More than a dozen trees will be removed from the Boston Common and Public Garden this week by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. We wanted to let our members and larger community know that the Friends of the Public Garden is aware of this project and has been communicating with Parks and Recreation about it. The Friends is in agreement that the removal of these trees is necessary for the betterment of the parks. The majority of the trees are Norway maples, an invasive species and are diseased and in a state of decline. All remaining trees have structural defects that warrant removal. In addition to tree removal, stump removal of all these trees as well as several existing stumps will be taking place shortly after.
Students from Emerson College recently made a field trip to the offices of Friends of the Public Garden. The group met with executive director Liz Vizza for a brief overview of the history of the parks, significant pieces of sculpture on display, and challenges associated with caring for these historic parks and their art.
Vizza explained the importance of collaboration with the City of Boston and how the public-private partnership makes it possible for the parks that the Friends works to maintain – the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall – to be well cared for, and in some cases enhanced significantly. When she asked the students how many of them had visited the Brewer Fountain Plaza in warmer weather most nodded in the affirmative. The Boston Parks & Recreation Department restored the fountain in 2010. The Friends of the Public Garden launched a privately funded, $4 million companion project to revitalize the plaza and the parkland leading up to the State House. Vizza cited the project as an example of the positive things that can happen when the public and private realm work together to restore a significant piece of public art and create a vibrant public space, and said it’s a win-win for residents, visitors, the parks and art!
The Young Friends On Ice event is pleased to announce that guests of the private skating event to be held on Wednesday, February 26th, are in for a special treat - Chynna Pope and Elin Schran, two Boston-bred skating phenoms, have choreographed a special piece that they will perform together that night.
The pair have strong ties to the Frog Pond on Boston Common which served as their neighborhood skating rink in their youth. From her early days skating in Boston’s oldest park, Pope went on to become an international competitive and professional figure skater. Shran was a professional skater for the Ice Capades and continues to choreograph, direct, produce and star in local shows today. Both women are still involved with skating programs on the Frog Pond today.
Whether you are interested in sipping complimentary hot chocolate while you mingle with friends and enjoy the show or want to use this opportunity to get some professional advice on mastering your skating techniques, this is an event not to be missed!
The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) and the Friends of the Public Garden are co-presenting a special event of talks and exhibit tours related to the MHS Tell It with Pride exhibition. The event is in commemoration of the memorial designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens that honors the 1863 Civil War battle of Fort Wagner led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Unveiled on May 31st, 1897, and located on the edge of the Boston Common facing the State House, the Shaw/54th Memorial is an important landmark in Boston, a monument created in gratitude to Shaw and the 54th Regiment’s bravery in battle.
On Saturday, March 29th, visitors are encouraged to come and celebrate both the iconic statue and the people keeping its spirit alive. At 1:00 p.m. that day, you can meet the men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment Company A, a group of civilian re-enactors who do living historical displays, educational lessons and Civil War period encampments and re-enactments. This group is also very involved in Making History on the Common, an event hosted annually by the Friends of the Public Garden.
At 2:00 p.m. that same day, listen to a talk by Kathryn Greenthal, author of the book Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master Sculptor, and Henry Duffy, the curator of the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site (located in Cornish, New Hampshire) about the creator of this landmark.
This event is open to the public and free of charge, but registration is required. If you are interested in attending, please register online at this link or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.
Tell It With Pride: Special Event
Saturday, March 29
1:00 to 4:00 p.m. (approximately)
1154 Boylston Street, Boston
Did you spend a lot of time collecting insects and studying them in your youth? It this something you enjoy today? Whether you have a have a special interest in bugs or would like to take simple steps to protect ash tress in our area, your help is needed. Evidence of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that has wiped out tens of millions of trees in the midwest has been found in at least two Massachusetts towns. The Boston Natural Areas Network is hosting a Boston’s Urban Forest panel discussion on February 27th . Panelists will discuss how to identify the insect and what can be done to protect Boston’s ash trees.
There are a total of 85 ash trees in the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall; please help us protect them.
Invasive Insects – Emerald Ash Borer
Thursday, February 27
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Boston Natural Areas Network,
62 Summer Street, 2nd Floor, Downtown Crossing
Panelists: Nathan Siegert, Forest Entomologist, US Forest Service Ken Gooch, Forest Health Program Supervisor, DCR Mollie Freilicher, Community Action Forester, DCR Greg Mosman, City Arborist, Boston Dave Lefcourt, City Arborist, Cambridge Eric Seaborn, National Grid, EAB Response Program. Panel discussion followed by 15 minute QandA. Registration appreciated, but not required. Call BNAN at 617-542-7696 or email email@example.com
The Swan Boats are some of the most historic figures in the Boston Public Garden, but do you ever wonder where they came from? Lyn Paget is the fourth generation of Swan Boat operators, dating back to 1877. Originally started by Lyn’s great grandfather, Robert Paget, and preserved by her great grandmother, Julia Paget, the Public Garden’s Swan Boats are enduring and iconic symbols of Boston.
Initially starting out with one row boat, the Paget family adopted a number of paddle boats and christened them with the now iconic Swan imagery. Inspired by “Lohengrin”, an opera based on the medieval German story in which the protagonist traverses on a boat that is pulled by a swan, the Swan Boats are an important part of the Public Garden’s history.
While the Swan Boats may not be in operation until April, the opportunity to learn more about them is coming up. On March 3rd, the Connolly branch of the Boston Public Library will be hosting a talk given by Lyn Paget on the Swan Boats. This will be a great chance to learn about the Swan Boat’s history, the Paget family’s traditions, and practices behind a quintessential Boston activity that has been enjoyed by Bostonians and visitors alike for over 136 years.
This lecture is free of charge on March 3rd at 6:30 to 7:30 and the library is located at 422 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain. This event is recommended for young adults, college students, adults and seniors and is sponsored by the Jamaica Plain Historical Society.
Look up the word love on dictionary.com and the fist definition you will come across is “an intense feeling of deep affection.” Walk through The Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall on any given day or evening and you can’t miss the visual reminders that love is alive and well. Each of these green spaces serve as backdrop for some of the most love-filled moments of peoples lives – leisure time with family and friends, romantic strolls, and marriage proposals. They are also green oases for the community and top destinations for visitors who love history and horticulture. Whether your affection for these spaces celebrates open space, solitude or greenery, the Friends of the Public Garden would like to hear about your love for our parks. Please share your stories by commenting here, visiting us on Facebook, or sending an email.
The Trust for Public Land recently asked: How much do you love your park? Check out the video below and details on a contest they are offering.