The Boston Public Facilities Commission this morning approved handing over a quarter-acre parcel off River Street in Mattapan to a group that will transform it into a "food forest" stocked with trees from which anybody can pick berries and nuts, and another parcel off Chelsea Street in East Boston to a group that will create a community garden.
The proposal by the Boston Food Forest Coalition for the Mattapan site, accessed by a passage that starts across from Rector Street, also includes a small performance stage, paths, benches, artwork and, eventually, a "walnut processing station."
Shani Fletcher, grassroots program manager for the Department of Neighborhood Development, said the coalition has a $125,000 grant to develop the site over 18 months.
In addition to berry and nut trees, the group will also put in plantings designed to attract pollinating insects, she said.
She added the city has owned the mostly landlocked, vacant parcel for some 70 years.
In East Boston, the commission agreed to formally cede a parcel at 6 Chelsea Terrace to Eastie Farm, which will use $150,000 in grant money to install raised beds, a compost area, a shed, a greenhouse, a wash station and a small stage on land that is already being used as a more informal community garden.
Fletcher said the city took the land 12 years ago.