Duckling Day Highlights

The weather could not have been more perfect yesterday for the annual Duckling Day Parade in honor of Mothers everywhere on Mother’s Day. Children dressed as their favorite ducklings enjoyed a magic show, facepainting, balloon animals and more as they waited for the parade to begin on the Boston Common. At noon when the Harvard Band began to play families lined up excitedly and began to retrace the steps of the characters from Robert McCloskey’s beloved Make Way for Ducklings. The day ended with a dramatic reading of the book by the Wheelock Family Theatre. As an added bonus Jane McCloskey was there to sign her book “Robert McCloskey: A Private Life in Words and Pictures” as well as a few copies of her father’s work.

For more photos from the event click here!

Duckling Day Highlights:

1. Magician Peter O’Malley wowed the crowd on the Boston Common:

2. Rhondella Richardson of Channel 5 news wore a festive yellow dress to welcome families to the event:

3.The Wheelock Family theatre provided post-parade entertainment with a dramatic reading of
Make Way for Ducklings

4. Jane McCloskey signed copies of her book about her father as well as copies of Make Way for Ducklings.

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

Movin’ On Out!

After nine successful years at 87 Mount Vernon Street, we are excited to announce our move to a new office at 69 Beacon Street.  This office will be an amazing new space for us, located directly across from the Boston Common and the Public Garden. The new office will allow staff expansion and more supervision for the Brewer Foundation Plaza renovation project taking place on the Common.

Aside from more office space and a conference room, the Beacon Street location also has a storage area for the archives belonging to the Friends of the Public Garden. For years, President Emeritus Henry Lee has kept these special artifacts at his home—now we will be able to preserve and feature them in one place!

We would like to thank our friends at Sovereign/Santander Bank who have made the move possible by donating this space to us. We also appreciate the effort and creativity of our members, who have graciously volunteered their time to plan and design our new office as we prepare to move in during the early spring.

Bob Lobel and the Fenway Sausage Guy will be at the All Star Game!

We invite you to come out to the ball game on Thursday, July 14th!

Join us at 6:00 p.m. to watch the game and cheer on your friends! Teams will be coached by Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak and Friends President Emeritus Henry Lee. Play-by-play will be announced by Bob Lobel.

After the game meet us on the roof of the Motor Mart Garage for a Fenway-style barbecue featuring the Fenway Sausage Guy!$25 for all you can eat and drink! Guests will enjoy ball-game-style cuisine and will be able to pass the time playing corn hole, a great backyard barbecue game kindly donated by the Ames Plow Tavern.

Commonwealth Avenue Mall Featured in USA Today

Photo courtesy of Steve Dunwell

The Commonwealth Avenue Mall was named as one of the top 10 great places to stand in the shade of historic trees by USA Today. The article reads: “This tree-lined avenue links Boston Common and the Public Garden to the city’s Emerald Necklace park system. ‘It’s the first urban greenway built in the U.S., if not the world,’ Birnbaum says. The nine-block route, developed from 1861-1880, includes formal plantings of elms, sweet gum, green ash, maple and linden.”