More than 100 Friends Members and others attended a reception at Carver Ballroom of the Revere Hotel on Thursday, October 9th for an evening focused on preparing for climate change. Chair of the Friends Board of Directors Anne Brooke kicked-off the Members Reception event by thanking members for their involvement and support, providing an update on projects, and thanking the Motor Mart Garage, the event’s lead sponsor.
Executive Director Elizabeth Vizza provided an overview of a generous marketing campaign implemented by Hill Holliday to raise visibility for the Friends. The Boston-based communications firm designed a new logo, and a wonderfully creative campaign that appeared on advertising space they secured for the Friends on MBTA information kiosks, bus shelters, buses, billboards, and in subway cars. In appreciation of this marketing partnership, the Friends sponsored a bench in Hill Holliday’s name and, to the delight of Hill Holliday staff in attendance and the audience, surprised them with the gift at the event.
Featured speaker Brian Swett, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space for the City of Boston displayed maps, photographs and renderings showing how climate change is expected to impact the city. He explained that 2012 was the warmest year on record in the U.S. by one full degree, and that by 2047, the coldest years will be warmer than today’s warmest. He described several cutting-edge projects Boston has initiated to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the city and its residents. How do parks help? Parks with ample turf areas and trees offer the benefits of soaking up rain water, returning it to the groundwater, and cooling the land. Swett says that areas with trees can be as much as 10 to 15 degrees cooler than those without; a major benefit of our parks. The tree count in Boston Common, the Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall totals more than 1,700, and they are cared for by the Friends. For more than four decades we have been working in partnership with the city to protect and enhance these parks. In 2013 alone, under our tree care program, 700 trees were pruned and 1,200 were treated against diseases such as Dutch elm.
Swett encouraged everyone to get involved with Greenovate Boston. According to its website, greenovateboston.org, a community-driven movement aims to get all Bostonians involved in reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.