The Friends of the Public Garden has launched its spring membership drive with an enticing incentive: Anyone who joins the Friends by May 1 will be entered into a drawing to win lunch for two at the Four Seasons Hotel’s Bristol Lounge.
“We look forward to welcoming new members to our organization, and we are grateful to the Four Seasons for its generous donation,” said Anne Brooke, president of the Friends.
A membership organization open to all, the Friends was founded in 1970 by concerned citizens. It works closely with the Boston Parks Department to protect and enhance Boston’s three historic parks: the Boston Common, the Public Garden and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. For four decades, the Friends has funded the expert care of trees and plantings and the maintenance and restoration of sculptures and fountains, and it has been a staunch advocate to protect the parks from misuse and encroachment.
“None of this could have been accomplished without the support of our members,” Brooke said. To cap off the membership drive, the Friends will host a wine-and-cheese reception in the Friends office at 69 Beacon St. on Wednesday, May 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. President Emeritus Henry Lee and Executive Director Liz Vizza will speak briefly, and exhibits detailing the Friends work in the parks will be on display.
The drawing for the lunch at the Bristol Lounge will take place at the end of the May 1 reception. Those who join at the reception will be entered twice into the drawing. Those who cannot attend the reception can also be entered into the drawing by joining online before May 1 at http://www.friendsofthepublicgarden.org or by calling 617-723-8144 for a membership form. Membership starts at only $25.
Reservations for the reception are required due to limited space. R.S.V.P. to 617-723-8144 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Friends of the Public Garden, visit http://www.friendsofthepublicgarden.org.
Click here to join the Friends of the Public Garden!
Since last year the Friends have been working with neighborhood organizations, the Parks Department and other interested parties to develop a plan that provides meaningful recreation for dogs in Boston Common, protects turf from overuse and that minimizes interference with other users’ quiet enjoyment of the park. Last week the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission approved a program that includes five rotating off-leash areas. Dog owners will serve as the stewards of the park by following and enforcing the rules regulating use of the space. Consistent with best practices in turf management, the designated space will be rotated to a new location every six-months, and dog owners will fund restoration of the previously used spaces.
Signs will be posted and trash cans added to the new off-leash sites. Park rangers can ticket pet owners for allowing their dog off-leash in non-designated areas or for not picking up after their pets.
“I know it’s a very challenging park to try to do this in, but it’s also a park many, many hundreds if not thousands of dog owners are using” Elizabeth Vizza, Executive Director of the Friends of the Public Garden, told the commission.
The sites range in size from 21,000 to 57,500 square feet. Three of the proposed sites are located near Beacon Street; two are near the Parkman Bandstand by Tremont Street.
While approving the plan, the commission raised concerns about enforcement of the rules and stipulated that it would review the success of the program six months after it begins.
“All of us are sympathetic to dogs wanting to run off-leash and have energy, and what not, but there is common courtesy, and the Common is for people without dogs as well,” said Susan Park, a Parks and Recreation commissioner.
“This is going to require the folks that have come to this agreement help us enforce it, and talk to dog owners and encourage dog owners to do the right thing,” Vizza said.
No date has been set for the program to begin.
Job One this fall will be to restore the turf below the Joy Street stairs that’s been used as a pilot dog recreation area. The Friends are currently working with the city to determine whether this restoration needs to be complete before the other spaces can be opened.
Job two falls in the hands of dog owners. A group of organizers called Common Canine also needs to raise money for signs, dog waste receptacles and other play perks for pooches, she said.
The Friends and Common Canine plan to operate the dog park between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., eventually on five designated rotating spaces so that no one area gets beaten down by paw traffic.
With all of the snow we’ve been getting, some have been crying for help! But others have taken this opportunity to enjoy some of their favorite winter sports on the Boston Common, especially children who just enjoyed a full week away from school. A recent article in the Boston Globe compared winter activities then and now and found that the children of today enjoy many of the same activities as children from 80 years ago. The equipment may be different, but the spirit is the same. We’d like to take a moment to review all of our favorite winter sports. Speaking of winter sports, don’t forget to grab your tickets to join Young Friends of the Public Garden at the Frog Pond tonight for an evening of skating and fun all in support of your favorite Boston parks! Tickets available here.
Winter Sports Review
Snow shoeing is one of Boston’s oldest winter sports, dating back to the 18th and 19th century when hunters and lumberjacks would don this unusual footwear. Before them Native American’s had designed perhaps some of the most efficient snow shoes. Eventually snow showing became a leisure activity and snow shoes were worn for sport. The young ladies pictured below seem to be having a good time, but they probably won’t get very far like that!
Other winter sports tend to be a little more faced paced. Skating requires a smooth surface for sliding across while sledding, skiing and snowboarding tend to be downhill (the exception being cross country skiing, which is much more like snow shoeing).
Anytime there’s snow you’re sure to find children sledding in the Boston Common. That hasn’t changed much in the last 80 or so years.
Skiing became popularized in the Boston area in the early 1920′s with the rise of the Arlberg Technique. Rumor has it that one ski enthusiast, Otto Schniebs, who later became a legendary ski instructor, first gained notoriety when he skied across the Boston Common, causing a traffic jam that required law enforcement to respond. These ladies don’t seem like they plan to cause much of stir in their winter gear.
We don’t see much skiing in the Boston Common these days, but we sure do see plenty of snowboarding. When snow falls snowboarders flock to the Common to build jumps and try to catch some air. We don’t recommend trying these stunts yourself!
For the past week we’ve been hearing a lot about winter storm Nemo. Complaints about shoveling, excitement about sledding and even some apologies from the city for slow-moving clean up efforts. It seems we’re on Nemo overload. So instead of talking more about the storm, we thought we would share some of our favorite photos from the post-Nemo Public Garden, Boston Common and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Thanks to everybody who posted. Enjoy!
Valentine’s Day is this week! It’s common knowledge that the Boston Public Garden is one of the most romantic places in the city. Even the Ducklings are ready to share the love! Whether your have a date or you’re planning an anti-Valentine’s Day celebration with Friends, the Public Garden offers a picturesque pre or post-dinner walk. If you’re willing to brave a little chill, it’s the perfect location for a picnic. Not to mention being ranked one of the best places to sneak a kiss! There’s a reason so many of Boston’s brides select this location for their wedding photos. Find out what all the hype is about.
Be sure to tweet your favorite Public Garden photos to @FOPG!
The Boston Marathon is just 11 weeks away! Team Friends is pumped and ready to tackle the challenges that come with running a race of this distance. In fact, many of our team members have had to overcome injuries or illnesses and navigate how time off would effect their training schedules. We’re happy to say that everyone is fully recovered and ready to train hard as we approach the home stretch of marathon preparations.
Team member, Allison Byrne suffered a foot injury that prevented her from running for 3 weeks. Allison used her time productively and hit the pool when she could not strap on those running shoes. She continues her training now with a better understanding of her body and feels confident she will be prepared to face Marathon Monday. Her goal is to build back up her mileage slowly to avoid risking another injury so close to race day.
Lori Shoemaker is a marathon pro. She’s been running since the age of 9 and has completed quite a few marathons over years. So she was not concerned when the “super flu” ran through her family, she knew training could wait until she was back in good health. Instead of stressing about how her performance would be affected by a break, she took a leisurely recovery and is back in the grind now. Lori feels confident that she will be ready by race day.
Brian Ladley was also out of commission for a few weeks with, what he calls, his “annual Christmas cold”. Brian is also no novice to marathon training. He knew he could afford to take a few weeks off in the early stages of his training and that he would benefit from allowing himself a full recovery before pushing his body too hard.
We’re happy that all the members of Team Friends are fully recovered and back on the road. This weekend was the longest run of the Fitcorp training program! We’ll be checking in with our runners soon to see how they felt after the run and any insight they’d like to share about training for a marathon!
Don’t forget to visit the Team Friends Fundraising Page!
The Young Friends of the Public Garden will be hosting a spectacular winter event! On Monday, February 25, join Young Friends for a night a skating on the Boston Common Frog Pond. Don’t worry if you don’t have skates, your ticket for admission includes skate rental.
Date: Monday, February 25
Time: 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Buy tickets here
Visit the Facebook event page