The Community Garden at Orchard Gardens in Dudley Square blooms beautifully beside the colorfully painted, pitch-roofed, apartment homes of this revitalized neighborhood of Roxbury. Residents plant it and tend it and hope to take home a prize in the annual City of Boston Community Service Garden contest. After all, they won a second place prize in 2010.
This coming together for a purpose is a hallmark of the community that offers 284 apartments to those earning up to 60 percent of area median income and another 47 apartments at market rates.
In August, the residents participate in the National Night Out Event. In August, too, the residents hold a Back-to-School Jamboree, with face painting, pony rides, a dance contest, and more. Each school-age child receives a book bag with essentials for school work. Bikes, Kindles, iPads and other great items are raffled, as well as other items parents might enjoy.
In November, the Resident Association and Management team host a Thanksgiving Gospel Dinner during which they thank community members, volunteers and supporters of the community for all they do throughout the year.
Residents also gather monthly for a Community Resource/Public Safety meeting.
The mix of apartment homes includes 83 one-bedroom, 103 two-bedroom, 113 three-bedroom, 26 four-bedroom, and 6 five-bedroom apartments.
There is a laundry room in one building and washer/dryer hookups in all other units. There is a Community Room for small gatherings as well as gated play areas in some courtyards. The community includes a large, city-owned park.
The nearby commercial area offers a supermarket, a library, many houses of worship, the post office, schools, and the Orchard Gardens Community Center. The center has after-school and teen groups, a computer room, and a gymnasium. Health care is available nearby at the Whittier Street Health Center or Boston Medical Center. All are easily accessible via nearby public transportation.
Orchard Gardens has won the HUD and AIA Center for Livable Communities “Community Building By Design Award,” and the National Association of Home Builders “Builder’s Choice Design and Planning Award.”