22. We conducted conservation of the iconic Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Boston Common. Led by Collections Care Manager Sarah Hutt, our conservators at Daedalus cleaned the memorial and bronze from the base up, while President Liz Vizza and staff member Jan Trousilek got up close and personal with the famed figures adorning the Monument.
21. With #21, we’re closer than ever to healthy soils in all #threeparks! This year, we raised the soil pH close to 6.0 across all lawn panels in the parks. A 6.0 pH level is ideal for soils in densely populated urban areas, which in turn keeps our turf verdant and healthy.
20. We only lost one tree to Dutch Elm Disease this year. An integral part of our tree care program, the Friends work closely with consulting arborist Norm Helie to mitigate the spread of DED in the #threeparks. The loss of only one tree this year represents great strides in our goal to preserve over 400 elm variants throughout the Common, Garden, and Mall, some of which date back to the late 1700’s.
19. The Public Garden tool house has a bright future ahead. With #19, the Friends succeed in advocating for the Boston City Council to assign a project manager for a long needed restoration of this historic landmark.
18. We welcomed the Boston Parks and Recreation Department back to Maggiano’s for the first time in 3 years for the annual Parks Appreciation Lunch. We are so grateful for the work our partners at BPRD do to keep our parks healthy, vibrant, and accessible.
17. The Green & White Ball, our largest single source of fundraising each year, returned for the first time in 3 years.
16. Making History on the Common returns for the first time in three years with 1,000+ Boston Public Schools students joining us for a sunny day of learning on Boston Common.
15. “Conversations with Friends”, a new series featuring Friends President Liz Vizza in conversation with local leaders, artists, and advocates, launched in January.
14. President Liz Vizza stopped by the Walla Walla Foundry to view the fabrication of “The Embrace” in process. We’re so excited to welcome this new monument to Boston Common in January!
13. Our Border Brigade planted 1,600 bulbs along the Beacon St. Border with the assistance of the Garden Club of Back Bay.
12. Brewer Plaza programming returned for the first time since 2019. We were thrilled to fill the plaza with music and food trucks once again, and our new truck, Boston Ice Cream Truck, sold more than 7,000 treats!
11. We had some incredible new additions to #TeamFriends this year. A warm welcome to Aubrey, Perry, and Rebecca – we can’t wait to see all the great work you do for Boston’s urban greenspaces in the year ahead.
10. We hosted the first ever Backyard Bash on the Common, featuring yard games, mocktails, and free ice cream, as part of the annual Fierce Urgency of Now! Festival.
9. This year, we said goodbye to our Director of Parks Care and Capital Projects, Bob Mulcahy, after 11 years at the Friends. We thank Bob for his dedication to the care, maintenance, and renewal of Boston’s #threeparks.
8. We planted 14 new trees throughout the #threeparks in late April, with 6 specifically planted on Arbor Day in honor of the late Henry Davis alongside our Friends at The Growing Tree and Massachusetts Arborists Association.
7. Using an aerosol base, Boston-based artist Sobek created a new mural on Boston Common titled “What Came Before,” which was in place from the spring through the fall near the Charles Street entrance to the Common.
6. Our first ever Summer #YouthTeam completed 6 weeks of education and work throughout the #threeparks.
5. Duckling Day returned in true celebratory fashion, with over 3,000+ gathering on Boston Common for a day of quacking good fun.
4. For the first time, the Friends took on the Holiday Lights, partnering with the Committee to Light the Commonwealth Avenue Mall to bring this iconic tradition to life on the Mall.
3. We launched the Boston Common Master Plan. We are so excited to collaborate with the City of Boston, Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and Weston & Sampson to shape the future of America’s first public park.
2. We completed our $5 million 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign to fund new capital projects in our parks: “What Do We Have In Common?”, an interactive public art experience, the Commonwealth Avenue Mall Statue Lighting and Landscape Enhancement Project, and The Arlington Street Entrance and Fountains Restoration Project, which breaks ground this year.
1. Our top moment of the year — the restoration and rededication of the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial on Boston Common. The Partnership to Renew the Shaw 54th Memorial, comprised of the National Park Service, City of Boston, Friends of the Public Garden, and Museum of African American History, created a model for the use of a preservation and restoration project to be a catalyst for a broad conversation on race, equity, and social justice.