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Children Delighted by Enchanted Castle on Boston Common

September 11, 2014

FOPG Puppets on the Common, August 22, 2014 by Elizabeth Jordan (5)

Throughout an early morning of raindrops on a summer Friday, tots peered out their windows anxiously to see if clouds would part and blue skies would emerge in time for the a scheduled visit of the royals – and they did! The Boston Common, which has hosted world leaders, dignitaries, and even a Pope, on this day would draw a crowd of young princes and princesses who were there to welcome their kin. To the delight of a group of nearly 200, the Friends of the Public Garden hosted a royal cast from Rosalita’s Puppets, which transformed the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common to present “The Enchanted Castle” puppet show. Children from surrounding neighborhoods, and other parts of the city watched three riveting stories unfold before them as they sang songs and interacted with the performers. The Friends of the Public Garden hosts this event annually, which is made possible by a grant from the M. Holt Massey Charitable Trust.
“It is wonderful to watch the next generation of park users form deeper connections to this treasured greenspace, a space that means so much to our city and our country; it is the first step in helping them to understand why we need to protect it,” said Elizabeth Vizza, Executive Director of the Friends of the Public Garden. “This young group, it seems, is well on their way to understanding the value of trees – when asked as part of the performance what trees give us, hands popped up and they had more answers than one might have expected – and they were really good answers!”

Whole Foods Shopping on September 23 to Benefit Parks

September 10, 2014

Shop at Whole Foods Charles River Plaza on September 23rd to support parks

Shop at Whole Foods Market Charles River Plaza on September 23rd to support parks

The Charles River Plaza Whole Foods Market, at 181 Cambridge Street, will be holding a “5% day” to benefit the Friends of the Public Garden on Tuesday, September 23, 2014. Five percent of the store’s total pretax sales for that entire day will support the Friends work to protect and enhance the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. For more information: call (617)723-8144 or visit:  Happy shopping to all! 

Enchanted Castle Puppet Show Coming to Boston Common

August 12, 2014

The Enchanted Castle - fairy photo


The Friends of the Public Garden will hold its annual Puppets on the Common event with a performance of “The Enchanted Castle,” on Friday, August 22 at 10:30 a.m.  Performance will take place near Parkman Bandstand.

Join princess “Crystal” and fairy Godmother “Glitter” as they tell stories, sing songs and teach the crowd how to be knights, princesses and princes. The show includes three short puppet stories. Children will have an opportunity to meet a fairy puppet, a dragon puppet and a unicorn puppet, among other things.

This event is free to the public and was made possible by a grant from the M. Holt Massey Charitable Trust.

Tree-threatening Insect Trapped in Boston

August 12, 2014
Emerald Ash Borer Photo credit:

Emerald Ash Borer
Photo credit:

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) recently announced that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was detected in a trap at the Arnold Arboretum. The EAB is an invasive insect that has wiped out tens of millions of ash trees in the Midwest. The Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall are home to a total of 58 ash trees.

The Friends is monitoring this news and has reached out to officials to offer support.

DCR and DAR officials are working in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the U.S. Forest Service to take a number of swift proactive steps aimed at slowing the spread of the invasive beetle, including:

  • Defining a quarantine area that would only allow the movement of certain wood products under certain conditions;
  • Conducting a delimiting survey to help identify the extent of the infestation;
  • Working with stakeholders to ensure they know how to properly treat or dispose of infested trees and materials; and
  • Maintaining a ban that has been in place against bringing any firewood into state parks and forests.

“The presence of Emerald Ash Borer in our state represents a serious threat to our ash trees,” said DCR Commissioner Jack Murray. “We are taking swift action to address the infestation, educate the public, and work to mitigate any impact an infestation could bring.”

If you are interested in receiving updates on activities related to the EAB on the Boston Common, in the Public Garden, and on Commonwealth Avenue Mall, please email

In August of 2012, EAB was detected in Berkshire County in the Town of Dalton.  In November of 2013, EAB was confirmed in Essex County in the Town of North Andover. DCR instituted county-wide quarantines of Essex and Berkshire counties shortly after the EAB was discovered. To date, 23 states across the country have confirmed detections of EAB.

Friends 2014 Summer Party Delights

August 11, 2014


Thanks to everyone for making our Summer Party such a wonderful event, and to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for providing a fabulous venue for it. More than 100 park benefactors turned out on Wednesday, July 23rd to support our organization and its work on Boston Common, in the Public Garden, and on Commonwealth Avenue Mall.  The event raised just under $10,000.  Learn more about our projects at

Visit our Facebook album to see more photos from the event.


Discovering Premier Seating on Boston Common

August 11, 2014

Benches on Liberty Mall view from behind
Summer days are lively on Boston Common, and the Clover Food Lab truck regularly attracts dozens of lunchtime diners to Brewer Fountain Plaza. Soothing sounds of trickling droplets of fountain water blend with piano music, performed by Berklee College of Music students, to create a seasonal backdrop worth savoring.

Securing a shaded table and chair under an umbrella, there temporarily for day use, is a fortunate find as the lunchtime crowd settles in, yet few know that the truly premiere seating is actually located a few feet away on the perimeter of the granite plaza. The inside track on the 10 benches, so-called “seats of honor,” is that they, and the nearby benches on the Liberty Mall path, are part of a select set of Boston Common benches available for permanent sponsorship. There is no term limit on sponsorship. Each bench has a plaque that identifies its sponsor or a person being celebrated in some way.

As the $4 million restoration of Brewer Fountain Plaza comes to a conclusion this fall, a time capsule will be buried that includes names of all donors of this project. The deadline for donations to be included in the time capsule that will be buried to commemorate this project is Monday, September 15th. There is only one bench in the “seats of honor” area available for sponsorship, and three on the Liberty Mall path.

Sponsoring a bench not only supports the care and maintenance of America’s first public park, it is a way to have a dedicated seat there 365 days a year, even if it is in name only. For information on sponsoring these last available locations, please call 617-723-8144 or email

Public Garden Tours Kick-Off in August

July 30, 2014

Snip20140730_4Join the Friends of the Public Garden for a walking tour of Boston’s iconic Public Garden. Learn about the history of America’s first botanical garden, and celebrate the plantings, sculpture, and memorials that make this a favorite destination for local residents and visitors from near and far.  The garden has won numerous awards through the years.  Most recently, it ranked 5th on TripAdvisors list of top parks across the nation and was awarded an “Editors’ Choice 2014 Home & Garden Award” by Yankee Magazine.
Non-members: $15.00
Members: Free

August 12 – 5:30 p.m.

September 23 – Noon & 4:00 p.m.

Call 617-723-8144 for more information and to make reservations.

The Friends of the Public Garden has been caring for the Garden along with the Boston Common and Commonwealth Avenue Mall for 44 years, in partnership with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.



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