Throughout our 50 years as guardians of the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall, the Friends has been a steadfast and vocal advocate for the protection and enhancement of our three treasured parks.  As an influential and respected voice on issues as diverse as the impact of shadows on urban horticulture to the conservation of sculpture, we have served as balanced advocates for the long-term health of the parks and their ability to serve the broadest community of users. We also work in coalition with other greenspace advocates to speak out on critical city-wide parks issues, including the need for adequate Parks Department funding, and to elevate the status of open space among elected officials and policy makers.

The City’s limited resources have always required the support of the private sector to bridge the gap between what is possible with public funding alone and what the parks need and deserve to reach their full potential.

As the most heavily used park in the city and the center stage of Boston’s civic life, the Common sees a great deal more use than care by the City. In order to stem the inevitable deterioration resulting from such heavy usage, we advocate for:

  • sufficient City funding for the Parks Department’s operations and capital budgets;
  • protection of sunlight to allow for healthy horticulture by monitoring new developments and their addition of shadows to the parks;
  • adherence to the City’s Boston Common Management Plan which sets guidelines to manage event use; and
  • creation of a fairgrounds in Boston to host multi-day events not well suited to the Common.


Members of the Friends are passionate and knowledgeable about parks. Many are civically active, especially in urban park policy and greenspace issues. We have mobilized this group of supporters through communications outreach and education. As we align and strengthen our network, the Friends intends to become an even more powerful advocate for the three parks and the needs of urban greenspace. We can rally our network to take action about future issues as they arise, and we see unlimited potential in the powerful voices of our membership.

As advocates for the parks, we successfully reach out to elected officials on the local, state and federal level to build support for our efforts and educate them on both the challenges faced by the parks as well as our successful projects and achievements.  Our productive relationships with elected officials enables us to draw broader community support, create a collaborative environment, and open doors to new constituencies.