- ABOUT US
- OUR PARKSOur Parks
- PROGRAMS & PROJECTSTree Care One of the most important roles played by the Friends is the care of the trees in the three parks. The stately and mature specimen trees in the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall—numbering over 1,700—are the “bones” of the parks. The trees define these magnificent green spaces, and contribute aesthetically as well as ecologically to the health and well-being of the city and its inhabitants. Tress planted a century or more ago need special care. That’s why it’s critical to continue a regular program of planting and maintenance to ensure the vitality of these landscapes for generations to come. Without the significant commitment of funds and expertise, the parks’ trees would suffer irreparable harm from the effects of urban pollution, compaction and disease. For example, without our annual program of treatment to protect against Dutch Elm Disease, it is likely that none of our majestic elms would be in the parks today. Background The inability of the city to adequately fund tree care has been an ongoing, pressing problem. Since our formation in 1970, each year has brought another crisis in basic tree care and protection. Despite advocacy for more city funding, it’s been largely up to the private sector to consistently address the seriousness of the situation. The idea of a fund devoted exclusively to trees dates back to the 1976 bicentennial celebration. That’s when Boston created the Garden Fund to receive gifts for plantings in the Garden. The unspent funds from that effort reverted to the Friends and became the Planting Fund. Today, the Friends has endowment funds for care of the trees in all three parks totaling $1.4 million. They have been built up through annual donations, bequests, and a $6.5 million capital campaign completed in 2009. Annual Tree Care The tree care work of the Friends is done in close collaboration with the Parks Department. Under the guidance of a consulting arborist, the Friends hires experienced professionals to plant and prune trees each year. The inability of the city to adequately fund tree care has been an ongoing, pressing problem. For example, research on the most effective treatments against Dutch Elm Disease is behind an annual program of injections for the parks’ collection of elms. There is no cure but our ongoing use of new weapons in the battle, and planting of disease-resistant elm hybrids on the market, ensures the survival of this tree for years to come. Today the Parks Department promptly removes ailing trees to prevent spread of the disease. The Friends also initiates tree fertilization programs and soil provides compaction relief. Fertilization has had a significant positive impact on the growth of mature trees in the parks. Soil compaction is a major threat to tree health in urban parks, reducing oxygen available for tree roots as well as water absorption capacity. A 2011 pilot air spading program in the Mall—the largest such pilot in the region—was conducted to relieve compacted soil, cut girdling roots, and learn about the effectiveness of this process. Other procedures are being tested on the Mall and the Common to determine the most effective methods. Tree Inventory In 2010 the Friends completed the first computerized inventory of all trees in the three parks. This invaluable document gives the Friends and Parks Department a tool to document and manage the care of the parks’ trees. With this database we can identify each tree’s location, planting date, condition and treatment over time. Gift and Memorial Tree Program Offered now for decades, our tree planting program allows individuals to contribute new trees to the parks in honor of loved ones. The fee covers the cost of the tree, its planting and a plaque. Click here to learn more and apply. [link to more info]
- EVENTS & ACTIVITIESEvents & Activities
- HELP THE PARKSWhy should I join the Friends?
Individuals, civic groups, foundations and corporations, and city and state governments must help to keep and maintain these valuable green spaces. These parks belong to you as a citizen of Boston and the world.
Preserve this precious heritage.
Citizens are the basis for the Friends’ success.
Numbers count! We need you!
The Friends get things done.
The Friends’ overhead is low.
Standard Membership Join or contribute to the Friends of the Public Garden. Donate Membership levels Member $25 Supporter $50 Contributor $100 Sponsor $500 Patron $1000 Benefactor $2500In Memory of Donation Make a donation to the Friends of the Public Garden in memory of a loved one. Donate Donation levels Option A $25 Option B $50 Option C $100 Option D $500 Option E $1000 Option F $2500Young Friends Membership Join or contribute to the Young Friends. Donate Young Friends Member $25
The Friends of the Public Garden works to protect and improve Boston’s first public parks — the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
A membership organization open to all, the Friends was founded in 1970 by concerned citizens. Working closely with the Boston Parks Department, we support ongoing improvements to the parks. Since 1970, we have funded the expert care of trees and plantings and the maintenance and restoration of sculptures and fountains. We work as staunch advocates to protect the parks from misuse and encroachment. Read more about our organization. Watch a video celebrating our stewardship
Summer Social at Via Matta
June 12, 2013 at Via Matta
Join the Friends for a special evening at Via Matta and support the Parks! Tickets can be purchased here.
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