Romeo and Juliet return to the Swan Pond

What a beautiful day to welcome Romeo and Juliet back to the Swan Pond! After spending their winter at the Franklin Park Zoo the swans, who have been nesting together for ten years, were released back into the pond this morning. They enjoyed quite the reception complete with a parade, a few words from Mayor Thomas Menino and cookies shaped like swans to honor the pair’s return.  After a few words from Park’s Commissioner Antonia Pollak, Mayor Menino explained to onlookers that these swans symbolize what is at the heart of this great city and said that he considers spring to have officially begun now that they are home safe.

For their part, the swans seemed eager to return to their home, they were hardly able to sit still as they waited for the doors to their crates to be opened. Upon returning to the water they glided serenely away, but under that graceful calm you could tell the swans were happy to be home.

Following the ceremony observers were invited to enjoy delicious swan shaped cookies and lemonade provided by the Four Seasons Hotel. It was a wonderful way to spend the morning. For more photos from the event visit the Friends of the Public Garden facebook page:

The Friends of the Public Garden Celebrate the Brewer Fountain Plaza!

On May 2, 2012, the Friends of the Public Garden, Mayor Thomas Menino and other Bostonians gathered at the Brewer Fountain Plaza to celebrate its historic re-opening in the Boston Common. The new plaza officially opened by Park and Tremont streets.

The renovation of the Brewer Fountain Plaza is just the first part of a $5 million project to restore parts of the Boston Common. The beautiful 22-foot fountain was refurbished with help from the city of Boston as well as private donors. Along with the fountain renovation, the festivities celebrated the new amenities within the Common. This project also helped raise money for benches, pathways and lots of curbs for the area surrounding the fountain. The grass leading from the fountain to the State House of Massachusetts, known as Liberty Mall, was improved tremendously over the course of the project. The Mall now has brand-new irrigation and fresh soil that Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak compared to the grass at Boston’s beloved Fenway Park.

The Brewer Fountain Plaza also has a few unique additions that will make even more special to the people of Boston. There will be lots of new chess tables with umbrellas as well as newsstands with papers, magazines and books to read! The Brewer Fountain Plaza will also have a fabulous piano available for the enjoyment of Bostonians during the nice weather! The piano, an Ivers & Pond model, was built in 1885 and designed by Ted Furst for the outdoor conditions in the park. It has an electronic keyboard, a mixer and professional speakers–the best part is that they’re all solar powered! The atmosphere of the Brewer Fountain Plaza will be even more fun and enjoyable for anyone who visits.

At the ceremony, spectators heard from Henry Lee, Mayor Menino, Councilor Salvatore LaMattina, Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak and others, including representatives from the Friends of the Public Garden. The event included placing items in a time capsule, which will be buried in the Common to commemorate the project upon its completion next year. During the event, participants were serenaded by Cettina Donato on the piano and Dana Oakes’s beautiful trumpet.

The Friends of the Public Garden would like to thank Henry Lee, Mayor Menino, Salvatore LaMattina, Antonia Pollak and everyone else who made this amazing event possible! We hope to enjoy the Brewer Fountain Plaza and all of its renovations for many, many years to come

Beacon Hill Garden Club to Donate $55,000 to the Friends

We are going to be celebrating a $55,000 donation from the Beacon Hill Garden Club for a remembrance grove for Boston Common. We would like to invite you to join us on November 18 at noon in front of the Brewer Fountain for a very special event. Our press release is below for more information:

The Beacon Hill Garden Club will donate $55,000—its largest donation to any organization—to the Friends of the Public Garden for the installation and maintenance of a remembrance grove as part of the restoration of the Brewer Fountain Plaza on Boston Common. The Beacon Hill Garden Club’s eleven-tree remembrance grove will honor deceased members including Jeanne Muller Ryan, Alex Norton, and Vera Innes. The grove will serve as a memorial for all the achievements that members, past and present, have and will accomplish during their lifetimes.

The donation represents the Beacon Hill Garden Club’s involvement in the Garden Club of America’s centennial celebration in 2013. With trees as the theme of the celebration, each participating club began a 5-year program in 2008 to work with community organizations in planting new trees. The Beacon Hill Garden Club Remembrance Grove is a significant planting within the Brewer Fountain Plaza project, which will transform this southeastern gateway into the park and add trees to an area of the city heavily used by Boston residents, commuters, and visitors.

Both organizations will celebrate the donation jointly on November 18 at noon, suitably in front of the Brewer Fountain on Boston Common. State Representative Marty Walz, State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Boston Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollack are expected to be in attendance with children from the Advent School and visual performance artist Katja Esser, who will embody the spirit and form of a tree using sound, movement, and poetry, costume and mask. Members of the general public are invited to attend as the Friends of the Public Garden and the Beacon Hill Garden Club meet the next generation of park supporters.