Celebrating Blooms and Updates on Olympic News

Rooftop View 1
View from Taj Boston


The greenery and flowers that we have patiently awaited are finally here in full force. Spring was an especially beautiful time of year to stroll along Commonwealth Avenue Mall under canopies boasting thousands of lush leaves, to traverse the Common on paths surrounded by green grass, and delight in the spectacular blooms in the Public Garden. Bravo to the City of Boston and its horticultural team led by Anthony Hennessy on this year’s spring plantings in the Garden; they were a sight to behold. Thank you to all who support these parks through membership in the Friends and your role as stewards.

Our work in collaboration with the Parks and Recreation Department to preserve and enhance these greenspaces continues. We met with representatives from Boston 2024 and were assured that the Public Garden will not be used as a venue for events or structures for the 2024 Olympic bid. This is welcome news. We are also pleased that the temporary beach volleyball stadium and ancillary structures proposed for the Common are being relocated. As we continue to monitor news of plans that will impact our parks, we look forward to discussions with Boston 2024 and City leadership to work toward a plan that is acceptable to all. In addition to advocating for appropriate use of our parks during the Olympics, we are meeting with groups that use the Common for large-scale events, to ensure that their impact is managed and mitigated. Our parks are wonderful places to play, celebrate with community members, and find moments of quiet solitude. We want to make sure that they are in excellent condition and available for all to enjoy. Thank you for sharing your voices to advocate for these irreplaceable greenspaces.

Summer is here and it is time for our annual Summer Party being held at the Taj rooftop on Wednesday, July 22! Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets to make this event an early sell-out. We look forward to toasting you, our members and supporters as we enjoy the view from the Taj rooftop and overlook the parks that you support so generously.

As always, please send us your feedback; we enjoy hearing from you.


Anne Brooke, Chair
Elizabeth Vizza, Executive Director

April is Membership Month at the Friends

Photo: Elizabeth Jordan
Photo: Elizabeth Jordan

April is the perfect time to help improve and care for the parks, as it is Membership Month at the Friends! Anyone who joins the Friends this month is entered into a drawing to win dinner for four at Toscano. “Every new member increases our influence and gives us more strength to protect the parks we all love so much. We look forward to welcoming many new members this month,” said Alli Achtmeyer, who is co-chairing Membership Month with fellow Beacon Hill resident Katherine O’Keeffe. Prospective members are invited to a Meet the Friends reception on April 30th to learn more about the organization and its mission while enjoying a wine and cheese reception.

In celebration of Membership Month the Friends launched an Instagram Photo Contest. The Instagram community is encouraged to take pictures of the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall and tag #FOPGContest in the caption. Five participants who get the most “Likes” on their photos on Instagram will have the chance to win a year-long membership to the Friends, as well as two tickets to the annual Summer Party—held at the Taj Hotel rooftop in July. Five finalists with the top number of “likes” will be invited to the Friends reception on April 30th where attendees will cast their vote for their favorite Instagram picture.

Those interested in becoming a member of the Friends can join online, by mail, or by attending the April 30th reception and all will be entered into the drawing for the Toscano dinner. For more information about the Friends, the reception, and the Instagram competition, visit www.friendsofthepublicgarden.org or email info@friendsofthepublicgarden.org.

2014 Green and White Ball delights guests and raises funds for parks


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On Friday, May 16, 2014, The Friends of the Public Garden celebrated its annual Green and White Ball with 200 guests at the Taj Boston. This festive black-tie party raised $400,000 provide care for the Public Garden, Boston Common and Commonwealth Avenue Mall, which has been the mission of the Friends since its inception over 43 years ago. Winston Flowers transformed the Grand Ballroom into a garden oasis with oversized “tree” centerpieces and hanging lanterns, while guests enjoyed signature green and white cocktails and event band The Sultans of Swing. A portion of the funds raised at this year’s Green & White will be allocated to restore the George Robert White Memorial Fountain, an angel sculpture and fountain in the Public Garden that honors one of Boston’s greatest benefactors and has been inoperable since the early 1980s.

Upcoming 2014 Green and White Ball to Support an “Angel”

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The 17th annual Friends of the Public Garden Green and White Ball is taking place on Friday, May 16 at the Taj Boston. The event celebrates preservation and improvement projects in our treasured green spaces – the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. This year’s event will be supporting a new project, the restoration of the George Robert White Memorial and Fountain.  Learn more in a recent article from the Beacon Hill Times, “Green and White Helping a Neighborhood “Angel.”

For tickets and more information, visit www.friendsofthepublicgarden.org.


Preservation Month Event Kick-Off Event Features Swan Boats History


Photo: David Rosen
Photo: David Rosen

Join Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Landmarks Commission for a keynote talk and reception to kick off the citywide celebration of Preservation Month 2014. In the keynote, “Mated for Life: Boston and the Swan Boats,” Lyn Paget will share the story of how her great-grandparents first introduced the Swan Boats to the Public Garden in 1877. These unique vessels have become a symbol of Boston and are celebrated worldwide. Bostonians and visitors alike delight in riding through the Public Garden, America’s first public botanical garden, while taking  part in a time-honored tradition.  Lyn will explain why the image of the swan was chosen for these boats and their history, share stories of their international fame, and talk about how her family’s business has thrived through the years.

The Friends of the Public Garden is pleased to be a co-sponsor of this event, which is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to: tonya.loveday@boston.gov.

Presented by: Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC)
Co-sponsored by: City of Boston Department of Parks & Recreation, Friends of the Public Garden, Back Bay Association, the Taj Boston, and the Swan Boats of Boston

The BLC partners with organizations across the city to offer a wide array of events focusing on Boston’s unique architectural and historic landscape heritage. The BLC’s Preservation Month Calendar has more than 50 pages of activities and is available online at www.cityofboston.gov/landmarks and in print version from the Boston Landmarks Commission.

The Young Friends of the Public Garden Summer Kick-Off Celebration

On Wednesday, July 27 at 7 p.m., the Young Friends of the Public Garden are holding a summer kick-off celebration at the roof of The Taj Hotel overlooking the beautiful Public Garden itself. In support of the Friends of the Public Garden, a non-profit advocacy group formed in 1970, the Young Friends have come together to raise goodwill and funds to assist with the work of preserving and enhancing Boston’s First Public Parks – the Public Garden, Boston Common, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Through festive, community-oriented events, the Young Friends engage with their neighbors, getting one another involved for the betterment of the parks.

Tickets are $45 and advanced purchasing is encouraged. Cost includes: a one year membership to the Young Friends, two complimentary drinks, passed hors d’œuvres, and a chance to enter our raffle for prizes including fabulous Red Sox tickets.

RSVP for the event > >