An urban farm, a Roxbury church, and a sailing dock in Southie: the first CPA grants are revealed

The opening list of projects under a new, $8 million Community Preservation Act program includes funding to restore churches from Roxbury to South Boston, as well as money for an urban farm in Hyde Park, the construction of a dock for a sailing program in South Boston, and the restoration of the century-old Bear Dens in Franklin Park.

“Almost every neighborhood is represented,” said Christine Poff, executive director of the Community Preservation Committee, the group that is tasked with organizing money raised and spent through the Community Preservation Act. She told a City Council committee Monday that her committee received no requests from groups in Charlestown and Mattapan, though she is reaching out to community members there to raise interest for further rounds of funding.

Approved by Boston voters in 2016, the act levies a 1 percent surcharge on property tax bills to generate millions of dollars of revenue for community projects. The law requires the money to be spent on affordable housing, historic preservation, open space, or a combination of those categories.


In the first round of funding under the program, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Community Preservation Committee recommended 35 projects totaling more than $8 million. The initial round is considered a pilot program; construction on the projects must begin by the fall, and spending is limited to $500,000 on each.

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Community groups had requested more than $14 million in funding for projects that cost from $2,000 to $500,000.

Poff said that the projects that were approved were considered “shovel ready,” in line with the city’s visions under an Imagine Boston 2030 plan, and likely to make “a real difference in Boston.”

Walsh said in a statement: “The Community Preservation Act is a new tool that will help take our work on affordable housing, historic preservation and open space to the next level. I am proud to recommend these important projects for funding approval, which represents a wide range of needs and will build strong neighborhoods throughout our city.”

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.