GOLD2024

GREENROOTS INC

aka GreenRoots/RaicesVerdes   |   Chelsea, MA   |  www.greenrootsej.org

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Mission

GreenRoots works to achieve environmental justice and greater quality of life through collective action, unity, education and youth leadership across neighborhoods and communities. GreenRoots is a community-based organization dedicated to improving and enhancing the urban environment and public health in Chelsea, East Boston and surrounding communities. We do so through deep community engagement and empowerment, youth leadership and implementation of innovative projects and campaigns.

Ruling year info

2016

Executive Director

Ms. Roseann Bongiovanni

Main address

90 Everett Ave Floor 3 Suite 10

Chelsea, MA 02150 USA

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Formerly known as

Chelsea Green Space and Recreation Committee (at Chelsea Collaborative, Inc)

EIN

81-2718273

NTEE code info

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2022 and 2021.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GreenRoots is working to reverse decades of environmental injustice.
We envision the neighborhoods in which we are organizing as healthy vibrant places to live, work and play valuing social, economic, and environmental justice. GreenRoots is committed to developing a strong, vocal, empowered movement of residents who ensure businesses and government are accountable to the people; that the environmental justice insults are no more; that our air, land and water are clean; that our residents have access to affordable and reliable public transportation; that our community is resilient and prepared for the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise; and that our overall quality of life and public health improve. Most importantly, we want to ensure that when these improvements are achieved that gentrification does not displace the residents leading this movement.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Environmental Justice (EJ)

Chelsea is severely impacted by environmental injustice. According to Dr. Daniel R. Faber and Dr. Eric Krieg, Chelsea is the 3rd most intensively overburdened communities in Massachusetts. The entire New England Region benefits from industries located in and around Chelsea. Public health and quality of life are compromised by the overabundance of industries in such a small, dense area.

GreenRoots EJ campaigns focus on creating more accountability with industries that do not have a relationship with the community; increasing communication between responsible businesses and the community; and thwarting egregious proposals that will further degrade the community’s public health and environment.

Population(s) Served

GreenRoots works to bolster public access to the waterfront through parks, urban wilds, and walkways; to make our waterfront cleaner and healthier, ensuring any new developments provide robust waterfront access and green space; and to ensure businesses are accountable to the community and our environment. Using the community-created Chelsea Creek Community Vision as our guide, we have created significant new connections to the Chelsea Creek, Mill Creek, Island End River and Mystic River.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

GreenRoots knows youth empowerment is critical to achieving lasting change. Our Environmental Chelsea Organizers (ECO) youth crew and Urban Farm Crew (UFC) are teams of youth that implement environmental justice campaigns, build community power, foster greater youth engagement and connection; and empower fellow youth to become leaders.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

GreenRoots actively leads and implements campaigns and projects to reduce air, land and water pollutants to improve public health outcomes and quality of life of our communities. We also work to break down health disparities and to advance health equity with a focus on the communities of Chelsea and East Boston.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

GreenRoots leads projects and campaigns to combat and prepare for climate change; realizes strategies to reduce the impacts of urban heat islands; implements green infrastructure and nature-based solutions to reduce flooding; engages with stakeholders to tackle climate justice assaults.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

GreenRoots works to improve the quantity and quality of open, green spaces, provides greater recreational opportunities for residents, and engages in aggressive tree planting to increase tree canopy cover throughout our community. We also advance placemaking projects when led by and for the community and in an effort to foster greater social connectivity!

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

One of GreenRoots longest standing programs is our work on Food Justice and Urban Agriculture. In an effort to address food insecurity and transform urban land into lush growing spaces, we cultivate five urban gardens and an urban farm; build community and foster greater nutrition at our Teaching Kitchen; and promote hydroponic growing through our freight farm coming soon! We do all of this with deep community engagement!

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families
Young adults
Seniors

GreenRoots organizes and engages our transit-dependent community in accessing more reliable, affordable and equitable public transportation. A majority of Chelsea and East Boston residents rely on public transportation to get to work, school and important appointments. Join us in the fight for a people-centered public transportation system!

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Adults
Families
Children and youth

In our effort to achieve a Just Transition, GreenRoots is working to move our communities away from an extractive, fossil fuel economy while working to create greater access to renewable, resilient and affordable energy while developing our independence from the energy grid.

Population(s) Served

As we work to make our communities healthier and greener, GreenRoots works to ensure our community does not become displaced. Residents who have and continue to work for quality of life and environmental improvements must be able to see those benefits come to realization without being forced out of our communities due to increasing housing costs. Learn more about Comunidades Enraizadas Community Land Trust!

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To achieve our goals, GreenRoots works persistently and passionately each and every day to ensure our community is informed, engaged and empowered. We work to create lasting change and to ensure the most under-represented community members benefit from these systemic changes. It is utterly important that residents, particularly low income, people of color and youth, are informed, engaged and at the decision-making table, having ownership in these efforts. GreenRoots' utmost goal is to ensure the residents, particularly those who are harder to reach, will be involved in these long-term projects and strategies while preserving and protecting the ethnic and racial richness that have defined our communities as a safe haven for the most marginalized.

Our vision is for Chelsea and other communities in which we work to thrive as ethnically, racially, culturally and economically diverse community whose residents have access to open spaces, parks and the waterfront; and who live in a healthy and safe environment, reversing years of environmental degradation.

GreenRoots carries out this work by empowering all residents, with a particular emphasis on those who are traditionally excluded, low income communities of color. GreenRoots achieves its goals through community organizing, base building and meaningful membership engagement as well as through influencing public policy by drafting and advocating for policy changes and implement projects that advance the mission of GreenRoots.

We work to achieve:
• Environmental justice
• Waterfront access
• Youth leadership on environmental justice concerns
• Improved public health, air, and water quality
• Climate justice and resiliency
• Transit justice
• Greater open, green space
• Urban agriculture and food justice
• Energy justice

GreenRoots is a membership-based organization where the members decide, carry out and evaluate the work-plan. Members meet monthly, if not more frequently; and have annual planning retreats to devise the annual workplan. GreenRoots builds its membership through traditional community organizing strategies, such as door-knocking and deepening relationships through check-ins and one-on-one conversations with members. We engage our community in conducting deep power analyses and in examining the political structures and systems of oppression at a local, regional, federal and international level. We meet people where they are at in terms of the issues that deeply affect their lives, their contributions and skills they bring to the table. We encourage deeper commitments to further leadership goals as well as hone in on skills members would like to develop.

GreenRoots is intentional about its mission, vision, and strategies. We work hard to maintain our roots in the community, stay grounded in our principles of justice and social change while maintaining our identity as a grassroots environmental justice community-based organization. GreenRoots is committed to engaging the most impacted and hardest to reach residents in our community.
GreenRoots engages our members in deep power analyses and examining the political structures and systems of oppression at a local, regional, and federal level. We will do this through a racial lens, by bringing to the forefront and uplifting the voices of Chelsea's majority Black, Latino/a, immigrant and refugee populations.

Over the past twenty years, GreenRoots has:
• defeated the siting of a dirty diesel power plant;
• stopped a proposal to have explosive ethanol freight trains from traveling thru 90 Massachusetts communities en route to Global Oil's facility along the Chelsea Creek;
• implemented three EPA ARRA-funded diesel emissions reduction projects which invested more than $3 million to eliminate 2000 tons of annual air pollutants and 400,000 gallons of fuel usage, and to repower (or replace) 132 high sulfur content diesel engines in Chelsea and Everett, MA;
• improved the public realm along Mill Creek through the
o development of waterfront walkways;
o design (through a community driven process), funding and project oversight of the construction of the dynamic Creekside Commons park;
o design, with significant youth input, and fabrication of interpretive, bilingual signage;
o restoration of two acres of urban salt marsh;
o implementation of several green infrastructure measures to improve water quality of the estuary; and
o fundraising and community designing the next new amazing public access area along the river's upland banks.
• achieved trellised walkways, raised boardwalks, a new park and public canoeing and kayaking access at the Island End River;
• launched a successful team of teen leaders through the Environmental Chelsea Organizers (ECO) youth crew which carries out environment justice campaigns. Over the past twenty years, dozens of youth have graduated from this program, leaving a mark in their community and a strong legacy of what it means to be a member of the ECO youth crew.
• Established strong community relationships and a track record of organizing with East Boston and Everett residents to advance environmental justice, business accountability and public access projects along the Chelsea Creek, Island End River and lower Mystic River watershed.
• Built and continue to strengthen the movement of empowered, informed and mobilized people who, in the last two decades, have developed deep analysis around issues of environmental justice in their own communities. Now, it is this very same movement of people who are working each and every day to achieve equity and a better quality of life through environmental justice, climate justice, and food justice and energy justice campaigns.

Financials

GREENROOTS INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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GREENROOTS INC

Board of directors
as of 03/21/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Grace Muwina

Community Activist

Term: 2022 - 2024


Board co-chair

Sandra Perdomo

Community Activist

Term: 2022 - 2024

John Valinch

Manager of Equity and Resilience Programs, Groundworks USA

Yahya Noor

MGH Chelsea Healthcare Center, Owner of Tawakal

Gerald McCue

Retired, Executive Director for Administration and Finance, Chelsea Public Schools

Madeleine Scammell

Professor, Boston University School of Public Health

Gloribel Rivas

Chief of Staff to State Representative Adrian C. Madaro

Elaine Mendes

Pastor, Revival Center

Marcos Luna

Professor, Salem State University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/21/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability