, MA 02445
April 23, 2014

Richard K. Sullivan, Jr., Secretary
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114

Dear Secretary Sullivan:

I am writing to ask that you reverse the decision by the Department of Conservation and Recreation
(DCR) to evict City Soil from the portion of the Zoo New England (the Zoo) overflow parking lot that
City Soil has occupied since May of 2013 under a lease agreement with the Zoo – land owned by DCR
that the Zoo has occupied with DCR‟s approval for more than twenty years.

I am a retired attorney, having served for almost 24 years (1987 to 2010) as chief legal counsel –
including seven years as deputy commissioner – for the Commonwealth‟s child support enforcement
agency at the Department of Revenue. I am thus aware of the types of complex policy, political, and
legal challenges you face as Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
(EAA). I am currently a fellow in the Access to Justice Fellows Program, a project of the Supreme
Judicial Court‟s Access to Justice Commission, which enables retired lawyers to volunteer with
nonprofits and legal services organizations to provide critical assistance to underserved populations.
My focus is on state and federal food security policy as well as expanding opportunities for urban
farming and sustainable agriculture to serve the needs of low-income residents of Boston. In this
capacity, I have worked as a volunteer policy advocate with the Urban Farming Institute and other
organizations committed to these goals, including City Soil.

My understanding of the facts is as follows: In May of 2013, City Soil leased from the Zoo space in the
Zoo‟s overflow parking lot; in December of 2013, additional space from the parking lot was added to
the lease for a term running until December of 2014. At its expense, City Soil cleaned up more than
20,000 square feet of overgrown trash-filled landscape in preparation for developing the Mattapan
Ecovation Center. City Soil‟s presence and the efforts of other local site stewards have deterred
illegally dumping at that site, a practice that previously was unchecked. In March of 2014, City Soil in
partnership with the Suffolk County Conservation received a grant from the Massachusetts Department
of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) to build on the parking lot site an intensive four-season urban
agriculture site, as well as an enclosed composting system to compost manure from the Zoo, food
waste, and leaves. This facility is designed to use state-of-the art pollution controls to safeguard
neighborhood air quality, serving as a demonstration project to show that similar low-cost facilities can
be built throughout the Commonwealth as one way of combating climate change through composting
and harvesting bioenergy from organics.

In September of 2013, DCR issued RFR 580, seeking proposals for managing a composting site and the
legacy materials on DCR land adjacent to the Zoo‟s overflow parking lot. The site is described in
paragraph 7 of the RFR as comprising approximately six acres located off Canterbury Lane, bounded
generally by Morton Street and American Legion Highway. The RFR further states that “[t]he Site is
also bordered by wooded uplands and a paved, overflow parking lot for the Franklin Park Zoo.” At the
bidders conference on September 27, 2013, when asked “who owns the parking lot outside the compost
site,” DCR‟s response was that “DCR owns the parking lot outside the site, but the parking lot is under
agreement with Franklin Park Zoo. Any inquiries about use of the parking lot should be directed to

Franklin Park Zoo.” (Emphasis added.) Clearly the land at issue here was not included in DCR RFR

In October of 2013, DCR accepted a proposal from Landscape Express to operate a composting site on
the land covered by RFR 580. In early April of 2014, City Soil was notified by the Zoo that, at the
request of DCR, City Soil was to be immediately evicted from the portion of its lease with the Zoo that
abutted the site awarded to Landscape Express under RFR 580. Under a no-bid contract and with no
advance notice to City Soil, DCR apparently gave to Landscape Express the right to use the land that
City Soil had leased from the Zoo, making it available exclusively for Landscape Express‟ retail
operations. Landscape Express has since blocked City Soil‟s access from American Legion Highway to
the other portion of its leased land, and has actively interfered with City Soil‟s business as a soil, mulch,
and compost supplier and landscape organics recycler, by seeking to divert potential customers away
from City Soil‟s site to Landscape Express‟s retail operations.

At City Soil‟s request, I attended the meeting on April 14 with Commissioners Jack Murray and Greg
Watson and staff from their respective agencies. Commissioner Murray and the others listened
attentively to City Soil‟s concerns about the bidding process – the site at issue was not part of RFR 580
– as well as the impact on its business, on its role in the community as a leader in recycling,
conservation, and supplier of soil to a variety of urban agriculture sites, and on its capacity to
effectively complete the innovative grant project awarded by MDAR that result from its being evicted
from the site at issue. Nonetheless, no reasonable justification was given by DCR for its summary
eviction of City Soil, other than that DCR is the owner of the land and that Landscape Express wants to
use it for its retail purposes associated with the contract it received pursuant to RFR 580 on the adjacent
site. Landscape Express has apparently threatened a lawsuit against DCR if it does not get exclusive
leasehold rights to the site at issue.

Bruce Fulford of City Soil has long been an environmental steward, highly regarded in the communities
where he has worked, because of his generous leadership in supporting small urban agriculture
entrepreneurs and community gardeners, in promoting recycling and conservation, and in producing
healthy soil that grows nutritious food. As a consultant and grant recipient from EAA, MDAR, the
Department of Environmental Protection, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, he has helped
develop composting regulations and programs. He is an important part of the transformation of
underserved low-income urban communities that is the promise of urban agriculture – an area where
MDAR has provided exemplary state and national leadership.

Knowing of your commitment to an open and transparent procurement process and to involving local
communities in partnership with the EAA agencies responsible for the preservation and stewardship of
the public lands of the Commonwealth, I urge you to direct DCR to rescind its eviction of City Soil
from the Zoo overflow parking lot, and to restore City Soil to its leasehold rights under its agreement
with the Zoo so that it can move forward expeditiously to implement the innovative project funded
under its grant with MDAR and to carry out its mission to educate local residents about the benefits of
composting and environmental protection.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.


Marilyn Ray Smith

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