The Partnership is Permanent!

After 50 years of working together on a handshake, the Friends and the City of Boston signed a formal cooperation agreement to enhance the care of Boston Common, the Public Garden and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. After 50 years, the City and the Friends recognize that a seamless partnership is essential to renew and care for these nationally recognized parks in the heart of the City, for today and for future generations. The Agreement formalizes a model and institutionalizes a culture of collaboration to deliver innovative parks care with a goal of excellence. It details the work required to care for every aspect of the three parks over twelve months of the year.

“Our parks and gardens are so important to our community: they hold our history, they bring people together, and they bring the beauty of nature into our City,” said Mayor Walsh. “The Friends of the Public Garden put their heart and soul into these community spaces, and has been a partner to the City for a long time. I want to congratulate them on their 50-year anniversary, and am proud that today, we made our partnership official.”

“Our core mission at Boston Parks and Recreation is to design and maintain parks that delight visitors,” said Commissioner Ryan Woods. “I look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the Friends of the Public Garden and ensuring that all visitors to these iconic parks have the best experience possible.”

The three parks are the City’s civic treasures in the heart of Downtown, three of the most celebrated and beloved greenspaces in the region, and major attractions for tourists. They are the neighborhood parks for over 55,000 people, visited by over seven million people annually, and their restoration over the last five decades has transformed the livability and desirability of the City for residents and visitors alike. They are the most heavily used parks in the City and the site of Boston’s largest collection of public art. Organizations like the Friends provide essential, supplemental funding to meet the extraordinary needs of the parks, which outstrip the capacity of the City’s budget to meet them.

Today’s agreement aligns with the City’s Open Space and Recreation Plan focusing on access, equity, and excellence, so that every neighborhood is home to beautiful spaces that serve both the people and the environment.

“Parks remind us that we are not alone. They are places that do not charge admission but are where we come together and make some of our most priceless memories,” said Liz Vizza, Executive Director of the Friends of the Public Garden. “Together, the City and the Friends will continue to ensure that these parks remain special places that serve the people of Boston and visitors alike while protecting these important open greenspaces for decades to come.”