April is Membership Month for the Friends of the Public Garden, the nonprofit organization that has worked in partnership with the City for 49 years to protect and enhance three historic parks in the heart of the city – the Boston Common, the Public Garden, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. “Our members make our work in the parks possible, every day” said Liz Vizza, executive director of the Friends. “We welcome everyone to join us in protecting and caring for these beloved parks.”
Young Friend member Meg McClafferty, who lives on Beacon Hill, has fond childhood memories of the Common and Public Garden. Although she moved around a lot growing up, she could always look forward to at least one day in Boston every summer. “The Ducklings are where annual photos show my and my sister’s growth,” she recalled, “and I can’t get on a Swan Boat without thinking of my Nana.”
Because of those memories, Meg was one of the first to sign up as a Monthly Sustaining Member of the Friends. “A large gift amount can be daunting, and it’s not always feasible as a Young Friend,” she said. “But for the price of one breakfast sandwich a month, I know I’m helping the Friends preserve and protect the parks, so that I can pass those traditions on to my future kids and grandkids.”
Bill Nigreen and his wife, Kathleen McDermott, have lived in Bay Village for twenty-five years. He walks to the Public Garden nearly every day, arriving to a glorious view of the lagoon. “I can do a round trip, cross the bridge, and be back home in less than half an hour.” During his walks, he is delighted to see people from Boston and all around the world enjoying the park in so many different ways.
As a member of the Friends, Bill is happy to support the continuous improvement of the park he considers his own. He also enjoys the topical aspects of Friends events and getting together with other greenspace advocates. For many years he has found ways to help out China Altman and the Rose Brigade: “What a magnificent display they nurture and such a great example of civic activism.” This year Bill plans to volunteer for the Boylston Street Border Brigade. “There’s been so much improvement on my side of the park!”
Anyone who joins the Friends during the Membership Month of April will receive a welcome gift package, with a book on the Public Garden and a Friends cell phone wallet, notepad, and pen.
Memberships start at only $25. Those interested can join online at www.friendsofthepublicgarden.org/donate or call 617-723-8144 for a membership form.