We sat down with our new Director of Parks Care & Capital Projects Rebecca McKevitz to discuss all things parks! Read our interview below.

Which is your favorite park?

All three parks hold a special place in my heart. I love the strong symmetry of the allée of canopy trees on the Mall, especially with the gorgeous Back Bay brownstones as the backdrop. (Plus, I always see the cutest dogs when I stroll through.) The Public Garden has such an astonishing array of tree species, AND it was the setting of my favorite movie – Good Will Hunting. But, I think if I had to pick a favorite park, it would be the Common. As a landscape architect, and someone who is passionate about public parks feeling and functioning as true public amenities, our nation’s first public park offers so much to so many people. I am always inspired by the endless ways individuals and groups of people have and continue to use the Common. It is such a diverse and energetic place.

What is your favorite park memory?

Usually I love to spend solo time in the parks reading a good book. However, during the pandemic, my friends and I spent a lot of time together walking through and lounging in the parks. In May of 2020, one of my dear friends packed a picnic for us to enjoy to celebrate my birthday. It was one of the first sunny, warm spring days and we spent hours catching up and munching on yummy snacks. Another fun pastime is when my partner asks me to identify each of the tree species in the Public Garden via leaf, bark or bloom – he loves to see how many he can stump me on!  

What’s your favorite thing about working with the Friends?

I love how dynamic this role is. Every day is different, and every week poses new challenges that require curiosity and creative problem solving. It’s great to be able to apply my knowledge and experience executing capital construction projects to these special parks, while gaining a much deeper understanding and appreciation of all of the complex and strategic soils, turf, and tree work happening throughout all three parks. I’ve also loved getting to know so many park advocates, neighbors, vendors, contractors, Board and committee members, and of course the Friends’ staff, who all care so deeply for the Common, the Public Garden and the Commonwealth Mall. Their passion is inspiring and they teach me so much!