Boston Red Sox Coming to Boston Common

Celebrate America’s pastime as the Boston Red Sox, the Highland Street Foundation, and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department team up to bring three Red Sox away games to the Boston Common on Sunday, July 27.  Bring a blanket to watch the game on the big screen and cheer on the Red Sox! Everyone is welcome at this free event featuring live viewing of the game, caricaturists, balloon artists, face painters, giveaways, and refreshments.  Special guests include Red Sox mascot Wally, Red Sox DJ TJ Connelly, Announcer Henry Mahegan, Organist Josh Kantor, and the Hot Tamales Brass Band.

Sunday, July 27, 1:40 p.m. – Boston Common, corner of Charles and Beacon Streets, Boston



Brewer Fountain Plaza: A Fountain-Side Retreat on Boston Common


Brewer Fountain Plaza is once again a vibrant gathering place
Brewer Fountain Plaza is once again a vibrant gathering place


The sounds, sights and scents of the season make Brewer Fountain Plaza a popular gathering spot for spring and summer once again.  If you have been following the evolution of this area in recent years, you are probably aware that a $4 million renovation project by the Friends has transformed it from a once deteriorated space to a destination of choice for residents, area workers, and anyone looking for a fountain-side retreat in a spectacular outdoor venue.  You may have read about the project in our recent blog post What’s Happening on Brewer Fountain Plaza and will be happy to know that the tables, chairs, music, reading room, and Clover Food truck are all back on the plaza ahead of schedule.  As for the construction happening just a few feet away, it is where the final phase of the restoration project is taking place.  Thank you for your words of appreciation for this project and for your patience as we complete it.  If you are interested in receiving updates on Brewer Fountain Plaza and other Friends activities, please sign up for our email newsletter and other alerts, and follow us on social media.


Please Join Us for the Friends 44th Annual Meeting


Friends of the Public Garden Annual Meeting 2014

The 44th Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Public Garden will take place on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 with a reception to follow. Members of the Friends leadership will provide updates on the organization and discuss its plans for the future, including a newly developed five-year strategic plan.

Bill Walczak
Bill Walczak

The featured speaker for this event is long-time parks advocate Bill Walczak who will present on “Opportunities for Parks in Boston’s New Political Environment.” Walczak was a candidate for Mayor of Boston in 2013, is Vice President of External Relations at Shawmut Design and Construction, and a member of the Friends Council. He has been a park advocate since the 1970s, when he helped create the Friends of Peabody Square Park in Dorchester, helped to restore the historic Uphams Corner Burial Ground, and became the caretaker of the James Blake House in Dorchester, which included being the guardian of Richardson Park, the park in which the Blake House resides. He was a founder of the Boston GreenSpace Alliance, and in the mid-1980s started the Friends of Savin Hill Park. He served on the Parks Commission for the City of Boston in the 1980s and 90s.

The meeting is open to the public. RSVP by April 22 by calling 617-723-8144 or emailing

Spring Membership Drive and an incentive to join the Friends

public garden lagoonThe Friends of the Public Garden has launched its spring membership drive with an enticing incentive: Anyone who joins the Friends by May 1 will be entered into a drawing to win lunch for two at the Four Seasons Hotel’s Bristol Lounge.

“We look forward to welcoming new members to our organization, and we are grateful to the Four Seasons for its generous donation,” said Anne Brooke, president of the Friends.

A membership organization open to all, the Friends was founded in 1970 by concerned citizens. It works closely with the Boston Parks Department to protect and enhance Boston’s three historic parks: the Boston Common, the Public Garden and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. For four decades, the Friends has funded the expert care of trees and plantings and the maintenance and restoration of sculptures and fountains, and it has been a staunch advocate to protect the parks from misuse and encroachment.

“None of this could have been accomplished without the support of our members,” Brooke said. To cap off the membership drive, the Friends will host a wine-and-cheese reception in the Friends office at 69 Beacon St. on Wednesday, May 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  President Emeritus Henry Lee and Executive Director Liz Vizza will speak briefly, and exhibits detailing the Friends work in the parks will be on display.

The drawing for the lunch at the Bristol Lounge will take place at the end of the May 1 reception. Those who join at the reception will be entered twice into the drawing. Those who cannot attend the reception can also be entered into the drawing by joining online before May 1 at or by calling 617-723-8144 for a membership form. Membership starts at only $25.

Reservations for the reception are required due to limited space. R.S.V.P. to 617-723-8144 or  For more information about the Friends of the Public Garden,  visit

Click here to join the Friends of the Public Garden!

We Love Boston’s Parks!

Recently the Boston Business Journal published an article about a ranking assessing some of the nation’s best (and worst) parks. The parks we know and love here in Boston, like the Public Garden, Boston Common and more, made the top of the list at #3, tying with New York City. While the parks in our city may be 3rd in the national rankings, they’ll always be first in our hearts!

Why do we love the parks in Boston? We love them because they bring joy to the people of Boston and those who are lucky enough to visit. During this time of year, we love being able to stroll outside on a lunch break to visit the Make Way for Ducklings statue or read a newspaper at the Brewer Fountain Plaza. There’s also nothing like watching a parade of children dressed up as ducklings enjoy a perfect Mother’s Day in the Common and Public Garden. Family events happen all over our parks during the year–between the Swan Boats, family concerts and lots of free activities, the Boston parks are picture perfect family fun! And who doesn’t love First Night or ice skating on Frog Pond in the wintertime? We’re so lucky to live in a city with beautiful parks that offer so much!

What’s your favorite thing about Boston’s parks? Feel free to share any of your best memories of the parks that will always be #1 to us!

Parks Department to monitor Dutch Elm Bark Beetle

As part of the ongoing maintenance of elm trees in the Boston Common, Public Garden and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, the City, in partnership with The Friends of the Public Garden, has been working on an elm bark beetle monitoring program.  This new approach is in line with current integrated pest management (IPM) strategies to reduce the amount of chemicals used to control harmful insect populations.  The traps set will give us important data on the elm beetle populations such as numbers of beetles and timing of their generational hatching, this data will then help us form a more effective and environmentally friendly management program.

The traps themselves will be 18.5″x 28″ plywood painted green with a pheromone trap in the center, attached to trees at a height of about 15′.  The current plan is to have 4 each in the Common and Public Garden and 3 in the Fenway Victory garden.  Each trap must be at least 150′ away from any elm trees which is why they cannot be placed on the Mall.  There will be signage included explaining the function of the traps, and the Park line as a contact number for any questions.  There are no pesticides involved in the traps.  The traps will go up no earlier than the first of March and will be removed no later than the first of October.

Brewer Fountain Construction Moving Forward

The Brewer Fountain construction project began as a vision to rejuvenate Boston’s public space. The Boston Common is central to the community and has always been an enjoyable public venue. Renovations to the Brewer Fountain and surrounding plaza, which are being completed in several phases, will serve to enhance this already welcoming space.

The first phase of the project is to restore the fountain itself, which was completed in May of 2010, and to construct the surrounding plaza, make landscape and hardscape improvements including a new storm draining system, irrigation system and pathway improvements.  This portion of the restoration should be completed in time for Spring. Currently, posted signs provide information about detour routes and the anticipated completion date. Come springtime 2012, the Brewer Fountain Plaza will include folding chairs and tables-some with umbrellas- a reading room, a gourmet food truck and, an additional perk, live piano music during lunch.
In phase two, more hardscape and landscape improvements are scheduled. These changes will match improvements made to the Common along Tremont St and in front of the Lowes theaters and Ritz Carlton. New fencing and a green strip will separate the park from Tremont Street. The original fence that provided a barrier
between the Common and the street was taken down at the turn of the 20th century while the subway was being built. Today the park and street seem to bleed into one another; the addition of a green, grassy strip will restore a sense of separation, defining the Common as its own space and an escape from the city streets. The pathway improvements will enhance the connection from Park St. station to the Brewer Plaza and help define the alignment of the Liberty Mall pathway. This final phase should be complete sometime in spring 2013. 

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Some of the construction you’ve seen is not related to the fountain renovation. The MBTA is also doing some work on the Common, installing a head house for a new elevator, providing increased handicapped accessibility to the Park Street Station. That project is expected to be finished in fall of 2012.

When the project is complete visitors to the fountain will be able to enjoy a delightful space with an incredible view of the State House.