Jamaica Plain is a vibrant urban neighborhood in Boston. The Old Oak Dojo is situated halfway between Centre St., JP’s main drag, and the subway station. Long known as a racially and economically diverse community, in recent years, JP has faced increasing gentrification. Part of the purpose of the Dojo is to be a welcoming space for all members of our community and to raise questions and explore solutions to the challenge of gentrification and exclusion. We can do this by being in dialogue together, but we also need to re-discover what happens when communities come together to play, celebrate, eat, work and learn. That’s what creates a foundation for trust.
The Dojo is located on a wooded half-acre residential lot that was developed approximately 130 years ago, with a Victorian home and garden. Today, there’s a mature tree canopy with several old oaks and white pines and abundant native groundcover. Our site abuts an abandoned half acre lot (which serves as green space to offset the housing density of a neighboring condo building) that has grown over into a dense woodland, home to a couple of grey foxes.
Nearly the entire lot at 14 Chestnut is heavily shaded, with the exception of the southwest corner, which we’ve dedicated to urban agriculture.