Interior designers Maureen Walsh, Trish Anderson and Heather Allyn, who run an events design firm inside an India Street garage near McGuinness Boulevard, want to turn an adjacent gravelly lot into a vegetable garden next year.
“We want to team up with a community organization and give them vegetables,” said Anderson. “We want to help the community and also make this a beautiful place.”
The project is the latest horticultural effort to convert an underutilized industrial space into a garden, after the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm and Gotham Greens’ greenhouse.
The designers, whose firm, Domestic Construction, incorporates recycled materials and horticulture in weddings, corporate events and retail store installations, signed a one-year lease on the space for $2,000 a month. And last month, they launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter to help them buy a myriad of gardening and landscaping supplies.
So far, they have raised $9,400 from 137 donors — just under half their fundraising goal.
But several challenges remain besides the project’s financing.
Once a foundry, the lot has been intermittently vacant for three years, most recently serving as a parking lot for small trucks.
And the soil itself is likely toxic — the plot sits above a 17-million gallon oil plume that has been leaking for decades.
So the trio wants to use their installation skills to smooth out the rocky yard and build raised beds from recycled pallet boards for planting seeds in the coming months.
And Walsh, Anderson and Allyn dream of buying the property and eventually adding 12-foot geodesic dome-shaped greenhouses, green bean vines crawling up the east wall of the lot, enough trees to simulate a forest, and even forming a few grassy knolls.
“We’re going to try to do some structural things such as building a lounging hill so you can sit in it,” said Walsh, who said her landlord fully supports the plan. “This area doesn’t have a lot of hills.”
In the meantime, the designers are hosting barbecues and concerts in their yard to raise money for next year’s growing season.
They’ve already built a stage out of — what else? — recycled pallets.
For info, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/1216881255/designplot.