North­eastern Uni­ver­sity engi­neering stu­dents have redesigned a garden in Boston’s Fenway neigh­bor­hood for com­mu­nity mem­bers with spe­cial needs, com­plete with raised tables and planting beds.

Stu­dents in the North­eastern chapter of the Amer­ican Society of Civil Engi­neers (NUASCE) held a reded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony last week at the garden, located in the Fenway Vic­tory Gardens.

Civil engi­neering stu­dents orig­i­nally cre­ated the garden in 1999, when the area was over­grown and filled with debris. Over time, the New Eng­land weather took its toll, and the Fenway Garden Society approached NUASCE in the summer of 2010 to survey the site.

The group deter­mined that it needed a full makeover. Since then, more than 30 stu­dents have spent long days on campus building mod­ular units and week­ends at the site pre­siding over the garden’s reha­bil­i­ta­tion. The work, which was designed to comply with the stan­dards of Amer­ican Dis­abil­i­ties Act, was com­pleted in the spring.

At the cer­e­mony, NUASCE pres­i­dent and project man­ager Alex Fag­nand could not con­tain his joy as he explained the garden’s rich his­tory and revealed the site’s new signage.

Our goals were to listen to the needs of the com­mu­nity here and improve the func­tion­ality and the capacity of this plot,” said Fag­nand, a senior.

He also thanked the North­eastern Civil Engi­neering Alumni Orga­ni­za­tion and the many busi­nesses and com­mu­nity part­ners that par­tic­i­pated in the project.

Dan Dulaski, stu­dent chapter advisor in the Depart­ment of Civil and Envi­ron­mental Engi­neering, praised the stu­dents’ vol­un­teering efforts. He sur­prised them with the ASCE 2011 Region 1 Dis­tin­guished Chapter Award, based on the group’s activ­i­ties and ser­vice projects.

If you look at the area around you, this site was lit­er­ally trans­formed since last October, and if you look at all the stu­dents who worked on this project, they were trans­formed as well,” Dulaski said.

Jerome Hajjar, chair of Northeastern’s Depart­ment of Civil and Envi­ron­mental Engi­neering, com­mended the stu­dents for their com­mit­ment to the community.

The University’s co-​​op pro­gram had a strong impact on the project, he said. “One of the many ben­e­fits of coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion is that it greatly accel­er­ates the pro­fes­sional matu­rity of our stu­dents,” Hajjar said. “They not only get work expe­ri­ence, but it becomes an inte­grated forum in which they learn about civil engi­neering. You can see it reflected in projects like this, in which we have real stu­dent leaders who take charge.”