The Friends of the Public Garden has been working in partnership with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to care for the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall for 44 years. The results of our work are well known and appreciated, such as tree and sculpture care in these parks, yet the majority of people recently asked about the Friends were largely unaware of our organization. This was the finding in a survey conducted by top-notch communications agency Hill Holiday in late 2013 as part of a generous pro bono project, a project made possible thanks to a connection made through Friends Council member Ron Druker. That finding came as no surprise. In fact, our leadership team had already been working on a plan to move the Friends organization forward and raise its profile, which culminated in the Strategic Plan, 2014-2018.
A new visibility campaign designed by Hill Holiday is aimed at introducing the Friends to a broader audience who know and love the parks we serve, but may be unaware of our central role in their care yesterday, today, and the role we plan to play in raising their level of excellence in the future. The first stop on the trek to raise visibility is signage appearing on donated advertising space on roughly 50 MBTA bus shelters and information kiosks, which prominently feature a new logo designed by Hill Holiday. Signage on buses and subways cars will follow. We hope that those who already know the Friends enjoy seeing our name and image around town, and we look forward to welcoming new Friends to connect with us.
Celebrate America’s pastime as the Boston Red Sox, the Highland Street Foundation, and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department team up to bring three Red Sox away games to the Boston Common on Sunday, July 27. Bring a blanket to watch the game on the big screen and cheer on the Red Sox! Everyone is welcome at this free event featuring live viewing of the game, caricaturists, balloon artists, face painters, giveaways, and refreshments. Special guests include Red Sox mascot Wally, Red Sox DJ TJ Connelly, Announcer Henry Mahegan, Organist Josh Kantor, and the Hot Tamales Brass Band.
Sunday, July 27, 1:40 p.m. – Boston Common, corner of Charles and Beacon Streets, Boston
“When spring finally came, the rose bushes burst into life, rising day by day toward the sun,” according to The Boston Globe piece Public Garden’s roses delight after winter’s bite. The article, written by Peter Schworm, celebrates the dazzling blooms that draw so many to the Public Garden, and tells the behind-the-scenes story of their care. A volunteer group of the Friends, the Rose Brigade, has been working in collaboration with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department for years to care for these treasured bushes that adorn America’s first public botanical garden.
The Brigade is made up of men and women of all ages. Newcomers are happily welcomed, as are occasional or one-day helpers. Gloves, tools, and instructions are supplied.
During the high season of roses, June through September, the Brigade gathers every Tuesday from 5-7 pm. As the days grow shorter in October we meet earlier. Ad hoc projects occur in April, May, and December. There is a colorful flag to help everyone find where we are working.
Congratulations to our Rose Brigade volunteers and the Boston Parks and Recreation on wonderful blooms this year, and thank you for your efforts to enhance these spectacular sights for all to enjoy.
The Friends of the Public Garden will be hosting A Summer Party at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on July 23rd from 5:30-7:30pm. Join us to celebrate summer with festive hors d’oeuvres, drinks and friends while supporting the parks! Proceeds from the party will help the Friends preserve and enhance the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
Tickets $75, are available for purchase online or by calling 617-723-8144.
TripAdvisor recently ranked Boston’s Public Garden fifth on its 2014 Travelers’ Choice list of 25 top parks.
Boston’s Public Garden is the groomed and formal younger cousin to the more casual and boisterous Boston Common. The first public botanical garden in America, its form, plantings, and statuary evoke its Victorian heritage. This green and flowering oasis in the heart of a great metropolis has become a Boston icon. No visit would be complete without a stroll in the Garden and a voyage on one of its Swan Boats.
The Garden is truly a people’s park and a public pride. It is not only accessible to everyone, but citizens have always played an extraordinary role in protecting and preserving it. Observing the Garden on a peaceful summer’s day with the trees in leaf, the flower beds bright with color, and the Swan Boats tracing their tranquil course around the serpentine pond, you would never think of it as a civic battleground. In fact, it has been an ongoing struggle to keep these twenty-four acres of reclaimed land as a place of quiet beauty for the enjoyment of all.
A giant American elm tree that lived on Commonwealth Avenue Mall between Dartmouth and Exeter Streets for more than 100 years had to be removed due to Dutch elm disease on Tuesday, June 17. The Friends remain vigilant in treating the elms in our parks against this disease, in order to protect the elm tree population. For almost roughly 150 years, trees have been a treasured sight on this historic promenade and in 2013, for the first time in more than 43 years, each planting location on the Mall had a tree. Originally all the trees on the Mall were elms, and the population was ravaged by the disease. They have been replaced with a variety of trees of similar scale and profile, including disease-resistant elms.
Dutch elm disease has been affecting the U.S. elm population since the 1930’s. The disease can kill an entire elm tree anywhere from weeks to years. The disease is brought on by a fungus that is distributed by the Elm Bark Beetle or via a root graft infection.
Signs of Dutch Elm Disease
• Sudden wilting of leaves in branches
• Curling and yellowing leaves
• Branch die-back
When to spot infections
• Spring and Summer
Confirmation of Dutch Elm Disease
• When branches are cut out, look below peeled bark for signs of streaking
• Confirm through lab results
Learn more about the Friends tree care program and how you can help.