Performance Added to Leap Year Skating Event


Attendees of our Celebrate Leap Year at Boston Common Frog Pond event will be treated to special performances by competitive figure skaters Ashley Harkins, Elana Sargent, Juliana Bent, and Nikki Montanaro. Skaters will be donating their time and talent to entertain guests.

Our event welcomes skaters of all ages and abilities. Non-skaters are welcome to mingle over hot cocoa and enjoy the show while supporting parks. We look forward to seeing many of you at this event hosted by our Young Friends group. Register today. 

Boston Common Frog Pond Wading Pool Opening July 1


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 for more information.

Celebrating Boston Landmarks Commission 40th Anniversary with Boston Common Tour

Boston Common (Photo: Caroline Phillips-Licari)
Boston Common (Photo: Caroline Phillips-Licari

The Friends is delighted to be partnering with the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) on an event that will kick-off their 40th anniversary year. Mayor Martin J. Walsh recently announced a series of free events scheduled throughout 2015 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of BLC. Titled BLC XL, this anniversary series will feature four seasonal programs celebrating Boston’s historic places and the progress made during the past four decades to protect and enhance the city’s unique identity.

On March 12, 2015, please join us at the winter BLC XL program, “A Spin in the Park,” a free guided tour of the Boston Common. On this early-evening ramble, the Friends will present the colorful history of the Common, a designated Boston Landmark since 1977, and their ongoing efforts to restore and maintain it. BLC staff will reveal how the Common’s significant fences, statuary and fountains help define one of the city’s foundational places. This spin through the park will then take to the ice with skating at the Frog Pond, where rental skates will be made available to registered attendees at no cost along with a complimentary hot chocolate. Online registration is available here:

“For forty years the Boston Landmarks Commission has worked to safeguard the character of our beloved City, from its iconic downtown buildings to its many vibrant neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh. “I encourage residents and visitors to take advantage of the BLC’s free programming and join us throughout this anniversary year as we mark these truly landmark achievements.”

Subsequent BLC XL events slated for 2015 include the BLC’s National Historic Preservation Month keynote event, to be held in May; a picnic and talk in Franklin Park, co-hosted by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, scheduled for July; and a harvest-themed archaeological program coinciding with National Archaeology Month in October. For upcoming event details and announcements, please follow the BLC on Facebook and Twitter (@COBLandmarks), visit their website at, and join our e-mail list by contacting Tonya Loveday at

A successful skating night with Friends

Freezing temperatures were offset by warm smiles on February 26th at Boston Common Frog Pond where the Young Friends hosted their second annual private skating night. Roughly 50 brave souls ventured out to skate in support of the Friends of the Public Garden and their mission to protect and enhance the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Many attendees live nearby and consider these historic green spaces to be an extension of their backyard in the urban landscape.


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“It is amazing to see how many people truly care about our parks and are enthusiastically willing to support them,” said Kate Gundry, chair of the Young Friends group. “We are very fortunate to have an active and engaged community that wants to be involved – whether it is attending an event or helping to organize one, we have a great group of members who are always willing to pitch in.”

One highlight of the evening is a good example of how people lend their talents to add value to Young Friends’ events. To the delight of the crowd, two Boston-bred skaters choreographed a special performance for the occasion. Chynna Pope and Elin Schran have strong ties to the Frog Pond on Boston Common, which served as their neighborhood skating rink in their youth. From her early days skating in Boston’s oldest park, Pope went on to become an international competitive and professional figure skater.  Shran was a professional skater for the Ice Capades and continues to choreograph, direct, produce and star in local shows. Both women are still involved with skating programs on the Frog Pond today.

Pope and Schran also brought a special surprise guest who kindly performed for the group. Eric Kaplan gave a dynamic solo performance. The national level competitor in freestyle and pairs lives in Rhode Island when he is not touring across the globe headlining in shows.

In addition to performing, the professionals offered basic tips and advice on mastering techniques to skaters of all levels.

The Young Friends has come together to raise goodwill and funds to assist with the work of preserving and enhancing Boston’s first public parks – the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Through festive, community-oriented events, the Young Friends engages with their neighbors, getting one another involved for the betterment of the parks. If you are interested in becoming involved with this group, please call 617-723-8144 or email

Young Friends on Ice

The Young Friends of the Public Garden will be hosting a spectacular winter event! On Monday, February 25, join Young Friends for a night a skating on the Boston Common Frog Pond.  Don’t worry if you don’t have skates, your ticket for admission includes skate rental.

young friends on ice

Event Information

Date: Monday, February 25

Time: 7:30-9:00 p.m.

Price: $35.00

Buy tickets here

Visit the Facebook event page

Skating in the Schools returns for a second season

Last year the Skating Club of Boston piloted their Skating in the Schools program at the Boston Common Frog Pond. This wonderful after school activity gives children a positive outlet for energy while teaching a valuable skill. In the winter, the number of athletic opportunities available to school age children is significantly diminished, the skating club is offering a great opportunity by exposing children to a wonderful winter sport. When the program began last year only one school was invited to participate. In it’s second year the program has expanded to include two school groups.skating in the schools 2

Most of the students are new again this year, there are two or three repeat students from Washington Irving, but for the most part it is an entirely different group,” says Cheri Rigby, Director of Programs at the Skating Club of Boston.

She hopes the program will grow to be more comprehensive, a program in which students enroll early and participate throughout their schooling, “But we’re not there yet.” It’s tough to say at this early stage whether students who return are improving in their abilities, but they do receive free season passes to use the Frog Pond whenever they’d like to skate for free. Skating is an expensive sport, the Skating Club provides the free passes to provide students who enjoy the activity with an affordable (free) opportunity to do so. Whenever they’d like. “We realize that kids 13 and under already have free admission at the Frog Pond,” Cheri points out, “our intention was that this free pass allows a parent or guardian to come in for free–thus the added assurance that they will get back to practice and enjoy skating in their free time.”

The program has more than doubled in size since last year and has plenty of support to continue to grow. If program success was measured solely in smiles, the Skating Club would have a very positive report. “The smiles are the best testimony [to success] at this point,” Cheri reports, ” [and] we have tremendous support from educators. We know we have tapped into something very good and really look forward to the expansion of the program“.

skating in the schools 1

I know from firsthand experience (I was a skater) the incredible feeling of freedom and personal strength you have when you are on the ice…When these kids are on the ice, they are 100% focused on the task at hand. They can only think about the present moment. That in itself is very therapeutic.  In addition to the effort and concentration skating requires, it is also extrememey humbling.  I enjoy watching the transformation of the kids when they step on the ice.  It puts them in a place of vulnerability that opens them up to asking for help and for allowing someone to help them…Skating [is] a wonderful vehicle for children to learn life lessons.”  – Cheri Rigby

Cheri’s plan for the future is simple and focuses on the following principles: quality programming with engaged students and supportive educators, administrators and sponsors and helping kids to develop the confidence and life skills they need in order to thrive and grow.

Dog plan for the Boston Common is in the works

Photo from

Back in June we posted on our website about proposing a new plan for regulating the canine visitors that frequent the Boston Common. Many months later, FOPG has officially submitted an application to the City of Boston with a detailed plan.

Our goal is “to engage dog owners as active stewards of the park, to establish and enforce clear rules and expectations around dogs in the park, and to create a long-term, sustainable mechanism for restoring and renewing those areas of the park that are used for dog recreation.” In other words, we’d like to provide dedicated space for owners to walk their dogs untethered, as long as the area is maintained. This would allow dog-less visitors to enjoy their time on the Common as well.

Currently, there is an area below the Joy Street steps and above the Frog Pond playground that is designated for off-leash use during certain times of the day. However, it is in desperate need of restoration, FOPG will be contributing $8,000 for that cause. In addition, we propose to create 4 new spaces on Tremont and Beacon streets that will be on rotation, with repairs to be done after each rotation.

Unfortunately, this cannot be a government-funded program. FOPG invites private organizations, as well as the dog owner community, to contribute what they can in hopes that we can put the plan into effect!