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!