Eastie Farm founder and director Kannan Thiruvengadam has been appointed by Acting Mayor Kim Janey to serve on the Boston Conservation Commission (BCC).
Thiruvengadam, who most recently was a featured speaker at the Massachusetts Democratic Party 2021 Platform Convention held in September and helped contribute to the party’s platform, has worked for years advocating for resiliency and sustainability across Eastie and the city.
“I am delighted to be appointed to the Boston Conservation Commission, whose responsibility is to protect the city’s land and water resources,” said Thiruvengadam. “Thank you, Mayor Kim Janey for the appointment. And thank you, Mass Sierra Club, Charles River Watershed Association, Neponset River Watershed Association, Mass Audubon, and The Trustees – Boston Community Gardens for nominating me. I look to all residents of the City of Boston, and to all of you out there who know that environmental, social, and racial justice are one and the same, for your active support in the performance of my duties on the commission.”
Thiruvengadam is the director of Eastie Farm, an urban farm in East Boston focused on community resiliency. When a city-owned parcel came up for sale on Sumner Street, Thiruvengadam got a group of like-minded advocates together and lobbied for a community farm instead of another residential development.
The city handed over the land and Thiruvengadam and volunteers created Eastie Farm–a community garden that prides itself on sustainability. With Thiruvengadam as a mentor, volunteers learn about rainwater conservation, waste management, and other eco-friendly urban farming methods, all while getting to know their neighbors and having fun.
Aside from his work at Eastie Farm, Thiruvengadam hosts “What’s up Eastie?”, a radio show about local issues in a larger context, at Zumix. Thiruvengadam is also a Climate Ready Boston Leader. He has a technology background, has studied climate science, permaculture, and community engagement, and is passionate about regenerative and sustainable practices in agriculture and urban design.
As a commission member Thiruvengadam will work to protect wetlands because they maintain groundwater and water quality. The BCC also mitigates the impacts of flooding, storm damage, and pollution and seeks public access to wetland resource areas where it’s appropriate.
The commission also works on floodplain planning because anything that falls within a floodplain can affect wetland health. The BCC reviews development projects that fall within the city’s floodplains.
The commission also works to foster a connection between the people of Boston and the City’s natural areas. The BCC does this through environmental education as well as maintaining natural, public open-space properties, like the Condor Street Urban Wilds.
You can learn more about the BCC and get involved at https://www.boston.gov/…/boston-conservation-commission.