To preserve and enhance the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
The Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall are nationally important havens of natural beauty within an urban environment, enhanced with sculpture, where people delight in their surroundings and gather with others. In our vision these great outdoor spaces are buoyed by large and diverse groups of tending stewards working in partnership with the City and will forever be parks of the highest level of excellence.
In 2005, the Friends made the transition from a volunteer structure to an organization supported by a professional staff. In 2011, after more than forty years of inspiring leadership, the Friends founding president Henry Lee became president emeritus. The next year, the Friends leased officespace overlooking the Garden and the Common.
This is a pivotal time for the parks and the Friends. While much improved from their low point in the 1970s, these iconic parks deserve a higher standard of excellence. Now is the time to lay out an ambitious vision to engage the growing parks community in stewardship and advocacy, to raise additional funds, and to partner with the City to elevate the quality of care.
For the planning process, the Friends engaged a consultant who worked closely with a task force throughout 2013 to interview over 40 stakeholders, collect and analyze research data, and solicit board, staff and stakeholder group input to collaboratively shape the Strategic Plan, 2014-2018.
The following four goals are cornerstones of the plan:
Build a strong base of support for the three parks
Partner with the City to achieve excellence within the three parks
Revitalize the Boston Common so that it meets the needs of its constituents now and into the future
The Friends plays a vital role in the stewardship of these parks. We work closely with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to provide and fund the best possible professional care of their irreplaceable collection of mature trees, sculpture, and fountains. We also act as advocates, speaking out for the protection of these parks against misuse and encroachment and educating the public about park issues.
Our 3,000 members come from more than 131 communities across Massachusetts and 31 states.
Renovating Brewer Plaza and parkland in the southeast corner of the Boston Common, the largest park renovation effort ever undertaken by the Friends, or entrusted to a nonprofit park partner by the city
Planting over 600 specimen trees
Providing essential tree care, including pruning and treatments to combat Dutch elm disease
Creating a tree inventory to document and track annual tree care
Funding landscape embellishments, such as new benches, fencing, lighting, and the Swan Boat landing