During the past five months, the importance of skilled, forward-looking leadership capable of maintaining focus in a crisis has never been more important. The Friends of the Public Garden is fortunate to have that and so much more in our Executive Director, Liz Vizza.
I am, therefore, thrilled to announce that the Board of Directors has recently voted to elevate Liz to the role of President. This is not only a vote of confidence in Liz, but also a recognition of the wide-reaching and critical scope of work that the Friends undertakes every day in support of the City’s treasured public spaces: the Boston Common, the Public Garden, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
Leader of the Friends for the past 11 years, Liz was previously a landscape designer and planner. She earned her master’s degree at the Conway School of Landscape Design and spent nearly 30 years in the field, much of it at Halvorson Design Partnership.
Liz is a mission-driven leader who values thoughtful planning and community engagement. Most importantly, she recognizes that these historical greenspaces are dynamic and evolving and are critical community gathering places and refuges in challenging times. A natural advocate and evangelist on behalf of parks, Liz also brings technical expertise as a landscape designer that is invaluable to the Friends’ work.
A few of Liz’s accomplishments over the past several years include:
- Leading a diverse partnership to restore the Shaw 54th Memorial and create accompanying programming
- Working with the City of Boston to co-lead an inclusive Master Planning process for the future of the Boston Common
- Establishing a historic Memorandum of Agreement with the City of Boston that formalizes and deepens our 50-year partnership
in caring for the parks
As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, Liz is helping to lead a $4.6 million fundraising campaign for several high profile capital projects: restoring the Arlington Street entrance to the Public Garden and the two child fountains, creating a dynamic public art installation in the Boston Common, and lighting the statues of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
Under Liz’s leadership, the Friends continues to evolve and further professionalize its work. Looking ahead, key priorities include continuing our efforts to further the inclusivity of the parks, maintaining their care in a time of likely budget cutbacks, and introducing innovative programming to better connect Bostonians to the parks and one another.
More than a just a reflection of Liz’s accomplishment, this new role is a testament to the growing impact of the Friends of the Public Garden’s work. More than 7 million visitors enjoy these greenspaces every year and their experience is improved by the Friends’ advocacy, financial support, physical care, and innovative planning.
Henry Lee, Founder and President Emeritus, was thrilled with this news and commented that, “Liz has been an extraordinary leader on behalf of the Friends and her commitment to our mission”.
Please join me in congratulating Liz.
Leslie Singleton Adam
Chair of the Board