Over mighty hills and across coursing rivers, the 2018 USGBC EPMA Bike Tour rode from sustainable site to sustainable site across Somerville Saturday, August 25th. Our multi-generational band of bikers rode all morning and into the afternoon to visit several sites through the city, starting in Davis Square and ending at Aeronaut Brewery. If you weren’t able to make it this year, please enjoy this virtual tour through our route.
The route started along the Somerville Community Path, a mixed-use path and part of the growing bike-friendly infrastructure of Somerville.
Our first stop was at the Saint Polycarp Village apartment complex, built and managed by the Somerville Community Corporation. SCC CEO Daniel LeBlanc spent some time with us and offered his insights as a long-term Somerville resident and 30-year veteran of Massachusetts not-for-profits. The Saint Polycarp Village complex has been developed by the SCC as sustainably constructed low-income housing. This LEED Silver certified housing complex not only made use of sustainable construction materials, its energy and water efficient design directly supports SCC’s mission by keeping utility costs down for their residents.
Next we visited the Blessings of the Bay Park and spoke with Landscape Architect Kate Kennen, Owner of Offshoots Inc. In partnership with The Mystic River Watershed Association Offshoots Inc is designing an ambitious revitalization plan for the park, informed by a comprehensive a community engagement including public meetings, surveys, and knocking on doors to directly contact community members. Kate walked us through their future plans to reduce the impact of invasives, include plantings that support bioremediation of the shoreline, and develop better river views and river access for the community.
After a very enjoyable ride through the Mystic River Reservation, making use of their well developed bike paths and community spaces, we stopped to visit the Capuano Early Education Center. The first Somerville public school to pursue ambitious sustainability goals, the CEEC made extensive use of recycled materials in its construction, houses solar panels that cover 10% of its energy needs, and uses a rainwater collection system to irrigate its school fields. Somerville has continued its support of sustainable schools with the East Somerville Community School and Somerville High School.
We ended our tour visiting Artisan’s Asylum and their neighbor the Aeronaut Brewery. At Artisan’s Asylum (also known as A2), EPMA’s own Aliza Vaida gave a tour of the largest makerspace on the east coast. Tired and sweaty, our riders relaxed at Aeronaut for food, beverage, and conversation.
Many thanks to BlueBikes for supporting the tour with vouchers for free rides, and Aeronaut Brewery for hosting our end-of-tour reception.