Seeking Volunteers for Boston Common Study of Park Users

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Friends of the Public Garden Puppets on the Common Event (Photo: Caroline Phillips-Licari)

The Friends of the Public Garden is preparing to embark on an exciting three-season study of the Boston Common to better understand how the park is used, the numbers and intensity of various types of use, where park users come from, and what their interests and needs are to help inform planning and management of this important greenspace. We are working with an experienced research firm to conduct this survey and are in need of volunteers to assist. Volunteers and some Friends staff will be carrying out the survey including observing and recording uses and conducting interviews.

Who: Volunteers who are available to work occasional shifts, usually ranging from 3 to 4 hours.

What: Interviewing and counting people on the Common

Where: Boston Common and Friends of the Public Garden offices across from the Common

When: Spring, summer and fall, various times of day (some early morning, some evenings but only during daylight); we will not observe or interview during winter.

Skills needed: 

► clear speaking voice in English, able to be heard outdoors;
► enthusiastic and comfortable approaching park users and asking questions about their patterns of park use and opinions about park issues;
► attention to detail and following instructions about interviewing and observing;
► nimble in making quick counts of large numbers of people while walking around the Common.

  • Minimum commitment: 20 hours (training time + 5 shifts on different days, 3 hours /day)
    maximum commitment: 40 hours (training time + 10 shifts on different days, 3-4 hours /day)
  • Desired work times: flexible, weekdays and weekends, normal park-use times from early morning through early evening; we hope that people will often work together in pairs

Please email us at info@friendsofthepublicgarden.org if you are interested in volunteering for this project.

Spend an Majestic Morning with Puppets on the Common

FOPG Puppets on the Common, August 22, 2014 by Elizabeth Jordan (5)

The Friends of the Public Garden is pleased to present:

Puppets on the Common
“The Enchanted Castle and the Royal Park”
Boston Common, Parkman Bandstand
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
10:30 a.m.
Children are welcome to join the Friends and Rosalita’s Puppets for a majestic morning of entertainment featuring Fairy Godmother Glitter and Princess Crystal who will be accompanied by their pals Dragon, Wizard, Unicorn and several fairies.

The M. Holt Massey Charitable Trust is sponsoring this show.

Sounds and Sights Delight at Brewer Fountain Plaza

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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 www.friendsofthepublicgarden.org or email info@friendsofthepublicgarden.org to let us know about your visit.

Boston Common Frog Pond Wading Pool Opening July 1

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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 http://www.bostonfrogpond.com for more information.

Take the Duckling Day Quiz

Children play on Make Way for Ducklings scupture at end of parade
Children play on Make Way for Ducklings sculpture at end of 2014 Duckling Day parade

Test your Duckling Day IQ with our quiz! 

True or False

1. The author of Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey, kept a family of ducklings in the bathtub of his apartment as he was writing the book. 

2. The Make Way for Ducklings sculpture is the only one one of its kind in the world! 

3. The Make Way for Ducklings book is the official children’s book of Massachusetts? 

4. “Oooh-ack” is definitely the proper pronunciation of duckling Ouack’s name.

5. Duckling Day has been a Boston Tradition for less than 10 years. 

1. True. The author, Robert McCloskey, kept a family of ducklings in the bathtub of his apartment as he was writing the book. His tolerant roommate at the time, Marc Simont, also went on to become a famous children’s book writer. And in case you were thinking that might be fun? McCloskey noted, ”Ducks start quacking at the break of day, very loudly and emphatically.”

2. False. The duckling sculptures that the Friends of the Public Garden had made and placed in the Garden in 1987 exist in just one other place – Moscow! Raisa Gorbachev fell in love with the ducklings on a visit to Boston, and former First Lady Barbara Bush presented them to Raisa during a 1991 summit meeting.

3. True. Make Way for Ducklings is the official children’s book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts….and it’s best enjoyed with some chocolate chip cookies – the official cookie of Massachusetts!

4. False. The mystery of how to pronounce “Ouack” has never been solved: some prefer “Oh-ack” and others “Oooh-ack”!

5. False.  Duckling Day has been a beloved Mother’s Day tradition in Boston for over 30 years! It’s a morning of fun for the whole family organized by the Friends of the Public Garden.

Duckling Day is on May 10th, Mother’s Day. Dress up the kids in their duckling best and enjoy entertainment and games on Boston Common – with a free mini-massage for Mom! The famous Harvard Band will lead a parade to the Make Way for Ducklings statues. The event is hosted by the non-profit Friends of the Public Garden.

You may register at the event. Registration opens at 10 a.m.