Daily News

GZA GeoEnvironmental Awards Grant to Gardening the Community

SPRINGFIELD — GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., a leading environmental and geotechnical engineering consulting firm, has awarded a $2,500 Shareholder’s Grant to Gardening the Community (GTC) in Springfield, based on an application from Anja Ryan Duffy, a professional landscape architect in the Springfield office of GZA.

GZA bestows four roughly $2,500 grants each year to organizations whose specific programs would best benefit from the award. The Shareholder’s Grant program was established to support employee volunteerism and charity work in the firm’s communities and throughout the world.

Duffy proposed Gardening the Community as a recipient of the GZA Shareholder’s Grant to assist in the development of the organization’s new Walnut Street site, a project for which she has volunteered her landscape-architecture services.

Gardening the Community is a food-justice organization engaged in youth development, urban agriculture, and sustainable living to build healthy and equitable communities.

In her grant application, Duffy said the Walnut Street project location is a 0.6-acre abandoned lot which “for decades has been an eyesore and served as an illegal dumping ground.” GTC purchased the site in July 2014 with the vision of transforming it into a “vibrant, green space which would also help feed the neighborhood and provide service and leadership opportunities for local youth.”

The GZA Shareholder’s Grant will help fund the placement of fencing and perimeter plantings along the Walnut Street site.

Duffy has been with GZA for nearly eight years. Her areas of specialization include site design, planting design, low-impact development, and graphics. A graduate of UMass Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture, she is an avid gardener and started a community garden in her former apartment complex, a project now in its fourth year.

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