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.  

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    Emissions Reduction

    Implementing major diesel emissions reduction work at the New England Produce Center, private businesses and City of Chelsea

  • A map of Chelsea and the different points where residents have described the air quality to be very poor.

    Air Quality Monitoring

    Successfully advocated for one permanent and nine mobile air quality monitors throughout Chelsea.

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    Community Health Ambassadors

    Launched a Health Equity Corps and Community Health Ambassadors to address the major health disparities facing Chelsea residents. This team together with other Chelsea partners worked to get Chelsea residents to achieve vaccine equity rates of upwards of 97%  and published “COVID19 in Chelsea: A Glance Into One of the Hardest Hit Cities and the Role of Intersecting Social Determinants of Health

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    Pandemic Response Team

    For 65 consecutive days during the start of the pandemic, GreenRoots established 10 working groups and engaged over 150 stakeholders. Also, co-founded the One Chelsea Fund, which raised and distributed $1.4M in COVID relief for Chelsea families; established and supported the City of Chelsea’s emergency food hub, co-founded and supported the Eastie Mutual Aid Network, established neighborhood wellness pods, and much more.

A grandma with her two grand children on her lap taking a photo outside of her backyard.

I started out as a community member who joined GreenRoots. With the passage of time I worked on various projects as an employee. I have been an organizer, a health ambassador with the Covid vaccines as well as with general environmental campaigns.

 I love working with GreenRoots and hope to continue my efforts with this group of beloved activists.

Neris Amaya

Contact Us

  • Smiling woman wearing a blue navy sweater that reads "GreenRoots" against a light background.

    Neris Amaya

    Community Health Ambassador

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    Neris Amaya (she, her, hers)

    Neris Amaya has been a Chelsea resident for more than 42 years. She was born in El Salvador and is the mother of three children. Neris is a lifelong community organizer, passionate about serving our community and improving our environment. She got involved with GreenRoots 25 years ago through community service, and is an active member of the fight for a better Chelsea for all.

    In her free time she enjoys gardening, outdoor activities, spending time with her family, and having conversations about the importance of health and wellness.

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    Mitikei Chengerei

    Community Health Ambassador

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    Mitikei Chengerei (she, her, hers)

    Mitikei was born and raised in Ethiopia and came to the US in 2016. She majored in mathematics and minored in physics at Addis Ababa University. She has worked as a math tutor, clerk, accountant and translator. She loves to learn foreign languages and has taught English, French, German and Amharic (the national language of Ethiopia).

    Mitikei was a founding member, finance officer and volunteer at a local organization called Empower Youth Ethiopia, where she worked on youth HIV awareness. She is passionate about making an impact on young people’s futures, public health, housing equity and environmental justice. She now works to support her Chelsea neighbors as a GreenRoots community health worker and supports the transit justice team. 

    Mitikei enjoys writing poems in Amharic, listening to church hymns and reading. She likes to share her life experience to benefit others, especially young people, in order to motivate and inspire them. 

  • A woman in a blue shirt and necklace standing against a light wall.

    Barbara Espinosa Barrera

    Environmental Justice & Health Equity Organizer

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    Barbara Espinosa Barrera (she, her, hers)

    Barbara recently graduated from Boston University School of Public Health where she earned a Master in Public Health in Environmental Health. She is passionate about making science and health information accessible to everyone! She is looking forward to working with Chelsea and East Boston residents to promote health equity. In her free time, you can find her reading, taking walks, and playing soccer! 

Program Events


  • Opening of New Teaching Kitchen on Pearl Street in Chelsea

    • In the News

    GreenRoots is thrilled to announce the full opening of our new Teaching Kitchen on Pearl Street in Chelsea! The community was involved throughout the entirety of the process to bring the kitchen to fruition.  Community members developed the original idea and vision; and dozens of residents were involved in final designs, program development and more! GreenRoots officially launched programming in spring 2024 and brought on Joanna “Jojo” Emerson as the Teaching Kitchen Coordinator.  Jojo embodies GreenRoots goals of combining health and nutrition with cooking skills. 

  • Healthcare and government leaders support bill to address health disparities in the state

    • In the News

    Health system leaders and elected officials testified in support of An Act to Advance Health Equity.

  • Chelsea Receives State MVP Grants

    • In the News

    Governor Maura Healey announces $31.5 million in Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grants in FY2024, which include nearly $5.7 million in funding for community-designed projects in cities and towns, including Chelsea, MA.

Your support is crucial in ensuring our work continues.

For 30 years, GreenRoots has restored acres of urban salt marsh, created new parks, increased public access to the waterfront and improved the water quality of Chelsea Creek.

Our organizing model is rooted in base-building and community, and your help makes us a stronger force. A contribution to GreenRoots means an investment in the futures of Chelsea and East Boston!

Donate Now

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