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Meet the Friends: Bob Mulcahy

June 28, 2015


Bob Mulcahy has been working as the Friends Project Manager for the past four years. He came to know the organization through his work as a project manager in the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, where he was employed for eight years.

As the Friends Project Manager, Bob oversees the direct care of the three parks, including tree pruning, planting, and disease control; turf care; and the organization’s various capital projects such as renovations at Brewer Fountain Plaza and the Boylston Street border of the Garden. His experience working with the City and his love for the parks give Bob a unique perspective on these greenspaces and the people who are involved in their care. Bob works hard to maintain and improve the beautiful, historic green spaces that are so beloved by the city, especially by Bob himself. “These three parks are a direct link to the history of the country and the residents that move through the downtown area,” he says. “To fight for them and beautify them is gratifying and motivating. I’m proud to be part of an organization that is committed to that.”

There are many dedicated individuals who work in a variety of stewardship roles to keep the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall in their best condition for all to enjoy. The “Meet the Friends” series was created to showcase these passionate individuals and their significant contributions.

Celebrating Blooms and Updates on Olympic News

June 26, 2015
Rooftop View 1

View from Taj Boston


The greenery and flowers that we have patiently awaited are finally here in full force. Spring was an especially beautiful time of year to stroll along Commonwealth Avenue Mall under canopies boasting thousands of lush leaves, to traverse the Common on paths surrounded by green grass, and delight in the spectacular blooms in the Public Garden. Bravo to the City of Boston and its horticultural team led by Anthony Hennessy on this year’s spring plantings in the Garden; they were a sight to behold. Thank you to all who support these parks through membership in the Friends and your role as stewards.

Our work in collaboration with the Parks and Recreation Department to preserve and enhance these greenspaces continues. We met with representatives from Boston 2024 and were assured that the Public Garden will not be used as a venue for events or structures for the 2024 Olympic bid. This is welcome news. We are also pleased that the temporary beach volleyball stadium and ancillary structures proposed for the Common are being relocated. As we continue to monitor news of plans that will impact our parks, we look forward to discussions with Boston 2024 and City leadership to work toward a plan that is acceptable to all. In addition to advocating for appropriate use of our parks during the Olympics, we are meeting with groups that use the Common for large-scale events, to ensure that their impact is managed and mitigated. Our parks are wonderful places to play, celebrate with community members, and find moments of quiet solitude. We want to make sure that they are in excellent condition and available for all to enjoy. Thank you for sharing your voices to advocate for these irreplaceable greenspaces.

Summer is here and it is time for our annual Summer Party being held at the Taj rooftop on Wednesday, July 22! Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets to make this event an early sell-out. We look forward to toasting you, our members and supporters as we enjoy the view from the Taj rooftop and overlook the parks that you support so generously.

As always, please send us your feedback; we enjoy hearing from you.


Anne Brooke, Chair
Elizabeth Vizza, Executive Director

Sounds and Sights Delight at Brewer Fountain Plaza

June 25, 2015


After a $4 million renovation by the Friends of the Public Garden, the Brewer Fountain Plaza on the Boston Common is in the midst of its first post-renovation season! With the physical renovation complete, the Plaza now offers new features that make the space a perfect place to spend the day.
Café tables and chairs are set out under umbrellas for lounging during the day or grabbing lunch at the on-site Clover Food Truck. A reading area offers newspapers and magazines to browse while enjoying the view of the bubbling Brewer Fountain and the gold-capped State House just up the path.

Every weekday during lunchtime, students from Berklee College of Music play music on the piano. On Thursdays at 5:00pm, the featured pianist of the week joins a jazz trio for evening Summer Concerts. Berklee pianists James Fernando, Daniel Pugh, Justin Salisbury, and Vivienne Aerts will be featured in June and July.

The largest project the Friends has taken on, Brewer Fountain Plaza has become an attractive place of leisure, where park-goers can sit and read the newspaper, snack on a treat from Clover, and enjoy atmospheric music provided by talented local musicians.

Be sure to head down to the Brewer Fountain Plaza during a lunch break or on a sunny afternoon to take advantage of all that the space has to offer!

For more information about the Brewer Fountain Plaza, visit or email to let us know about your visit.

Boston Common Frog Pond Wading Pool Opening July 1

June 25, 2015


Boston Parks Commissioner Chris Cook and The Skating Club of Boston president Joe Blount will welcome children and guests to kick off the 2015 summer season as the Boston Common Frog Pond reopens on Wednesday, July 1. The day will include a fun and exciting celebration at 11 a.m. followed by the opening of the wading pool.
“Boston’s youngest residents are ready to cool off from the heat as the Frog Pond wading pool opens for the season,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I hope all of our residents are able to enjoy the Common this summer. This is a great place for families to relax with a carousel, food concessions, and the Swan Boats all within walking distance.”
In addition to activities from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., information regarding upcoming summer programs offered by the City of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission will be available to families and residents and tasty treats will be provided by in-kind sponsors HP Hood LLC, Cabot Cheese. DAVIDsTEA, and Polar Beverages.
The celebration will feature a special visit from official mascot Frog Pond Freddie, entertainment, face painting, books courtesy of ReadBoston, and giveaways from Mix 104.1 FM. In addition, children of all ages are eligible to enter a summer raffle.

The Frog Pond spray pool will be open for wading daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Labor Day. Visit for more information.

Friends Summer Party Slated for Taj Rooftop

June 23, 2015


UPDATE: This event is sold out. To have your name added to the waiting list, please call our office at 617-723-8144.

We hope you can join us. This is typically a sell-out event so please purchase tickets early.

This event is generously sponsored by First Republic Bank.

Boston Students Make History on Boston Common

June 17, 2015

On Monday, June 1st the Friends of the Public Garden hosted the sixth annual Making History on the Common. Roughly 700 local elementary and middle school students and their teachers traveled to the Boston Common to learn about the history of Boston and participate in fun and educational activities presented by numerous nonprofit and city partners including Historic New England,  the Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, the Freedom Trail Foundation, and Boston’s City Archaeologist.
“It is inspiring to experience the enthusiasm students express as they become fully engaged in interactive history lessons on Boston Common, one of our country’s most historic sites,” said Elizabeth Vizza, Executive Director of the Friends of the Public Garden.

The cold rain on the day of the event could not dampen the students’ eagerness to learn about the city’s history and engage in the various activities that each organization had to offer. Full from the apples donated by Whole Foods Market and wrapped in rain ponchos, the students visited over a dozen stations, each portraying a different aspect of historic life in Boston. At 20th Century Protests, students learned about use of the Boston Common for protests throughout the decades, and wrote on a large protest sign about what they would protest in their own lives. The group from the 54th Massachusetts Regiment told stories about the first all-black regiment in the Civil War, memorialized in the Shaw/54th Regiment Memorial across from the State House on the Common. The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers’ tent gave students a chance to learn some of the dances and play games that were popular in the 1800’s. The students played in the rain with sticks and hoops provided by Historic New England, having as much fun now as children did centuries ago. One of the most eye-catching tents was that of the Ancient Fishweir Project and Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers. Students learned about the use of fishweir, a replica of which was set up where the bay would have reached in the early 1600’s, as a way to catch fish along the shoreline. The students then learned a chant and danced around, just as the Wampanoag had done thousands of years prior.

“Teachers and students alike tell us that this is their favorite field trip of the year,” said Vizza. “We are so appreciative of the many non-profit and public partners who join us to make this event possible. We are also grateful for the financial support we have received from lead sponsor Motor Mart Garage and through a grant from MassHumanities.”

At the end of the event, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company began its annual “June Day” ceremony on the Common. Classes that stayed after Making History watched the group discharge cannons and march through the Common in its annual festive re-enactment of their drum-head ceremony.

Barks and Bagels on Boston Common

June 4, 2015

barks and bagels

The Common Canine, a subgroup of the Friends of the Public Garden is teaming up with the Frog Pond to host the first annual Barks and Bagels event on Saturday, June 6th at 8:00AM.

Walk your dog down to the Boston Common Frog Pond for licensing, microchip services, training, and treats. For the owners, there will be coffee, bagels, and exciting give-aways!

Barks and Bagels is a fun way to treat your four-legged friend, meet other owners, and support the Common Canine group and the work they do to provide the Boston Common off-leash dog program.

For more information on Common Canine, visit their page on our website.


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